Zapped Again! (1990)

[4.5]

In this direct-to-video sequel to 1982’s Zapped!, Todd Eric Andrews plays the new kid at high school, where he allies himself with the science club and makes fast opponents of the affluent jocks in key club. As the rival groups compete in a series of Homecoming activities, Andrews discovers something behind some loose bricks in the science lab that gives the nerds the edge — bottles of the telekinetic potion created by students in the first movie. Let the shenanigans begin!

The sequel is about on par with the original, with Andrews proving to be a more charismatic lead than Scott Baio in the first movie. The script’s broad strokes are cookie-cutter, but I found the relationship between Andrews and his love interest (Kelli Williams) a lot less cloying than usual for a sex comedy. I also like that one of the jocks’ girlfriends (Maria McCann) has her own character arc and bona fide catharsis. It may not sound like much, but in the formulaic panoply of sex comedies, the nuances are what set a film apart.

Zapped Again! doesn’t measure up to the likes of Porky’s, Screwballs, or Hot Dog The Movie. Most of the humor is too square for today’s cynical society. I found two noteworthy jokes — one is a visual gag, the logo for Andrews’ after-school day job at the fine Wonder Wiener hot dog establishment. And the other comes from none other than Karen Black (Easy Rider, Airport 1975) when she answers a question about the pairing of linguini and clams. The cast is uniformly attractive, but those seeking presentations of the jiggly kind may be left wanting, as only a couple of bare breasts and bottoms come out of hiding. With Linda Blair and Brent Hinkley.