Do not resuscitate
Director/Writer: Robert Hall / Writer: Kevin Bocarde / Cast: Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker, Mimi Michaels, Owain Yeoman, Danielle Harris, Gail O’Grady, Nick Principe, Christopher Nelson, Angelina Armani, Brett Wagner, Allison Kyler, Johnathon Schaech.
Body Count: 16
ChromeSkull returns and seems to want to hop genres much like his brethren in The Collection – another sequel that switched gears – clearly doesn’t want to be ‘just’ a slasher film villain anymore.
Before, the metal-masked one was hunting down a never-monikered victim who had managed to escape his lair, only for him to cut down various folk along the way trying to get her back. At the end, she and walk-in survivor Tommy managed to melt his face to pulp. The sequel picks up straight after these events: Tommy and ‘The Girl’ drive away and the cops arrive, as well as a black-clad recovery team, who shoot the cops and take Chromey away, mend and rehabilitate him.
Team leader Preston (90210 alumnus Green) tracks down and kills ‘The Girl’, leaving Tommy (Dekker) as the sole survivor. Three months later, Chromey is getting well, but understandably pissed that Preston killed his quarry. Another employee of ‘The Organization’ offers up a replacement victim in the form of vision-impaired teen Jess (Michaels), who is kidnapped, her friend slain, and shoved in a coffin to await her fate.
Meanwhile, a homicide team led by Owain Yeoman from The Mentalist are trying to find Jess, and recruit Tommy to help after they find evidence suggesting ChromeSkull is the killer. From here, various extras die when they get in the way or turn up to investigate the factory where members of the diet-Hostel ‘Organization’ (complete with tattoos!) have set up loads of crap and weaponry for Chromey to use on Jess and, for a while, there are essentially two killers operating.
So what gives? Who are these people? Where do most of them vanish to later in the film? Why does everything Brian Austin Green does annoy ChromeSkull? Why are all the male victims cops? Why are they so crap at shooting someone right in front of them? Why change to the Saw torture-porn schtick when that’s so passe?
All Most of these queries will likely be answered in Laid to Rest 3 should it get made, but there are no points given for trying to kickstart a franchise in the second film. The first one was neatly wrapped up and good enough on its tod, messing with it has ruined the effect somewhat: The spunky heroine is cruelly done away with, Tommy’s fate left dangling, and the stand-in final girl just whimpers and cries the whole time, totally missing what makes the character so vital – the final girl MUST fight back. She HAS to snap and beat the fuck out of the killer with some innocuous implement she picks up. Otherwise she’s just a bland damsel in distress.
An impressive cast notwithstanding (though Green errs on the cheesy), Laid to Rest 2 should be bound to The Collection and tossed down a well.
Blurbs-of-interest: Thomas Dekker was also in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake; Danielle Harris has become something of a DVD scream queen, appearing as a child in Halloween‘s 4 and 5, and more recently Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet, Urban Legend, both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films, and the Hatchet sequels; Chris Nelson was in The Tripper; Johnathon Schaech plays a different character in this one than the original and was the killer in the dismal Prom Night remake.