Steal My Sunshine – Howard Ziehm’s ‘Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders’ (1990)

7 Aug

Sequels, they’re kind of like newborn siblings crying out for attention. Some of them are totally worthy and some of them are really nothing to shout out about, which is where Flesh Gordon sequel Flesh Gordon Meets The Cosmic Cheerleaders comes in. Directed and written by Howard Ziehm, one half of the original directing duo alongside Michael Benveniste and a veteran sex film director in his own right, you’d think the film would retain some of the charm and heart of the first feature but sadly it’s packed with none. Instead, it’s full of bloated humorless jokes, every sex joke or parody possible and a cast of actors hamming it up far too much.

Flesh Gordon is a porno actor fed up with his job and not currently enjoying the film he is working on. After being sacked by the production studio (oh yes, the film goes a bit meta on our arse), Flesh is kidnapped by real cosmic cheerleaders who want to use him for sex as the male population on their planet have been rendered impotent. Once arriving on the planet, The Evil Presence, the  mastermind behind making every man impotent, catches wind of Flesh and wants to kidnap him so he can transfer Flesh’s penis onto his own body. Why? Surprise, surprise, the bastard is impotent too and can’t please his wife Queen Frigid.

And sadly, this is where it starts to go seriously downhill. Vince Murdocco as Flesh Gordon looks more like a reject cast member from Neighbours then an ‘all-American’ hero type and is profoundly more annoying than Jason Williams who played Flesh in the original. The same can be said for Tony Travi, who’s interpretation of Dr Flexi Jerkoff is a chicken obsessed, scatological joke loving creep, acted so over the top that it doesn’t even register as bearable and funny camp but plain awful. William Hunt returns as Emperor Wang, I mean The Evil Presence (sorry, spoiler alert, but it’s obvious anyway…) but is lost in a sea of women so undistinguishable from one another that not one single female character stands out. Saddest of all is the stop motion animation, the highlight of the original feature (with an SFX crew only dreams are made of), which is dreadfully dull and lacking any kind of character or emotion.

Don’t meet the cosmic cheerleaders, they’re entirely overrated. For a better experience, in this instance, stick with the original.

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