I was just thinking, it’s been a while since ZAPPED AGAIN!, the 1990 sequel to ZAPPED! (1982), perhaps the best telekinesis/sexual humiliation comedy ever. It’s almost like they lost faith in the idea. I was thinking, somebody should make another film in the series, just so that ZAPPED! doesn’t get to be the best telekinesis/sexual humiliation comedy ever anymore.
So awful is ZAPPED! that even the presence of Scatman Crothers doesn’t help. In fact, it hurts — while you spend much of the film’s 98 years minutes feeling bad for the naked actresses, you spend the rest of it feeling bad for Scatman, and, by extension, all bald men, everywhere.
In ZAPPED!, perhaps the must-not-see film of 1982 (a year with many strong contenders for that title — “What about GANDHI?” I hear you ask) deals with the simple, to the point of retarded, premise of a young man, played by Scott Baio of BUGSY MALONE fame, who has the power to literally undress girls with his mind. You can just hear the pitch — “He can literally undress girls with his mind!” is what “screenwriters” Bruce Rubin and Robert J. Rosenthal would have said. “And then they’re like, naked and really unhappy?” the producer would ask. “Yes!” would come the reply. And so shone the green light upon ZAPPED!, illuminating the project with a suitably queasy, gangrenous hue.
So, here’s my pitch for the belated sequel (and everybody loves a belated sequel, yes? Yes???) which I call ZAPPED OUT!
It’s 2010 and college student Barney Springboro (Scott Baio returns to the role he made unfamous, and that’s NOT negotiable — I don’t care how much he costs, or how little), whose psychic gifts deserted him when he first got laid, is now divorced, alcoholic and suffering from some kind of skin disease (that last part isn’t really important). As he sinks into alcoholic dementia, his powers come back, briefly enlivening his miserable life, only he can’t really control them and he gets arrested. Seems that when you’re standing close to somebody, like really uncomfortably close, and their blouse gets ripped off, saying you did it with your mind isn’t really a defense.
Springboro gets banged up, and now his power really lets rip, shredding the prison uniforms of a dozen or so of the meanest convicts in the local penitentiary, with hideously brutal and unnecessarily protracted consequences. The End.