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flesh-and-blood by Random Movie Club
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Tagline: Coming to save the universe from a diabolical menace... Galactic impotence!

Preshow Entertainment: BLOOD-O-RAMA

Pizza: Costco


 Flesh Gordon (Vince Murdocco)
Tonight was all about singing turds, a penis-shaped spacecraft, an oral sex-loving octopus, and a game of "codball," where players use their members like hockey sticks. Yep, tonight we witnessed the late Jessica Tandy shine in DRIVING MISS DAI...what the...oops, sorry, typo. Tonight we watched FLESH GORDON MEETS THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS (1990).

It was 19 years between THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and its sequel TEXASVILLE. For THE HUSTLER, it took 25 years for its sequel THE COLOR OF MONEY to emerge. So go and thank your lord right now that we only had to wait 16 years for a sequel to 1974's super-silly FratCom FLESH GORDON.

I find the source material a smidge odd - a comic strip and movie serial that ran in theaters in the 1930s. That means nearly everyone who originally saw the serial is now dead. I guess there's also a wafer thin argument that there was a FLASH GORDON movie in 1980, but who am I kidding? No one. Because it doesn't matter. No one cares. And no one will ever care. This movie is just an excuse for sex jokes, bad puns, constipation, tits, erections...you know, the entire checklist of things a 13 year old boy will enjoy. A 13 year old boy and all the people who showed up for tonight's screening. Yep, it was extremely lowbrow, dumb as all heck...and we liked it. But beware, this is not a recommendation. I do believe this was a right time/right place enjoyment. View at your own risk.

FLESH GORDON MEETS THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS (henceforth referred to as FG) wastes no time reveling in what it is, a philistine endeavor that wears its insanity and inanity proudly and unashamedly. Out of the gate (cameras had gates then, right?), the opening credits feature a spaceship shaped like a penis, flying through the galaxy accompanied by an 80s synth-heavy title song called THE HERO ALWAYS GETS THE GIRL, a Huey Lewis HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL soundalike. From there, the first scene features space crusader Flesh Gordon (Vince Murdocco) and his girl Dale (Robyn Kelly) fending off a (stop motion) monster on the ship's bridge. But actually, we're watching them film a movie (within this movie) about Flesh, who is playing himself. This is a fine in-joke, as everything we've just witnessed has been edited, which is impossible, of course. And during the downtime, the stop-motion monster sits around the set, waiting.

cosmic cheerleaders
We're in the 1930s (a tip of the hat to the source material). We know this because outside the studio there's an "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" guy and other characters, like a mummy, milling about. And then, while talking to Dale, Flesh is kidnapped by alien cheerleaders. You can tell they're alien because they don't look anything like cheerleaders I've ever seen, and believe you me, I've been to many, many websites. Anyway...

Other characters from the original FLESH GORDON are on board, including Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (played here by Tony Travis), whose accent goes from German to Scottish brogue with no real rhyme or reason. When Dale informs him of Flesh's abduction, he snaps into action. They take off in his space ship which is shaped like, what else? A tit. It turns out Flesh was kidnapped for his virility, as the alien planet is now sterile because of a villain named Evil Presence (Skeptical Rich says, "That sure sounds a lot like Dr. Evil, which came a few years later."), a man in a mask who shot a laser at the men during a codball match.

What follows is a juvenile array of toilet humor (some involving real toilets) and subplots like portly Queen Frigid's desire to be satisfied (since her man, Evil Presence, can't do the job), and Evil Presence wanting to get a penile transplant from Flesh. And how many movies can you name that have musical numbers where logs of defecation called Steaming Pile and the Constipations sing a Motown-y song with lyrics "I'm a steamer for you, baby." I wonder where those costumes are today.

I'm not 13 anymore, haven't been for at least two decades (hey, that's not a lie, right?), but I will say that some of this movie did make me laugh, especially Evil Presence, an easily exasperated henpecked fellow who's just trying to be evil. I have to admit, it's nice to hear Evil Presence say, "When I get through with him he'll be a dickless wonder!" I don't recall Auric Goldfinger saying that, but I sure would have liked him more if he did. Also funny, Evil's sidekick, Master Bator, who steals the show with his Igor/Riff Raff overacting. Bator is played by Bruce Scott, who also wrote the music (as well as, if IMDB isn't messing with us, a few songs in FAME). Bator gets smacked around by Evil Presence like he's his private Larry Fine.

FG doesn't go overboard with nods to the original serial. I think the Rock Men, scary beings that came out of the cave tunnel walls, are the Turds here. And the character names were all puns on the original, for example Alexi Zarkov = Flexi Jerkoff. But like I hinted at earlier, who cares?

asteroid belt
Auteur Howard Ziehm, who directed and co-wrote as well as co-directing the original, floods FG with scat jokes, farts, rivers of ejaculatory fluids, a doorbell shaped like a tit where you squeeze the nipple (can you get that at SharperImage.com?), an "asstroid" belt (giant asses in space that fart gasses), and much more. Which brings us to:

Effects. For a low budget such as this, they really did an okay job. I marvel (as I did in the original FLESH) at how they got the stop motion monsters to look so good. I also wonder if there was ever a time, while working laboriously on these effects, one guy turned to another and said, "It's 2 in the morning and I'm animating a monster that holds a purse and has a dick coming out of his forehead." NOTE: Effects legend Rick Baker worked on the original, and Craig T. Nelson did the voice of the monster.

As far as acting is concerned, well, there really isn't any. To say the performances were all wooden would be unfair to the elms of the world. But really, how Streep must one be to don a turd costume? Flesh is played by Vince Murdocco, a kickboxing champ. William Dennis Hunt, the only original cast member (huh huh, he said 'member'), is back as Emperor Wang. There's also a bevy of topless women, who I found very unsexy, maybe because they were so annoying that my libido shut off automatically. Occam's razor, indeed. And the writing? I think it's safe to say that no one in the film ever uttered the line "I fell in love with the script" in an interview.

Those who treasure the original FLESH GORDON (which I saw in the theater, probably at midnight), a lighthearted naughty parody whose hardcore sex scenes were posterized to prevent an X-rating (and made much of the audience cry foul) will likely be disappointed with this sequel. And yes, I actually meant that seriously.

Preshow Entertainment: BLOOD-O-RAMA

Mad Doctor of Blood Island
Decapitations, spewing blood, hooks-thru-flesh, severed limbs, and "more blood than you've ever seen before!" Yep, tonight we watched GNOMEO AND JULIET. Damn! Another typo. I need to get me a prooffreader. Tonight's preshow was BLOOD-O-RAMA; coming attractions from gore movies of the 60s, 70s, and even 80s. Yummo!

BLOOD-O-RAMA featured clips from movies with titles like THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW, MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND (with hottie natives!), VAMPYRES (with lesbians!) THE MURDER CLINIC ("The more beautiful they were, the better chances they had to wake up and die!") and CAGED VIRGINS (leave it to the French to come up with this one). Some have wonderful titles like SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED and THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE! (Have a hankering for this one? It's on Hulu!I) Or how about I DRINK YOUR BLOOD AND I EAT YOUR SKIN and MEATCLEAVER MASSACRE. Many, because they were made and released in other countries like Mexico, Italy, the Philippines and even Germany, had more than one title (sometimes even three or four)...and were badly dubbed.

We were also treated to some hardcore vamp trailers from BLOOD FIEND and CURSE OF THE VAMPIRES. Also on the platter (besides the occasional head), movies with actual actors, like John Saxon in INVASION OF THE FLESH HUNTERS and Janet Leigh in NIGHT OF THE LEPUS. MANSION OF THE DOOMED starred Richard Basehart and Gloria Grahame (really?). And get this - TENDER FLESH was directed by Laurence Harvey(!) minutes before he died.


Then there are the classics from goremeister supreme Herschell Gordon Lewis; THE GORE GORE GIRLS (featuring Henny Youngman!), THE GRUESOME TWOSOME, COLOR ME BLOOD RED ("You must keep reminding yourself 'It's just a movie, it's just a movie'..."), BLOOD FEAST and THE WIZARD OF GORE (did he really just cut her tongue out...with a sword?). Present as well, entries from more mainstream movies like DAWN OF THE DEAD and BASKET CASE.

Perhaps the harshest movies of the lot were two from director Umberto Lenzi. SACRIFICE! and MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY (I saw this movie and am happy to report that the title is true), where they use a knife to remove an eyeball, machete to slice the tops of a human and monkey head clean off, chop hands, hang people on hooks, and castrate. Some of this was a little too realistic, if you ask me.

I'm glad this compilation included some of the disclaimers that ran in the theaters (they were part of the trailers, actually), telling us things like the theater will not be responsible for your mental condition or that the producers will pay your mental institution housing fees should you go insane. Some theaters made you sign assurance certificates or offered free burial insurance for anyone who dies of fright during the movie.

A fun compilation for the entire family. And what's more, "it's all the more appalling in crimson-stained color."

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