Joe’s Blog

Archive for March, 2011

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)

March 21, 2011 4:44 am

Cabin fever 2 poster

 

Luckily, it seems there’s more to American horror than just cheap and shoddy remakes. There’s still room in the market for cheap, shoddy sequels too.

 Cabin Fever 2 is a strange beast which appears to have been constructed as a completely unrelated film about a horrible disease, and which has had extra scenes added to turn it into a sequel to Eli Roth’s enjoyable original. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that no recap is provided at the start. This seems odd for a sequel made 7 years later, but which appears to take place the next day (there is a brief hyper-cut flashback later on, but it’s practically impossible to know what it shows unless you watched Cabin Fever within the last 24 hours).

 From what I could gather, the last survivor from Cabin Fever stumbles into a lake, infecting the water with the nasty disease from the first film. The contaminated water finds its way into the bottling plant of a local water company, and onto a high school prom. Gory hilarity ensues.

 At least that’s one plot strand.

 The other concerns a dopey sheriff/deputy/whatever, who was in Cabin Fever but I don’t remember him. investigating the death of the last survivor who stumbles in front of a school bus and recreates everyone’s favourite scene from Robocop (“Help me!”).  The bus is from the school where the prom is being held, but this fails to be relevant later on, as you would expect it to.

 The sheriff finds himself being tailed by mysterious men in hazmat suits, looking to put anyone who knows anything about what has happened with the contanimated water. They eventually find their way to the school, lock it down, and murder anyone who tries to escape.

 Inside the school, everyone is getting the nasties from contaminated punch (peed in by the janitor for some reason), but rather than developing the skin eating symptoms from the original, they now just seem to vomit blood everywhere before dying. A couple of kids succumb to extreme excema (including one horrible pus-related incident) but this doesn’t seem to be its main side effect. It appears the more prominent the character, the longer lasting the symptoms before you die.

 We’re treated to a horrendously twee love triangle, an annoying fat best mate, some sub-Porky’s sex, and (taking a cue from the first film) lots of lovely film references for no apparent reason. All the prom scenes copy, almost shot-for-shot, scenes from Carrie and there’s an Evil Dead-riffing hand/chainsaw interface. These add nothing except to remind you of better films and think “Ah, that’s so clever that you’ve taken the time and effort to copy a better film, but not bother to make your film any good”, while stroking your chin.

 The two plots barely cross each other, strengthening the belief of major post-production tinkering (which there was). And the mood is so totally different from Cabin Fever.

 Where Roth’s film was a sweaty, claustrophobic throw back to the days of Last House on the Left and Evil Dead, this feels more like the tail end slashers from the mid-80s which tried to blu-tak Porky’s style student hi-jinks, onto excessive gore and thrills, usually failing miserably. There’s even an animated credit sequence showing the journey of the contaminated water (accompanied by a rather good tune, I have to say).

 Apparently the writer-director tried (unsuccessfully) to get his name removed after the studio ripped it to shreds and took two years before releasing it. It’s hard to imagine how an untainted version would be any better. It’s not the worst film I’ll see this year, but it is certainly up there.

 But, at least it’s not a remake.