Dir: Howard Ziehm, 1990
Howard Ziehm’s follow up to his sixteen years older sibling, Flesh Gordon, has a bigger budget but weaker jokes and an even weaker plot.
Flesh, now played by Vince Murdocco, is kidnapped by cheerleaders from the Strange Planet and is forced to do battle, once again, with Emperor Wang, this time, called The Evil Presence (William Dennis Hunt) after The Evil Presence/Wang has made all the men on the planet impotent.
It’s a very disappointing sequel, this, with none of the originality or comedy of the first one.
Whereas Flesh Gordon was a spoof of the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials, Flesh Gordon 2 doesn’t have anything to spoof. It’s just using the character.
For a film with a bigger budget, it looks and feels cheaper. The effects are nowhere near as impressive as the cheaper, and superior, 1974 film.
There was a certain amount of cleverness in the first film. Ziehm and co-director Michael Benveniste made a valiant homage to Crabbe and the comic strips.
This is not clever. The humour is very scatological and relies on that.
The jokes are very immature and reminiscent of a schoolboy.
In itself, that’s not a problem. Fart jokes can be very funny if they’re done right. And, sometimes in this, they are. A highlight of this would be the giant ASSteroids; asteroids shaped like arses that fart and propels across space.
It’s okay but sounds funnier than it actually is.
There’s less sex here, and nothing you could describe as pornographic. The little sex there is, is played, purely, for laughs.
Murdocco as Flesh doesn’t fit the bill, quite like Jason Williams did. Robyn Kelly is Dale Ardor, looking a lot younger than Suzanne Fields. A typical Playboy looking model, she doesn’t have that damsel in distress that Fields did.
William Dennis Hunt returns as Wang/The Evil Presence and is the only cast member from the original to appear in this.
The script comes across as even more amateurish than Flesh Gordon. It often plays like a 90’s US sitcom. With the pacing and delivery of the lines, it’s like you’re watching Married….With Children or a comedy on Nickelodeon, only with adult jokes.
For such a low budget film, the first one had a lot going for it. As well as the effects, it had great music.
Without Ralph Ferraro scoring the film, it just depends on lacklustre rock songs, none of which are very catchy bar the last one, The All American Hero.
Ziehm doesn’t have any love in making this film. Shot and directed so crudely with a limp script, you can’t help but feel it was a quick knock off to make a few quid.
Not great, but it’s okay for a giggle or two.