Apparently after watching 1984’s Hardbodies, audiences everywhere were thinking that it left just too many unanswered questions. A sequel was demanded! Not quite. It’s more like video stores thrived on sleazy boob movies, so there was never a shortage of producers churning out this kind of stuff. So, ladies and gentlemen, in 1986 we were given Hardbodies 2.
Our film sees the return of the two lead characters from the first film, but played by different actors. Scotty (Brad Zutaut) and Rags (Sam Temeles) this time are off to Greece, but a case of switched luggage at the airport leads to them assuming the identities of students taking part in Semester at Sea. This is some sort of school on a cruise ship where the female students all attend class sans their bikini tops. However, one day, Scotty spies a gorgeous princess (Fabiana Udenio) aboard a passing ship. So, he now sets out to win her heart, and avoid her father’s goons.
Okay, thing is, that’s just the plot of the movie within the movie. In actuality, Scotty and Rags are now actors cast in the film described above. The production is not exactly a big budget effort. In fact, they don’t even have the princess cast as they arrive in Greece. They end up spotting a girl named Cleo working as a waitress in her father’s beachside restaurant. She is trying to earn money for college, so she can’t turn down an opportunity to star in a movie. Of course, Scotty and Cleo start to fall for each other, though she doesn’t know that he has a fiancee who is maxing out his credit cards as they are filming the movie.
The first Hardbodies was bad, but Hardbodies 2 goes way beyond that. It’s a movie that exists to show dumb humor and topless women…that’s a given. Heck, the opening credits roll over shots of young ladies enjoying the Greek custom of topless sunbathing. What makes Hardbodies 2 so bad, though, is that it is an incoherent mess. The filmmakers are constantly switching between scenes from the movie we’re watching and scenes that are from the movie within the movie. Sometimes a sequence has been going on for several minutes and then suddenly the director shouts “cut” and we realize we just watched a scene from the moving being made. It’s beyond confusing. Of course, many members of this film’s target audience probably didn’t care, or even notice, because hey…there are boobs on the screen.
Speaking of confusing, I’m wondering why the filmmakers even decided to bring back the same characters from the first film, though they didn’t have the original actors. It’s not like they were all that memorable in the first film. Actually, I take that back. The thing that clued me in that these were supposed to be the same characters was the horny sidekick Rags. He was actually just called Rag (singular) in the first film and was played creepy Children of the Corn redhead Courtney Gaines. It’s weird to have him go from that very distinctive appearance to now look like the other guy from Wang Chung. There is one holdover from the first film, though…country singer and epic beard dude Sorrells Pickard.
About the only thing this movie has going for it is the lovely Fabiana Udenio. 80’s teens like myself may remember her as the foreign exchange student in Carl Reiner’s Summer School. Though she is staggeringly gorgeous she still brings a down-to-earth sweetness that makes her the one likable character in this mess. In a film where the most challenging thing most of the cast are required to do is gawk and smirk, she’s the one thing that keeps viewers from clawing their own faces off.
We didn’t ask for a Hardbodies 2, we didn’t want a Hardbodies 2, but we got it anyway. It’s disjointed, muddled, and beyond stupid. But hey, if that’s what floats your boat, be my guest.