TROUBLE CITY

Doomsday Reels: Cafe Flesh 2

ReviewsRyan CoveyComment
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Cafe Flesh 2 (1997)

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The Director

Antonio Passolini

The Actors

Simon Delo (Lionel Mandrake), Jeanna Fine (Violet Chinchilla), Alec Metro (Chappy), Raylene (Mookie), Stay Valentine (Buffy), Vince Vouyer (Snake), Anthony R. Lovett (Max), Veronica Hart (Moms)

The Cause

Nuclear War/Disease

The Story

"I know love.  Now can can be a funny thing, not 'ha ha' funny but the high screaming hellish kind of funny that turns on you with a vengeance and rips the spine right out of your back.  Perhaps that's why I never had a taste for it myself, not since the world came to an end at least.  It all went down the tubes in World War III, your run-of-the-mill nuclear apocalypse.  Now the fallout left 99% of the unlucky survivors unable to touch, to feel, to love, to lust.  These were the sex negatives.  The remaining positives, or 'Pozzys' as we called them did the dirty deed live and on stage at night clubs with names like Bistro Murder, Flacateria, and The Vag Club all for the morbid amusement of the poor frustrated negatives who could only sit and watch and wish.  It wasn't a pretty sight but that's what made is so beautiful.  I should know, I'm a negative myself and I used to hang out at a swinging pad called Cafe Flesh.  But all good things must come to an end.  For us, the curtain came down when a mutant germ called 'The Pozzy Virus' snuffed out the last libidos on Earth and in the blink of an eye Cafe Flesh was gone.  Forever." - opening narration

The Rundown

There's no getting around the fact that Cafe Flesh is a porn movie.  It's a weird, clever, upsetting, and genuinely compelling dystopian movie that has earned artistic cred outside the circle of weirdos who collect porn films.  But just like that cover blurb from Hustler on the one-sheet for the original movie, it's always going to have a veneer of sleaze that it won't be able to escape no matter how marginal the sexual aspect of the film may be.

Cafe Flesh 2, however, is every bit as sleazy, hacky, and disposable as the concept of a post-apocalyptic porn movie sounds in your head.  Don't worry about standing up for artistic merit here, Cafe Flesh 2 has none.

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Several years have passed since the original movie.  A virus swept through the remaining survivors on Earth, wiping out most of the sex positive community and leaving places like Cafe Flesh with no choice but to close.

One day, a New Vegas sanitation worker discovers a cryogenic tube containing a virginal 70s beauty and sells her to Violet Chinchilla, an enterprising club owner who wants to re-open Cafe Flesh and start the stage shows anew.  She manages to round up a male sex-positive and another woman wanders out of the wasteland hoping to find a better life for her and her sex-negative boyfriend through performing.

Violet's main attraction decides he and the cryogenically frozen girl, Buffy, can make a lot more money running their own club leaving Violet high and dry on opening night.  But an appearance by an elderly woman with stylized hair claiming to be Moms (the club owner from the original movie) gives the sex-negative boyfriend a potion that makes him sex-positive again so they can get married and save the club.

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I mined the depths of the story above, this movie is 2 hours and 11 minutes long and has maybe a half hour of plot.  I know, you're probably thinking that of course it has very little plot, it's porn.  But the thing that made the first movie worth watching was that 95% of its hour and ten minute runtime was concerned with plot, the sex scenes were short and incidental, they were just weird little scene transitions.  Cafe Flesh 2 uses cutaway gags in the form of flashbacks and fantasies for its sex scenes and where the scenes in the first movie generally run under five minutes these run upwards of twenty. 

I finished this movie in about 45 minutes because I fast forwarded through all the porn bits and there just wasn't much left to watch.  Which, I guess is part and parcel for this type of movie but if you're not going to try something a bit more bold then why are you making it a sequel to Cafe Flesh?  As near as I can tell the only fanbase for the original movie are people who don't care for the porn elements in the first place.

Where you could cut out the sex scenes from the original and have a perfectly good dystopian drama there's maybe a half-baked web series lurking in the theoretical R-rated cut of Cafe Flesh 2.  The acting and the dialogue are locked in constant battle for who can be more overdone and unnatural and the plot is barely even there.  Even as simply a vehicle for sex scenes this thing's a clunker.

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Cafe Flesh was a pleasant surprise but Cafe Flesh 2 isn't even fun to mock.  This is a bad movie and I realize that that's a surprise to no one and I have no one to blame but myself for even considering that it might be anything more than what it is, but I hate it nonetheless.

The Shill

Cafe Flesh 2 is not available on Amazon but it can be found relatively easy through various websites that sell this kind of movie on DVD.  However, due to the questionable legitimacy and security of those sites I will not link to them here, seek it out on your own.

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Next Time on Doomsday Reels

"Vaya con dios, Bitches."