Have you ever wondered what would happen if you added a sprinkle of blood and a dose of rotting flesh to an American Pie movie? Wonder no more; urinating blood into a punch bowl… Sex with a morbidly obese, rotting virgin… A diseased stripper… And a vomiting penis. Yes, a vomiting penis!
Everything about this movie suggests you should hate it – flimsy plot, questionable acting and not to mention director Ti West wanting to distance himself from the final cut (due to studio interference) – but I couldn’t help but love it.
I suspect that had this come out in the 80’s cool kids would now be wearing retro t-shirts of this cult video nasty, having heard how it was passed around on a dodgy VHS back in the day.
The contaminated water hinted at in the first film, ripe with flesh eating virus, has been bottled, sent into town and delivered at the high school in the lead up to prom.
A back-story that is played out in a quirky animated title sequence that really sets the tone for the movie: slyly humorous and never once taking itself too seriously. At the root of the picture – and I assume West’s intention prior to any studio interference – is a rights of passage story that just happens to be a genre film.
John (Noah Segan) is in love with Cassie (Alexi Wasser) a girl he has known his whole life. Everybody knows it, including his best friend Alex and Cassie’s stereotypically vile boyfriend… In fact everyone except Cassie.
John and Alex, outsiders to the circus of high school popularity contests, vow not to go to prom. Until Alex, with new found enthusiasm from a sexual promise, convinces John they should go. The dance turns into a blood fest as the infected bottled water and punch start to take effect on the unsuspecting students.
The school is rapidly locked down by a mysterious and unexplained hazmat team shooting all in their path, although how and why they are there is never truly explained.
Detective Winston (Giuseppe Andrews) returns from the first film in a side story that feels incomplete. There is a brief attempt by Winston to investigate the source of the poisoned water, but it is glossed over as quickly as it appears, in favour of him attempting to leave town.
I think if West ever completes a directors cut, there may be some of Andrews scenes saved from the cutting room floor to flesh out what could have been a rather interesting thread to the narrative.
As it stands it doesn’t supplement the plot at all. If anything it detracts from the main characters arc.
The final act feels a little rushed and you do wonder whether it is the result of studio meddling, but there are some really effective sequences including a Raimi inspired cure. The blood oozes by the bucket load as John, Cassie and Alex try to escape the virus and the hazmat team, only to be brushed aside for two further weird endings. One of which would have worked fine as a post-credit scene and the other being little more than an unnecessary animated bookend.
This is a direct-to DVD sequel that surpassed all my expectations, it is a film that I hate to love – a real guilty pleasure.
The peculiar blend of toilet humour, blood, guts and rotting flesh have combined, against all odds, to make a, fingers crossed, cult sleeper.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever is available on DVD and Blu Ray from the 22nd February.
Additional film information: Drag Me To Hell (2009)