According to these randy readers, the most intense sex happens in the library, during a gymnastics training session, while parked at a drive in, inside an elevator or hayloft, as part of an office party, while lounging at the pool, at a family reunion, as you motor along in your car or while giving confession to a priest. Each sequence is given a naughty name as well: "Silence, Please", "Workout", "Double Feature", "Going Up?", "Straw Dogs", "The Good Old Gang at the Office", "The Kiss of Life", "Family Reunion", "Overdrive" and "True Confession." After listening to their bawdy bragging, Harry and Libby each try their hand at crafting a Mad Magazine level snappy answer, usually involving some manner of innuendo and triple entendre. For the most part, they fail like a college basketball player taking an introductory math exam. Just to show you how excited this couple is at the notion of spending their evening crafting evocative bon mots for the readers of their scandal sheet, Harry falls asleep and Libby gets sloppy drunk. It's this same atmosphere of ennui that settles in over Fantasm Comes Again, making the audience wish this wanton waste hadn't bothered to darken their daydreams again.
A second sip from the waters of wickedness was perhaps one too many for the makers of Fantasm Comes Again. Their first film was a flawed, but fun exploration of fantasy and flesh made even more manageable by the inclusion of several famed adult film stars. Part two follows the same formula, even going so far as to give Uschi Digart, Serena, and Candy Samples another shot at softcore stardom. But for some reason, what was randy and risible in the first film seems stiff and sour in the revamp. There are many fingers of blame pointing toward why Fantasm Comes Again feels so flabby. There will be those who feel that the correspondent's school of cornball joking doesn't help matters much (you occasionally wait for a rim shot, or better yet, that standard sitcom "wha-wha-whaaaaa" whenever someone cracks wise) and a few will point to the real lack of sizzle in the sex scenes (except for a couple of rare instances). Let's face it, any movie which makes the buxom Berlin babe, uber-Uschi, dull and derivative has some major problems. Upon initial inspection, new director Colin Eggleston should be answerable for most of the awkwardness. Though he came with similar credentials as original Fantasm helmer Richard Franklin, his lack of a follow-up career kind of proves the pathetic point. Eggleston's vision is a compositional nightmare, using staging so simplistic that infants probably thought of it first – while still in the womb. And though he wants to make everything appear soft and fluffy in his framing, the reliance on a 'far too fuzzy' focus means that several scenes are hampered by a lack of lewd detail.
It's too bad that the whole 'Collette" concept couldn't have been scrapped for something more subversive. Clive Hearne, who looks like Dean Wormer's non-tea-totaling brother, spends far too much time doing his Aussie Foster Brooks impression, while the pug-fugly Angela Menzies-Wills is like Michael Oliver after a Sydney-style sex change. Every line reading resonates with a kind of swallowed shrillness that makes the hairs on your most miserable moles stand on end. Together, they are caustic, causing Fantasm Comes Again to play like a breech baby buddy picture. They are not funny, can't even feign a manner of work ethic and force each potential punch line like it's the last bit of bile from their vomit-filled mouths. While it's as much the script's fault as it is the nauseating, non-spectacular stars, they are all just part of the bigger problem here. Director Eggleston has no concept of flow, allowing some scenes to build with bravado while others provide the cinematic equivalent of a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" moment. Along with some unusually lame actors (you can easily tell whose had experience in the shark shell game) and some very dumb set-ups, it's almost as if nothing really works in Fantasm Comes Again. And yet there are still a few reasons to give this film a spin, if only to see how something that worked so well the first time around can be so royally fudged up.
Our exploration of ersatz erotica starts with what basically is a real old fashioned black out. The poking in the periodicals between the librarian and some Kama Sutra snooper is over before it begins. "Workout" has a nice, leisurely pace to the pork product, especially when Rick Cassidy breaks out the baby oil for the mutual manipulation rub down. Too bad then that his costar looks like someone who hasn't had a decent meal since sometime in her distant past life. Bone thin and incredibly flat chested, there is a near pedophilic proportion to this sequence that makes it more creepy than craven. Still, this duo really sparks some sensuality, leaving a lasting, if not necessarily legal impression. The appearance of Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith in the drive in based "Double Feature" - another of those 'No means HELL YES' rape sequences - may have some fans foaming at the zipper, but for others, this misogynistic muddle is one boring battery too many. The elevator romp of "Going Up?" gets pretty graphic at times, but once you see the phony fun going on, you'll immediately loose interest. And then there's poor old Uschi. This woman looks like the kind of bed partner most men pray for decades to delight in, yet her ample appeal is hindered here by a same sex sequence that removes all the fun from the standard lesbian line. Before you know it, anything Ms. Digart and her hay baling date get up to is covered over by shot-blurring straw. Now how friggin' fair is that? By the time we get to the group grope featuring the most foul, vice-ridden office of miscreants ever to climb the corporate ladder, we are just glad to see some action (no matter how mind-numbingly gross it becomes).
Six sequences down and we're not doing very well in either the balling or batting averages. Sadly, it really gets no better from here on in. "The Kiss of Life" is famous for being the John Holmes scene where the man with the massive meat fails to frolic with the females. He is seen briefly, but it is up to another dude to enter the pool and commence with the pounding (this story is best left for the enclosed commentary track). William Margold gets to have his private parts shot from one too many underwater angles as he tries to handle the harem of hopped up hoochies. Sadly, the gals are pretty gamy, meaning that the liquid repast was probably a positive when it comes to their hygiene, if nothing else. It's Candy Samples' turn to make a repeat appearance, this time taking another alumni Al Ward (who played the flummoxed old teacher in the original's classroom fantasy) for a waterbed romp as her onscreen stepdaughter watches. Again playing on the incest issues involved (the kid – who actually looks 30 – joins in) this is a seedy sequence that never really comes alive. Unless you find Ms. Samples' ample sacks as tantalizing as a t-bone steak, you'll find this family fracas foolish. After some dork gets a little curbside service from his rather frigid steady (she takes the pill in case she's raped), Serena returns for another religion based reaming. This time, it's God, not the Devil, who works her up into a lewd lather. While she shines above the vast majority of the unskilled skin spelunkers in Fantasm Comes Again, this miserable Muledeer is an acquired taste (and besides, she's far too vocal in her satisfaction to be completely fetching).
Mind you, the sex is the best thing about Fantasm Comes Again. But after looking over the 10 scenes here, the conclusion is far from a ringing endorsement. The spark that made most of the first Fantasm seem so fresh and fun is totally missing here. Indeed, this movie seems to define the very notion of a sequel, going through the same old situational motions. This is a film that neither rises to the level of loving set up by its predecessor nor does it keep up with its forbearer's comic pace (and if you remember that review, Fantasm was about as funny as an amputated foot). It would be easy to blame the sex advice column premise...and fun too, to paraphrase one Homer J. Simpson. And certainly the inexperienced coeds hired on to fake-fornicate for the camera, have a lot to answer for. Mostly, the fault lies in trying to duplicate something that wasn't really so special in the first place. Fantasm's place in history is held because it broke down barriers in its native Australia and paved the way for a more open view of sex and nudity on cinema screens Downunder. In the 12 months between installments of this series, the atmosphere was far more permissive and, perhaps, capable of accepting something a little more hardcore. Sadly, Fantasm Comes Again does the same sheepish sequence set-up, never really pushing the limits of anything other than your personal tolerance for tedium. Instead of being creative or unconventional, this is just another reiteration of the same silly joke. Only this time, everyone knows the punchline. While it is far from a fiasco and does occasionally slip into something a little more carnal, Fantasm Comes Again is a lackluster showcase of human sexuality. It just can't live up to its predecessor's potency.