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Zombie Bloodbath 2: Rage of the Undead   B-

Camp Motion Pictures / Extreme Entertainment

Year Released: 1996
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Todd Sheets
Cast: Kathleen McSweeney, Dave Miller, Nick Stodden, Jerry Angell, Matthew Jason Walsh.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

A message movie from Todd Sheets? Apparently so, given the notice at the end saying this movie is ultimately about the sad, destructive state of the human race, and that it was based on real people and events. But messages aside, Zombie Bloodbath 2 is a fast-paced and extremely sickening shot-on-video gorefest that should satisfy those looking for something along the lines of Lucio Fulci with a modern, heavy metal twist.

While driving out in the middle of nowhere at night, some college kids' van breaks down. They stumble upon an old farmhouse and go inside, only to find out that three escaped convicts have already murdered the two parents of the household and were about to do away with their young daughters. The convicts decide that they're going to slaughter every last one of them -- but whadda ya know? One of the bumbling convict bastards knocks over a possessed scarecrow outside, who then rises and brings swarms of the dead back to life.

But this doesn't turn into a rehash of Night of the Living Dead with everyone cooped up inside the farmhouse fighting off the living dead. Nope, the farmhouse gang (those who get out alive, of course) escapes to a deli in the city where two psycho hicks (Jerry Angell and Matthew Jason Walsh) have already killed a poor girl (by shooting her in the crotch, no less -- which was rather shocking to say the least) and were torturing another. As you can tell, there's a lot going on in this film, and I'll just say that the action rarely (if ever) lets up.

As with many movies on such low budgets, the acting ranges from hilariously bad to surprisingly good. And with characters exchanging some very laughable dialogue --

Girl #1: "Guys, I'm getting a bad feeling."
Girl #2: "Look, Sarah, don't start freaking out on us!"
Girl #3: "No, she's right. My skin's crawling here!"
-- it makes one wonder whether you should be giggling at the B-movie badness of it all, or recoiling in shock and disgust at the carnage happening on-screen. Through it all, Sheets seems to have his tongue placed firmly in cheek, winking at us while at the same time delivering a visceral, violent feast that does seem to be saying something beneath all the horror. I'd say it works for the most part, even if the movie itself it rather uneven.

As usual, Todd Sheets piles on the violence and gore with an almost patriotic glee. Bodies are ripped in half, intestines spilled, heads exploded, eyes ripped out, and you even get to see a knife stab through someone's chin up into their mouth (from an inside-the-mouth-POV nonetheless!).

The characters never really have time to develop because when they're not being tied up by escaped convicts, they're screaming and running away from flesh-eating zombies. Zombie Bloodbath 2 does pause very briefly a time or two for some "tender" moments with its terrified characters. And I'd be lying if I said my eyes didn't mist up a little at the "It's too late for me, Donna...go on, save yourself," scene near the end. Then, of course, I slapped myself, feeling embarrassed that I'd let a movie with a title like Zombie Bloodbath 2: Rage of the Undead move me -- even if only for the briefest moment.

Review published 02.11.2000.

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