Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Bloody Murder 2 (2002)
James: Naturally he went to the hospital, medical first, then mental. His face was so horribly disfigured he took to wearing a mask all the time.
Ryan: Yeah. How did you know?
James: Every summer camp has a Trevor Moorehouse.- Lane Anderson,Tom Mullen
Stars: Katy Woodruff, Kelly Gunning
Other Stars: Amanda Magarian, Tiffany Shepis, Tom Mullen, Lane Anderson, John Colton, Raymond Novarro Smith
Director: Rob Spera
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore, sexuality and language
Run Time: 01h:23m:07s
Release Date: 2003-02-18
DVD ReviewThe good thing about B-grade slasher movies is that even if it is a sequel, it generally isn't necessary to have seen any of the other films in the series in order to properly enjoy it. It is a fairly safe bet that you can watch any of the Roman-numeraled followups about a machete-wielding psychopath, because in all likelihood there will be enough expository chit-chat to fill in the narrative cracks for you. Bloody Murder 2, as you may have guessed, is the masked-psycho-killing-camp-counselors sequel to Bloody Murder, and this is one example where viewers are probably better off never having seen the first film at all. Yet as unoriginal as this one is, it is a well-crafted, smart knockoff, loaded with all of the expected components required for the genre.
True to form, the events of the first film are explained away neatly in the first few moments, where we learn that a crazed killer by the name of Trevor Moorehouse was believed responsible for a series of murders at serene Camp Placid Pines five years earlier. Whether this is news to you or a refresher (if you were one of the few who ever saw Bloody Murder) is inconsequential, because if you have ever seen a Friday The 13th installment you will feel perfectly at home as the predictable events unfold here. In this one, a batch of good-looking camp counselors (apparently low-riding jeans are standard issue for all females) are in the final phases of closing up Camp Placid Pines for the winter when the mysterious, perhaps mythical, Trevor Moorehouse returns to begin making mincemeat out of them.
The fact that Bloody Murder 2 is such a brazen and shameless clone of the Jason Voorhees series is almost comical, but what is actually mildly shocking is the revelation that this is a pretty darn good slasher film, and one that is much better than most of the Friday The 13th sequels. As defined by the rules of the genre, we have all the stock characters, including virginal good girl heroine Tracy (Katy Woodruff) who spends most of the film desperately trying to convince the other counselors that something evil is happening. Red herrings abound, and there are plenty of "you stay here while I go look around outside" moments to guarantee a gloriously high body count, with a particularly nasty machete-to-the-legs sequence that gets things off with a bang.
Both films were written by John Stevenson, and while the first one tried to develop the mythos of masked campground killer Trevor Moorehouse, it was remarkably goreless and seemed like a lifeless retread of the campground slasher genre that had faded out by the mid-1980s. In this sequel, Stevenson hasn't really bothered to introduce any new thematic concepts, but director Rob Spera has boosted the gore and nudity quotient up a few notches, and it is a worthwhile payoff, to say the least.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||no|
Image Transfer Review: If Bloody Murder 2 had taken place entirely in daylight, then I suppose the image transfer on this 1.33:1 full-frame disc might have merited a slightly better grade. As it is, with the abundance of night scenes, the poor shadow delineation leaves many scenes murky and more difficult to follow than they should have been. Image detail isn't razor sharp, but colors are pleasing and fairly natural looking. A few specks show up here and there, but print blemishes are exceedingly minor.
Image Transfer Grade: C+
Audio Transfer Review: For this release, audio is available in either 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2.0 Dolby surround. While the rears don't get much use at all on either, the 5.1 track is still the preferred option here. It is a dramatically fuller and more resonant mix than the 2.0 track (though not particularly bottom heavy), with a clean, unsullied dialogue transfer. A more pronounced rear channel mix could have really livened up the proceedings quite a bit, but it is still a fairly decent presentation.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Bloody Murder, Legion of the Dead, Wendigo, The Pool
- Photo Gallery
- Jump To A Bloody Murder
The trailer for Bloody Murder 2 is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen, along with fullscreen previews for Bloody Murder, Legion of the Dead, Wendigo, and The Pool. The disc is cut into 16 chapters, and features subtitles in English and Spanish.
Extras Grade: C+
Final CommentsThere isn't anything particularly original or new here, but I have to admit that I kind of liked it regardless. It's filthy rich with genre clichés, red herrings, gore and even a good amount of carefree nudity, all of which combined make for a surprisingly better-than-average (admittedly brainless) dead teenager film.
Recommended for fans of the crazed-slasher-at-a-campground genre.
Rich Rosell 2003-03-04