In this day and age, when even established Slasher franchises like “Halloween” and “Hellraiser” has to scrape the bottom of video store shelves and basic cable TV just to survive, it’s a mystery why anyone would shell out good money to begin another Slasher franchise. “Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp” is a sequel to a 2000 picture about a masked psycho who stalks camp counselors for a past wrong. Or some such nonsense.
If you look at it from an objective point of view, I suppose “Bloody Murder 2” isn’t such a bad idea. Hire a group of unknown Gen-Xers looking for their big break; add a female actress of some physical attributes who doesn’t necessary look like a leading lady, but is more than willing to go naked as the scene calls for; and, perhaps most important of all, hire a special effects guy who knows how to make prosthetic body parts squirt with blood in the most disgusting, but satisfying, way. And voila! You have yourself a profitable Slasher film.
All of the above has been assembled by director Rob Spera, who uses a single location (a campground that consists of one main building, some outdoor showers, and the woods around it) to construct his horror opus. The young nubile flesh assembled here consists of the usual suspects: the Fair Hair Lead, the Slut, and the Oddball Girl who always stands somewhere in the background. The men are represented by the Token Black Guy, the Horny Boyfriend, the Asshole White Guy Destined to Die a Horrible Death, and the Untrustworthy Male Adult Who Can’t Be Counted On. Throw in a redneck police force that is as clueless as they come and a psycho in a blood-splattered mask and workman’s overalls, and you have yourself a fine way to past the time. That is, if you like this sort of thing.
But “Bloody Murder 2” is a terrible film if you still expect Slasher films to make any sort of sense. The plot of “BM2” consists of our psycho dispatching the young camp counselors one by one until the inevitable fight with our Fair Hair Lead in the end. The camp counselors, knowing full well that 90% of them are meant to die by movie’s end, of course does everything possible not to leave the kill zone. This would, after all, make the psycho’s job harder; worst of all, leaving the camp grounds after 3 of your friends have been butchered would make too much sense. Common sense and victimhood do not go together in Slasher films.
Katy Woodruff gets top billing as the Fair Hair Lead, even though she doesn’t deserve it. Director Rob Spera flirts with giving us gratuitous nudity involving his Fair Hair Lead, but of course chickens out. Most of the naked skin is provided by Tiffany Shepis, who plays the Slut. Surprisingly Shepis is the best thespian of the group, and her character survives much longer than anticipated, thus breaking the First Rule of Slasher Films which states that once the Slut goes nude, she must immediately die. Just once, I’d like to see the Slut survive, and the terribly dull Fair Hair Lead take the machete to the head instead.
Of note is Kelly Gunning as the Horny Boyfriend. After being spurned about a half dozen times by his girlfriend (she is still traumatized by her brother’s murder), the Horny Boyfriend finds a little lovin’ somewhere else. What a guy! Time fillers Raymond Smith and Amanda Magarian make a half-hearted attempt at “Scream”-like self-irreverence in one awkward scene, but neither the actors nor the screenplay have their heart it in. Also, since the Token Black Guy is not nearly sassy enough to officially become the Sassy Black Guy, his chances of survival is minimal.
If one were to ignore the low-budget nature of the film, as well as the cinematographer’s lack of visual talent, “Bloody Murder 2” is still good enough for a look-see for those of us interested in this sort of thing. (For the record, while David Trulli is solely credited as cinematographer, he has informed me that he was, in fact, only on the shoot for a few days, and that the majority of the shoot belonged to the uncredited Michael Goi.) The kills, although not too memorable, are nevertheless bloody enough to satisfy any gorefiend. Director Spera gives us a decapitation by chainsaw, a machete through the forehead, an arrow through the neck, and the always crowd-pleaser, a chopping-of-the-legs-and-showing-it-to-the-victim kill scene. Not bad for a film of this minor budget.
It should also be noted that “Bloody Murder 2”, unlike its Slasher brethrens, did attempt to throw a couple of curveballs in our direction. Red herrings abound, and the film tries to lull us into a sense of comfort a couple of times with the arrest, or seemingly capture, of the unmasked killer. Of course, anyone who takes a gander at the film’s clock counter will know that these supposed “conclusions” are all fake because we’re nowhere near the film’s 80-minute running length when they occur.
“Bloody Murder 2” is a good time to past a night with beer and some buddies. Its bad screenplay, low-rent actors, repetitive location, and static camerawork will turn off a lot of people. Then again, I wasn’t expecting more than what I got, and actress Tiffany Shepis is certainly worth a look all by her very (and often) naked self.
Rob Spera (director) / John R. Stevenson (screenplay)
CAST: Katy Woodruff …. Tracy
Kelly Gunning …. Mike
Amanda Magarian …. Sophie
Lane Anderson …. James