Thursday, 2 February 2012

Flesh Gordon II: Cosmic Cheerleaders (NSFW)

FLASH! AH-AAaawww no, not even. Not this time. 

In 1989, nine years after the iconic Flash Gordon was released, the universe briefly twisted into a vortex of evil before snapping back into place like nothing had happened. But something had happened. Something had crossed into our dimension from... elsewhere, and it was Flesh Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders.

So 80s

Yeah, nostalgia about the 80s is fun. But this was 1989 – the year the 80s came to die. This is the film that buried the bodies:

As you can see, we're in for quite an interesting experience after the click.

If you read my last article about Flesh Gordon, then you know that this is the sequel, because whatever the 70s produced in bad taste had to be outdone by the 80s. If you haven’t read it yet, then what’s wrong with you? It’s excellently written and entirely undisturbed*.

*Not a guarantee

No more burlesque or satire, just jokes about poop, tits and cocks. It’s not even enjoyable porn (the worst of crimes), it’s just scrawl from the men’s room wall about poop, sex, and sex with poop. I’m not even joking – if you watched the trailer, then you know there are cast members whose characters are literally anthropomorphic poo. Complete with costumes. But we’ll get to that.

The real story of this film is not about Flesh Gordon being kidnapped for his virility by barely-dressed cosmic cheerleaders:

The story is only slightly about how the villain is going to use his impotence ray on everyone, rendering everyone as flaccid as him. (Totally how impotence works, right?)
What this story is about is the female lead, Dale. The character is damn tough, like a long-legged warrior in heels, and the actress must be one of the toughest and/or most desperate women in southern California. She goes through a pretty broad spectrum of hell during this film, and none of it is CGI.

This film moves quickly from scene to scene, from one random configuration of elements to another random configuration of elements. It’s like the writer just wrote dirty words on pieces of paper and then threw them into the wind, basing the story on the order in which they fell into his open, cocaine-skirted mouth. For example: Professor Jerkoff’s ship runs on the energy generated by chickens having sex. Like I said, words just fell at the writer while he batted bemusedly at the air like a confused kitten. "King Kong? Piss? Well, why not King Kong pissing?"

Robyn Kelly, the actress portraying Dale, has a very limited imdb profile which I completely don’t understand. She’s glamorous, beautiful, intelligent, sassy and the very picture of professionalism. Her consistent delivery of quality while enduring indignity and discomfort mean that any director would be lucky to work with her, but no. Even the guy playing Professor Jerkoff has more entries on imdb, and he plays a chicken-shagging bizzaro-scientist whose Scottish accent is nineteen species of horrible!

Oh dear lord, my career!

But of course she took this role! Why wouldn’t she? It’s a damn paycheque at the end of the day, and the script was so full of incredible, insightful satire about the human condition:

Literal toilet humor

For five minutes they plug these “ass-teroids” with torpedo-corks. I dearly wish that I could describe this as satirical, burlesque, even funny. But no. At first it was smirk-worthy, because… ass-teroids, right? That’s a chuckle at least. The Professor tries shooting corks into the asses, but it falls to Dale to bullseye every single one for over five minutes until they can fly to safety. After five minutes, it’s boring.

I’ll tell you now, I have a soft spot for late-80s early-90s valley girls. They’re an era-specific Hollywood cliché for trashy clothing and makeup, low intelligence and education, an advanced sexuality but nearly innocent awareness of their bodies… some might say bimbos, but that feels like an unkind word considering it’s a cruel stereotype. So there’s that.

Nevertheless, all of the girls (even Dale slightly) in this are that valley girl stereotype. Passive, comfortable about their skimpy outfits, thick eye makeup and bubble-gum bouncing, curling their hair through their fingers while they whine their lines in an intentionally stupid-sounding baby-girl voice… apart from that last one, I think I love them.
The classic stop-motion is back too, from the prequel. But it’s nowhere near as surreal as last time, which is disappointing.

Although, it does try quite hard 

Oh lord, how it tries

That thing right there? The dickhead monster? Professor Jerkoff and Flesh Gordon define it as ‘a queen’. Then they try to reason with it, “Obviously, being surrounded by such a mother influence [sic] has led you to an… um, alternate lifestyle?” But it drops some soap from its handbag and when Flesh bends down to pick it up, the creature is fired into a lustful, bellowing frenzy.

They’re amongst hills that are the breasts of dead amazons so obviously any caves would be shaped like vaginas, right? So they’re chased into a vaginal cave by the cock-headed queen-beast. Surprise, the cock-headed monster gets its dick stuck in the vaginal cave and stop-motion-sexes itself into spunking, which washes through the cave like a jizz tsunami.

What do you do when an elephant comes in your window? Start swimming! Flesh and the professor ride the semen-wave down into the depths, underneath the planet and deeper into the bowels of the dead Amazonian giantess. They find themselves walking over the internal lining of her organs. In-film logic suggests that everything should be dead, and therefor no longer… moist. But no! They find themselves in the G-Spot café. The body isn’t just fresh, it’s alive with cultures in every organ! Like the humanoids are bacteria, and these cultures are that other kind of culture! Everyone’s feeling sexy, right?

The trouble with the G-Spot café is that being so near the womb has caused every male customer to regress to infancy, causing them to crave tits and milk.

We’re not dealing with a sane mind, here.

Breasts are on order from the bar, provided by the humanoid bacteria.

Don’t question what we’re all doing inside the organs of this giant, just enjoy my fulsome breasts
What is she? Is she some kind of human-ish thing that came from the outside? Aliens who have settled here, in the desiccated, rotten womb of a long-dead extra-terrestrial amazon? Or are they all surreal visions caused by noxious gas build-up in a giant corpse? Or is she something that lived inside the giant’s body, like some kind of parasite? That last question might not seem sensible, but as we escape the g-spot (having spent my whole life trying to find it? Jeez!) and journey onwards, we find some poo blocking the tunnel. Flesh Gordon kicks at the intestinal blockage and suddenly the poo he was kicking is alive, has a face and speaks English! “I thought planet porno was disgusting, but this takes the cake!” Flesh exclaims.

That’s how a woman’s internal organs work, right? You can just wander up from the vagina to the large intestine, because it’s all connected? Well, maybe the membranes have decayed and this body’s lower torso is just a warren of tunnels and dungeons.

The occupants of the planetary colon, the “turd people” 

In gratitude, the poop-folk take everyone back to their village of poop-folk to enjoy a montage of poop-folk culture, including fast food restaurants serving poop to poop-folk. It could be funny for a while, but no. They’re invited with these words: “Y’all really loves our people. They’s warm, brown-skinned and simple [sic]”

Uncomfortable, eh? Here’s the soul band:

Let’s get down and dirty, and groove to Smokey Pile and the Constipations

Just in case we weren’t clear, that’s a green poop, a dark brown poop and a beige poop wearing sunglasses. Smokey Pile and the Constipations really is their name. The village tries to cook Flesh, Professor Jerkoff and their cheerleader colleague in tiny pots of water. Maybe I’m just sensitive to this kind of thing, but having a black-face kid dressed as poo with a Southern accent trying to cannibalise the Aryan honky is the kind of thing we should question. Yes, I said kid. Some of the poops are children.


There’s a point where it stops being satire and just becomes confusing, offensive nonsense, and I think that point is having a close-up on the black-face cannibalistic poo-child.

We spend fifteen minutes in this strange underworld of bowels with these curious poo-people, and it’s never, ever funny. Then Jerkoff gives one of them some laxatives and forever destroys their village, culture and way of life. Nobody will mourn their passing. Ha, passing. I was just funnier than that entire scene.

The scene in the poo village is intercut with footage of what the villains are up to with Dale in their clutches. There’s the moment when she’s mentally reprogrammed to act like a dog for about three minutes, or reprogrammed to act like the villain’s mother. Then it’s visually stated that the evil scientist rapes her while we’re not looking. Then she’s strapped to a table and a tentacle monster slobbers its slimy tongue over her thighs and, yes, crotch, in anticipation of literally eating her pussy. Like, with its teeth. THEN she’s suspended upside down over a pit of death for a whole scene. THEN she’s bent in half when Flesh kisses her before he unties her. Way to go, Flesh. You found possibly the only way you could have screwed up while saving her from all this:

"Not now, Flesh, what with the mind-rape. Am I still the villain’s mother? Did they fix that? Oh, and the actual rape. And being licked out by a tentacle monster who wanted to eat my womb. And being suspended upside down for an hour over a pit of mechanical meat-grinders…"

We see her go through terror, hopelessness, horror, torture, and a huge boatload of screaming, but she returns to the same brave, furious resistance. I wasn’t kidding when I said she goes through a broad spectrum of hell. It was probably only time constraints that made them cut the scenes with the water-boarding, the forced feeding/induced vomiting chain-combo, the hot pokers, the tooth extraction and the involuntary amputation. What I said about Robyn Kelly being an incredibly professional actress? I think she’s proven it. Nobody else could deliver the line “It’s a trap, Flesh! They plan to take over the universe with an army of cold bitches, dog-men and YOUR PENIS!” while suspended upside down over a pit, wearing lingerie no less, and inject it with so much raw emotional truth.

But don’t get me wrong, a lot of other folks were exploited by this film, not just Robyn Kelly and the poo-children. There are the scantily clad women wearing tin-foil underwear, rubbing each other awkwardly in the background of the villain’s lair. There are the aforementioned dog-men gimp-slaves that serve them all. There’s also Queen Frigid, who is fat, followed everywhere by gimp-slaves carrying plates of food, and (despite her name) she’s pretty interested in sex. When Flesh turns up to seduce her and make her divulge the secret code that switches off the impotence-ray, she’s wearing a paper bag and lying in bed, eager for the embrace of her husband. So, like, not even frigid. The hell?

Oh honey, you’re doing yourself no favors

Needless to say, his excellent sexing changes her entire morality and outlook on the world and she gives him the secret code. Moments later, random strikes once more and all the women in the film are covered in cream pies. The cheerleaders, Dale, the professor, the lead villain and several of his henchwomen burst into the bedroom, grabbing some pies to use as weapons from one of the gimp-slaves feeding Queen Frigid. Dairy and pie starts flying everywhere.

Is... is there something suggestive about this long close-up?

While panties and breasts are being smeared with delicious cream, the impotence ray is also being covered with a giant condom and Earth is saved. It’s a surprisingly responsible message from this film, which doesn’t make sense. In fact, the women are all referred to as frigid despite clearly being into each other, and only express an interest in penis once the impotence ray is switched off and the men become erect. These women aren’t ‘frigid’, it’s just the weak-ass men! It’s all just a projection of insecure masculinity! BEHOLD! An enlightened message, lodged deep in this dark, soggy pit of horror!

Oh, wait, no. I guess they’re all lesbians until a penis comes along, which is an entirely incorrect view of lesbianism. I knew it was too good to be true, and so is the pro-birth control message, because the condom destroys the ray. Sure, in the long run Earth is saved, which is good. But the short-term message is that condoms kill mega-cocks. “The best way to cool off a hot tool is to cover it with a condom,” they say, which is kind of the opposite of what everyone should have been saying in 1989, the same decade they discovered AIDS. Maybe "Let's make this erection safe for everyone," rather than "Let's kill the mood and completely disable this erection".

Finally, of course they recycle the one single funny line from the previous film, repeating it so many times, so clumsily, that it loses all charm. See my previous article about Flesh Gordon 1 for details on why I have a problem with this:

"Good! There’s oxygen on this planet"

It’s recycled three or four times. I tried to count, but the film is just so random that I start to question my own memory of events. How many times has he said it? Did I imagine any? Did I really just see an entire village made of poo and intestines, populated by men, women, and children dressed as poop, living inside the body of a dead giant? Did I really see a reptilian puppet crawling towards a woman’s vulnerable crotch, it’s purple, warty tongue extended, quivering with eagerness while it gnashes it’s spiky, uneven teeth and the madness of Satan burns in its polluted eyes? Did an entire production crew film these sights, unflinching? Did I watch this film? Why would I do that? Unless… am I actually in the film, and my whole life is just a fantasy where my mind has retreated to feel safe and innocent once more? Maybe Flesh Gordon 2… is reality. Oh God, please no.

So that’s why I don’t know how many times Professor Jerkoff said “Good there’s oxygen on this planet.” I need either a good hard slap or some post-trauma counselling. I can’t imagine how Robyn Kelly felt when she finally finished filming and got her last meagre paycheque, minus tax and SAG. Unless she was up for this whole film because she thought it would be funny and successful, in which case she can leave forever.


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