Who would have thought that a semi-standard sexploitation flick would become box office gold in Australia? Well, considering that sexploitation was illegal Down Under until 1975, it's no wonder that the original FANTASM (1976) was a smash in its home country and abroad. Producer Antony Ginnane wasn't going to let the popularity go to waste, so started working on a quick follow-up utilizing most of the same American adult film stars as its predecessor (and several new, yet familiar faces). While it's not as successful as the original film, FANTASM COMES AGAIN is still essential viewing for any of the fans of the actors and actresses included here.
Ditching the Freudian professor from the first film, ...COMES AGAIN instead focuses on retiring reporter Harry passing over the reigns of his lovelorn advice column to newcomer Libbie. Each sequence in this sequel is a fantasy or love problem presented to the two as they tackle Libbie's first column as "Dear Collette." In a library, a reading Johnny Legend (!) and fellow readers (and porn stars) Pat Benco and Christine De Schaffer are advised to keep quiet by the stern mustachioed librarian. Two giggling women ogle ancient Japanese drawings of the sex act while the librarian peeks at one of their undies and eventually screws her from behind while fondling her breasts. It's a surprisingly sexy little scene! No stars in this one.
There are a number of fans of Rick Cassidy, from two very different crowds: one group is the straight perverts who recognize him from his reliable softcore and hardcore performances in Stephen Apostolof films, the JOHNNY WADD series and its knock-off PETER GALORE series, and the other group is made up of fans of Golden Age gay porn, where Rick performed as "Jim Cassidy" in films like A DEEP COMPASSION (playing a Nature God) and CHAPTER THREE (where he bottoms!). Here, he plays a bearded gym instructor who encourages his star pupil to exercise in the nude (slow-motion, too!) before stripping down himself for a different kind of exercise. Cassidy can't act to save his life, but he looks great naked and continued acting well into the 1980s before calling it quits. His co-star in this scene, Michael Barton (no, it's not clear why she's named MICHAEL and not MICHELLE), isn't an actor either, but has a nubile body worth seeing in the buff.
Up next is the most famous and worthwhile segment of the film: the drive-in scene with Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith. She and her boyfriend go to a drive-in showing the original FANTASM (namely, the Rene Bond rape scene). When she ditches her date after he pressures her to make out instead of watching the movie, she is dragged into a van by a horny pervert who tries to rape her...until she begins to like it! Kinda like the first rape segment, right? Intercut with the rape is footage of the jilted boyfriend sharing his best friend's girl in the backseat! The dear, departed Cheryl Smith was a princess of the drive-in. With her flowing blonde hair, pretty schoolgirl face, and nubile body, Cheryl's film debut in LEMORA: A CHILD'S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL cemented her place in exploitation history. She followed those with a series of cheerleader films, such as SWINGING CHEERLEADERS, POM POM GIRLS and REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS, as well as many other low-budget films which were always enlivened by her appearances (VIDEO VIXENS and SLUMBER PARTY '57, for example). LASERBLAST would be unwatchable if it wasn't for her charming performance as the female love interest. Offscreen, Cheryl's life was plagued with drug problems, prostitution and jail terms, which led to a case of hepatitis which ultimately led to her passing. Her death in 2002 was a real blow to the fan world, and many still haven't recovered. She is sorely missed. RIP Cheryl.
a bespectacled bookworm stuck in an elevator with two groovy chicks. The elevator
breaks down, leaving the three with nothing left to do with get down 'n' dirty
much to the poor guy's horror, then mounting pleasure. The lights going on and
a wonderful strobe light effect on the sex scene.
Welcome back Uschi Digart to the FANTASM realm! Her memorable lesbian sauna scene from the original is echoed here on a rundown ranch, when she and a horse riding partner are driven into a barn by a downpour and roll in the hay...literally. Audiences should recognize her partner, Dee Dee Levitt, as the masturbating beauty from the opening credits of FANTASM. Uschi is given more dialogue in this sequence, and believe it or not, proves her acting chops. Always judged by her syrupy accent and gigantic breast size, Uschi could do comedy (GETTING INTO HEAVEN), horror (THE TOY BOX), action (C.B. HUSTLERS) and here, drama (!), all with a certain charm and believability. It's a shame so many of her directors didn't trust her with dialogue, so often cast her mute or dubbed her. Uschi could act, dammit, look here for proof! Choice dialogue: Dee Dee to Uschi: "Oh, I just love your breasts! They're like watermelons!" And how! The comic punchline is goofy, but funny, with character actor Dee Cooper as a farmer with a pitchfork (he was in ANGELS' BRIGADE for Greydon Clark the next year).
boss Con Covert (in male clothes, this time!) welcomes his new employee to the
fold by inviting her to a swinging shindig at his house, where all the co-workers
drop their drawers and jump into an orgy with vim and vigor! Taking the swinging
love-ins of Stephen Apostolof to a further degree (some of the sex is almost hardcore), this is an inventive sequence, with Covert doing his requisite drag gags. Avid cult film fans should recognize redheaded Brenda Fogarty as the voracious Miss Christie; she appeared in Apostolof's BEACH BUNNIES and CHESTY ANDERSON USN the year before this film was made! The white guy with blonde Afro apparently didn't make anymore films, but should have: the camera loves him!
John C. Holmes appears briefly in a poolside segment, but walked off the set during shooting (he appears very drugged out), so was replaced by William Margold in an echo of the pool scene in FANTASM. This time around, three horny women lust after him as a lifeguard and have softcore underwater sex. Margold helped secure the American adult film stars for this film and its predecessor, as well as being a regular in hardcore films for years. He was the Original Clown Prince of Porn long before Ron Jeremy stole the title and ran with it for...oh...40 years?!
Precocious Nancy Mann (KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE) discovers her big-breasted mother Candy Samples (billed here again as Mary Gavin, and just as gargantuan as ever) rolling in bed with her uncle Al Ward (a skinflick actor from way back when, in such films as AGONY OF LOVE and HOLLYWOOD BABYLON, and the teacher harassed by Roxanne Brewer in the original FANTASM!). After diddling herself while peeping at the two elderly fornicators, she is discovered and invited to join them. Candy Samples once again makes incest look hotter than it really is (!), and the breast worshipping close-ups of her mammoth mammaries prove why she remains the tit queen of the 70s.
Christine de Schaffer returns (she was an extra earlier, remember?) as a beautiful brunette who makes out with her blonde long-haired boyfriend Jesse Adams in his red convertible. Christine won't go all the way, but settles for blowing her bitching beau as he speeds down the road. Some incredible stunt driving makes this an exciting sex-in-public spectacle! Not one of the segments fans might remember, but it's well-scripted with memorable comic dialogue and takes a simple concept and makes it an erotic masterwork.
The final sequence of the film stars Serena, who also capped off the original film. This time, instead of being raped on an altar by a satanic cult leader, she tackles another taboo subject: sex in church! That's right, the superkinky Serena goes to confession, works herself into a masturbatory frenzy and is finally plowed from behind by the church janitor as a monk catches them in the act (producer Antony Ginnane in a cameo!). How could any viewer not love Serena? With the looks of a model, a beautiful perky body and surprisingly good acting abilities, Serena is referred to as the "Swiss Army knife of porno" due to her willingness to do anything, ANYTHING in adult films, whether it be rough, violent, romantic or raunchy. She's incredibly hot in this sequence, better than her Satanic sequence, and delivers her churchgoing dialogue with a tongue-in-cheek humor often present in her performances.
opening credits sequence unfortunately ruins most of the set-ups for the film's
sex sequences. ...COMES AGAIN is a pale imitation of the original film, but still
has a wonderful sexploitation cast which will please fans of the genre. Unfortunately,
also too many no-name segments which are mildly entertaining due to the interesting camerawork and comic atmosphere, but in the end fall limp. Anyone who purchases the first film should definitely own the second disc, but it will not be one to revisit as often as its predecessor.
As with Synapse's FANTASM disc, the 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer is culled from the original 16mm negatives and looks just beautiful. Colors are solid and bold, grain is slimmed down to almost nothing and stays bright and clean the entire running time. The mono audio is slightly weaker than the original disc's, but gets the job done.
the first disc, Chris Poggiali contributes some superb liner notes appreciating
the film and its sexploitation cast. In addition to the wonderful Australian trailer
for the film, producer Antony Ginnane contributes another informative commentary.
While he isn't as proud of this film as he is the original (for good reason),
he still manages to talk about the familiar sexploitation cast (but makes the
mistake of saying Cheryl Smith committed suicide), making a quick sequel to cash
in on the original's success, the disappearance of XXX inserts shot for the sequel
with the actual cast (damn! too bad these never turned up!) and why the film wasn't
as successful in Australia and worldwide as the first. (Casey
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