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Overall Rating
3.53

Awesome: 13.33%
Worth A Look46.67%
Average: 26.67%
Pretty Bad: 6.67%
Total Crap: 6.67%

1 review, 9 user ratings



Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp
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by Jack Sommersby

"Helps Slasher-Flick Fans Keep the Faith"
4 stars

A surprisingly entertaining cinematic treat of gore and boobs.

Unlike its abysmally dull predecessor, Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp actually serves up the goodies of a serviceable slasher flick. It contains moments of suspense, a decent amount of T&A and sex, and a satisfying helping of gore. Where the original was awkwardly directed and devoid of trashy appeal, the sequel is smoothly made and makes no qualms that it's anything other than a piece of cinematic trash. While it doesn't have the sturdy professionalism of, say, Tony Maylam's The Burning or Tom McLoughlin's Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (the best of he series), it's still possessive of more than enough energy and invention to keep us watching, even when the story never manages to rise above the blatantly obvious. What we have here is a group of sexy camp counselors and the director of the outfit preparing to close up shop in three days. The film takes place a good five years after the original, where the dastardly Trevor Moorehouse wrecked merciless havoc on a different array of counselors. The story on him is as follows: He was the son of a former camp director who ratted on his fellow counselors to get in good with daddy; the other counselors revolted; and poor 'ol Trevor wound up on the bottom of a ravine with a disfigured face. Clad in blue coveralls, black-hooded sweat top, and a plastic white mask, he transferred his seething hatred for his attackers onto another group of counselors, one of whom disappeared into the woods and was never seen or heard from again and is revealed to be the brother of a young woman who serves as the heroine of this sequel.

Understandably, she's a little bit agitated over some fleeting glimpses of a masked person in the bushes around the camp, but her fellow comrades initially dismiss these as mere figments of her imagination in light of her past. Of course, we in the audience are wise to the validity of her claim because we're made privy to a slew of gruesome murders before she is. The first one is a beauty for two reasons: one, the victim has one leg hacked off at a time, with the killer holding each one up like a proud trophy; two, the choice of the victim is a surprise because, given his crowd-pleasing standing-up to the jock-bully of the camp, we assume he's going to serve as the male hero. Word then gets relayed to the camp director via the victim's beeper that he's opted to go home early. Already, we know that the culprit isn't just some zombified boogeyman: he's agile in movement and of canny intelligence, which is a welcome reprieve from the standard baddie in the woods who has to all but be stumbled onto by his victims to get the upper hand. Also worth noting is the film's self-referential humor, which is appealing rather than cloying like you get in the dreadfully inept Scream series: A black counselor complains about how women have the upper hand in a horror film as potential victims as opposed to the 'obligatory' black man, because, unlike a black man in regards to his skin color, a woman at least has a choice whether or not to be the promiscuous type who bares her breasts. In keeping with this familiar yet sly tone, the next scene takes place in a shower, where two counselors have hot and steamy foreplay, with the ready-for-action brunette displaying a delectable set of ta-tas (though the pube factor is distressingly low). But before she can ride a post-coital high, her boyfriend is summoned by his beeper and is soon permanently dispatched by an arrow to the neck a la Friday the 13th and buried still-alive with that obnoxious-sounding device still heard beneath the dirt.

Most slasher flicks of this type with an intent of straightforward suspense peter out quickly due to poor filmmaking craftsmanship (The Prey; Just Before Dawn), or they have the intent of humor but are lackluster bores due to a lack of suspense and a dire shortage of ideas (Sleepaway Camp; There's Nothing Out There). Where Bloody Murder 2 gets it right is in striking a keen balance between the two by offering up enough satisfying gore moments while making them breezy enough in tone so as to agreeably coincide with the parody moments (a triumph similarly brought off by the talented writer/director Eric Red in his 1996 Bad Moon with the werewolf sub-genre.) Thank the screenplay, but also the playful direction by Rob Spera, who managed to give a winning sprightliness to presumable disposables like Leprechaun 5: Leprechaun in the Hood and Last Cry (which found Angie Everhart giving full rein to her sordid, full frontal-bearing potential). Spera has a fine sense of timing and for shaping a scene; he doesn't pander aimlessly along nor does he cut short a moment in an uncouth desire to get somewhere else for a cheap, immediate effect. Shot on digital video, Bloody Murder 2 looks cheap but doesn't stay immobile long enough for you to overly notice this; the camera is used quite actively -- there's a distinctive flow to the narrative that you rarely get in a slasher flick -- and quite inventively, particularly in another shower room scene, what with the crooked side angles and flickering lights creating a wonderful feel of disorientation that perfectly mirrors that of the wounded soon-to-be victim. Spera is also good about gliding over obvious guffaw-inducing pieces of dialogue ("Needless to say, we're dealing with a homicide."), though he isn't quite as deft in gliding over the obviousness of the identity of the killer (you should have him pegged after no less than three minutes into his screen time).

If one can drop semblances of filmgoing priggishness going into Bloody Murder 2, there's very little in the way here of keeping you from having a really good time. Though as to be expected, the gorgeous actors don't bare near the amount of skin as the gorgeous actresses who are so ungodly hot that they a) make you envy the young-uns whom they counseled b) make you wonder how, given their libidinous natures, they found time to counsel in between their sexcapades. And even though the plain-Jane heroine still abides by the unwritten rule that she can show off cleavage and nipple pokies yet not indulge in onscreen nudity, she's not as undigestably goody-goody as many of her usual ilk. Of course, verbal wit isn't exactly in attendance here; then again, when a girl informs a guy about sex without a condom with her as "no skinny dipping allowed", where is it really needed? Add to this a nifty sight of frightened counselors running to help a comrade just to fall head over heels down a hill due to slipping on some wet leaves (something I've never seen in a film such as this), or a hilarious temperature-continuity snafu involving two actors speaking with the breath from their mouths visible when the setting is still supposed to be summer and everyone's wearing shorts and tank tops and the like, and you have yourselves a giddy little winner worth a video rental. The bottom line is this: You can either do this stuff poorly or well, and director Spera does it well. If the film is worthy of no more than three stars, that's fine, because its solid adequateness is still something of a triumph considering the barrage of inadequate entries that make you want to give up the slasher-in-the-woods sub-genre altogether. Bloody Murder 2 helps in restoring the faith.

Great for an undemanding good time.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7758&reviewer=327
originally posted: 05/31/03 02:51:25
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User Comments

4/01/12 ch a slick slasher flick with friday theme, but decent enough and sex to boot. 4 stars
11/02/06 cody a improvement over the first , with better acting and story, better scares and sex! 3 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt I thought the first was entertaining. I feel the same way about this one. 3 stars
2/25/04 Charles Tatum If you need boobs, rent a porno! 1 stars
9/23/03 Alice So stupid, but good bloody scenes sometimes 2 stars
8/14/03 Bill Wow!! Better than the crappy 1st 5 stars
7/22/03 Double G GREAT MOVIE, Suprised cause the 1st one sucked 5 stars
6/06/03 John Martinez it is ok but i still like jason fri the 13th 3 stars
5/31/03 Jack Sommersby A breezy good time. Plenty of scares and sex! 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Feb-2003 (R)

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