CAMP BLOOD 2
Director: Brad Sykes
Year of release: 2000
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 90 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: DVD only
Tagline: "The mirror of terror" and "It's not over".
Also known as: Camp Blood 2: The Revenge
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: After being blamed for the deaths that occurred in the first film we pick the story up one year later with Tricia still under lock and key in an insane asylum. She is visited by low budget film maker Worthy who plans to shoot a movie based on the events of Camp Blackwood. Worthy wants Tricia on board with the filming as a technical adviser and to help promote the project. He persuades Tricia to sign up by claiming it could help convince the public of her innocence if the film tells her side of the story. The doctor at the asylum reluctantly agrees to release Tricia temporarily so that she can be involved in the shooting. Tricia is dismayed to find out once released that the filming will actually take place at the old Camp Blackwood/Camp Blood site for realism and authenticity's sake. Things go from bad to worse when another Clown faced maniac turns up in the woods to disrupt the shooting. The actors and crew begin to get picked off as the killer works their way towards isolating Tricia.
Good points: It's great to see Jennifer Ritchkoff return as Tricia and to take up the lead role once more and of course the return to the Camp Blackwood site as well helps tie this in with the first film. I appreciate the strong links and sense of continuity this has with what has gone before which is aided by the plot very much being based on the original massacre and of course Brad Sykes returning to direct things also bodes well. To help refresh our memories they also include a few flashbacks to the first film (don't worry it's nothing on the Silent Night Deadly Night 2 level) so the two films really go hand in hand. The opening sequence is also rather similar to that of number 1. I enjoy this kind of continuity as I think it helps solidify something as a proper franchise.
The acting from Jennifer Ritchkoff was a lot better this time around (not that I think she was bad in the original) but I felt she was more on point this time and was noticeably better than the other actors. She still can't run very well but does a top job in every other department and makes for a terrific final girl. (Well I think so anyway, others may not agree!) As I mentioned in my review of the original I also like how she is a more normal looking person (not super hot) and has short hair, something not seen all that much. Worthy the film director was also a fun character, inept and a bit sleazy but likeable in his own way.
I think a better job is done this time around with the gore effects, not that this was a particularly weak area last time out but things seem a bit better here and more elaborate. Highlights include kills involving a broken glass bottle, a machete through the head and also a kill that happens early on outside of the woods setting which has a different feel to it and makes for a nice change.
The clown mask is a bit different this time around but still cool looking and I think it works well with the boiler suit outfit. It isn't explained once again though how the killer comes by the mask. They missed a trick here actually as the kid at the very beginning drops a mask when playing a joke on his girlfriend so it would have made sense for the killer to have picked this one up and used it from then on.
Bad Points: The insane asylum at the start still seems very cheap and just looks like a regular building with normal doors as opposed to a medical facility. Comparing it to the asylum seen in something like Cult of Chucky for example it is like night and day. There are obviously budgetary restraints but you would still think they could come up with a better set than this.
There is still a mystery surrounding the killers identity but it is very predictable and easy to guess this time out which is a shame as this was a strength of the original where I was caught off guard by the reveal. Big spoiler next so don't read the rest of this point if you haven't seen the film: With the killer here being the sister of Harris from the original I was hoping for an explanation as to what their relationship with Thatcher was as that was an unanswered question from last time. Sadly though they didn't say anything about it so we are still in the dark . They should have said he was their uncle or grandfather or something.
The ending of the film is a bit too open for my liking and doesn't really explain what the aftermath is or what happens to those that may have survived. That said this is touched on briefly in the sequel Within the Woods so it isn't a major issue.
There are a few plot holes to the story and it is very unrealistic which hinders things a fair bit and makes it more difficult to suspend your disbelief. Mainly it is just too unrealistic that Tricia is allowed to leave the asylum to be involved in the shooting seeing that the staff believe her to be a mass murderer. They should have at least have had her escorted by a guard/doctor chaperone who could have been killed off early so the film would still be effective in Tricia feeling more alone as things progress.
It also didn't make much sense that Worthy only had two people with him to help shoot the film and they weren't even two competent people as one was a drunk.
The scene at night around the tents with a couple of the actors getting killed was weird as well. Where the deaths occurred in one tent was previously shown to be really close to the other tent and the fire so surely the other characters (those not being attacked) would have heard a commotion?
Spoiler ahead here: At the end Adrienne makes it sound like the actress was her first kill which gave her a thirst for more but that wasn't her first kill as there were the two teens in the woods at the start.
Verdict: This sequel is hurt a bit by not being very plausible in the plot so it does come across as being unrealistic. It is still cheap looking in some areas as well with the picture quality being only slightly better than last time. If you can get past this though then there is still a decent film here helped along by a good performances from Jennifer Ritchkoff and some cool kills. I definitely don't think it was as good as the original but I still found it enjoyable.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Rose: Found with throat cut.
2) Jeff: Run through the torso with machete.
3) Lola: Stabbed in the kitchen area of her accommodation.
4) Patrick: Hand cut off which seems to be enough to kill him.
5) Lance: Slashed around the torso area with machete.
6) Jane: Impaled through the head with machete.
7) Worthy: Machete to the face.
8) Todd: Throat cut with machete as he falls into the water turning it red. (Perhaps meant as an upgrade on a scene from the original where the blood didn't flow into the water very well).
9) Shemp: Stabbed in the back and then jabbed in the eyes with a piece of broken bottle.
10) Adrienne: Suffers burns after being set on fire and then finished off with a machete by Tricia.