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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2010) review


Paul (Rider Strong), Jonathan (Noah Segan), Alex (Rusty Kelley), Cassie (Alexi Wasser), Marc (Marc Senter), Deputy Winston (Giuseppe Andrews)

Directed by Ti West (well, most of it)

Two friends look forward to their prom at Springfield High, but have reservations about going due to major league girl problems. At the same time, contaminated water from the 'Down Home Water Co.' containing a flesh eating virus makes its way into the small town. With the entire prom attendees rotting away by the second, the military shows up to quarantine and "contain" the disease and those infected by it.

Giuseppe Andrews (DETROIT ROCK CITY) reprises his role as the quirky policeman from the first movie

This sequel has been saddled with a bad rep since it was placed on a shelf back in 2007. At the time it was in production, various horror sites were touting its progress. Suddenly, nothing else was being reported about the film. Later on, it was stated that producers had gotten involved and taken over the picture citing differences in post production. It's director, Ti West, eventually disowned the movie, but was unable to remove his name from the finished product presumably due to a contractual obligation.

"How are you gonna pass up BRIDE OF THE CANNIBALS 2, the directors cut for a gay dance? It's the most insane sequel ever made it's banned in over 26 countries. Can you even begin to comprehend that awesomeness?"

Several years later, the film FINALLY surfaces on DVD from Lionsgate in February of 2010. Fan reception has seemingly been unanimously negative despite a lot of people initially proclaiming it to be a worthy follow up. Well, I was never all that impressed with the first CABIN FEVER (It was shot about 45 minutes from me) anyways. I liked it, but didn't find it to be this huge cult classic so many saw it as. The quirkiness found in the original is also found here up until a little over an hour in when the movie suddenly changes its tone becoming a completely serious endeavor.

CABIN FEVER 2 vies for an upchuck world record

Then there's another major shift in the narrative 75 minutes into the movie concerning a young stripper who we had seen earlier in the film. This is then followed by an animated ending (?) that tries to correlate with the amusing animated opening credits sequence. No doubt, the final half hour is where the meddling has occured turning what started out as a bizarre, off the wall gore version of every 80's teen sex comedy into a seriously crippled DTV horror movie.

There's a cavalcade of scatological humor throughout both before and after the 'shit hits the fan'. It's as if the scriptwriters decided to come up with as many sexually nasty and gooey gunk and spunk ideas as the running time would allow. By the time the infected 'Down Home Water' makes its way to the big prom, the classic Major Liceman phrase from UP THE ACADEMY, "It makes you stand out like a turd in a punchbowl" takes on a whole new meaning. I actually enjoyed the film leading up to the prom. After that, it quickly lost my attention. West also mentioned in interviews that this film was over the top gory although this unrated version doesn't completely deliver the gore groceries. A gore reel in the extras has some additional nasty bits that aren't in the finished cut.

While it has a good amount of grue on display, it wasn't up to par with what we saw in the first film. I guess the only way I can describe it is that the gore in Roth's movie was more visceral on a personal level. Here, it's more detached when we see it happening to a bunch of people we've not seen before. Even when some of the main characters are "rotting", there's not much too it aside from some added make up and bleeding from the mouth. The projectile spewing of various bodily fluids takes precendence over spectacular gore effects. They are there, just not enough of them. There's also some nice homages to past horrors such as PROM NIGHT and CANNIBAL FEROX.

"You know what kind'a pussy you're gonna get for this? Oh, man, you're gonna get the Sashimi! Man, that's the primo pussy, man! No smell!"

Nothing against obesity other than it can kill you, but this scene cracked me up

The characters are all the typical ones you would expect to see in any other teenage comedy, but puts a grotesque twist on them. It might have been West's intention to turn in a graphically gory version of the horny high school funny flick which has had a revival of sorts with such movies as AMERICAN PIE and OLD SCHOOL. Some of them are pretty funny such as the principal who continuously blames Jonathan for starting fights when it's blatantly obvious he didn't.

The gallows humor enhanced opening credits sequence was one of the more enjoyable moments of the picture

I would be curious to see West's original cut of the film. Looking at it now, the 79 minute film (not counting closing credits) has this unfinished look about it down to the spots and speckles on the print to the hacking style editing. It starts out great, but ever so slowly falls apart much like the victims of the flesh eating virus. In regards to the way this picture was handled and the overall unenthusiastic reception it has been getting these days, the chances of that are probably slim and none and slim just drank some of that infected water. And MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY was banned in 31 countries (allegedly). Can you even begin to comprehend that awesomeness? Take that, BRIDE OF THE CANNIBALS 2!

This review is representative of the Lionsgate DVD.



Is there pancakes in this movie ?

venoms5 said...

Sadly, no. Nor are their any long haired, weirdo children demonstrating their kung fu skills.


Damn !

I Like Horror Movies said...

Still havent cared enough to check this one out, if the gore here is worse than in the first, we have a serious problem.. CF didnt have much to begin with, and the gore is the only aspect of CF2 I have heard good things about..

venoms5 said...

Dirty Shorts, I feel your pain!

venoms5 said...

The gore is fine, Carl. It's just mostly a lot of projectile vomit spewing and other bodily flying fluids. The first hour goes from great to good then it's all 'WTF?' from there. As with most new movies, I only rented it, so it wasn't so bad. I'd of been disappointed if I'd bought it.

Wostry Ferenc said...

It's painful how badly is this film cut together. In this case i totally believe the director that the producers ruined the project.

venoms5 said...

Hi, Wostry! I agree. The film seemed okay at first, but then falls completely apart from there. I guess fans shouldn't expect much when an anxiously awaited movie sits on a shelf for several years.

There's even a scene in the trailer on the disc that isn't in the movie.

Kaijinu said...

(wait, wasn't there a pancake scene at a diner?)

You know what saddens me here, it's that the sequel, no matter how i digged it, fails to be as gritty or as psychological as the first.

It's nothing more but a guilty pleasure.

venoms5 said...

I pretty much hated this movie. The original was made about 45 minutes away from me actually.

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