Monday, December 17, 2007

Meat Market 2 – review

Director: Brian Clement

Release date: 2001

Contains spoilers

I don’t know if this will negatively spoil the ending of the first Meat Market film or not. I’m guessing not as there wasn’t really a story to spoil. So, this takes on where the first ended. Tiamat and El Diablo Azul (Cam Pipes) died and Shahrokh (Paul Pedrosa) was bitten, leaving Argenta (Claire Westby) and the vampires Nemesis (Alison Therriault) and Valeria (Teresa Simon) intact.

The start of this sees the euthanasia of the turned Shahrokh, followed by a story re-cap and then we are one year on. Valeria is ill, for no explained reason, and they have found a new companion in the form of Ferriden (Stephan Ang) – who, where, why and what is never explained, he is just there. Valeria dies and vanishes to naught and the three remaining ones, lamenting the fact that winter didn’t kill the zombies as suggested in the previous film, go to find more ammo.

They actually find another survivor, Janet (Terra Thomsen), who knows of a facility where guns and food are available. Too easy thinks Argenta, and it is as Janet works for a new order and our heroes, all heavily armed whilst Janet has a pistol, are taken prisoner. The three are split up, based on a purity test of ethnicity, heterosexuality and health. Argenta is taken to be a member of this new order, set up by former motivational speaker Bill Wilhelm (Rob Nesbitt). Nemesis is taken to be shot – for no adequately explored reason but probably based on her bisexuality and Ferriden is taken to be experimented on by mad doctor Gehlen (Chuck Depape), presumably because he is oriental.

The goal of the new order is to take the world back, based on commerce and mixing in the best (from their point of view) aspects of the old world and the best parts of the zombies! Yeah, that’s what I thought. This leads to a gratuitous cannibal buffet with humans emulating the zombies for survival. The story is stronger than the first film but amounts to a ‘being captured and getting away’.

We do get some more vampiric action. Nemesis is shot and revives. We see a few feeds on human captors. We see that she has mind control powers. It is still very incidental, however. Again, with a couple of script changes, this could have simply been an angry Goth. It was nice, however, to see some bites as it made a change from the first film but there was still no real vampire v zombie action – other than the vampire shooting at the zombies. Of course, why Nemesis would allow herself to be shot at all, and not either mind control the executioner or turn to mist, is anyone’s guess. After all she couldn’t know she’d be put in a nice ‘safe’ morgue until she revived.

Of course, in true Day of the Dead fashion, the zombies get loose. This film owed much to the Romero classic. What Romero didn’t have was a brief return of a Mexican wrestler, presumably a ghost, kicking zombie butt to let the heroes escape. Then again, Romero is classier than that. It does seem that our zombies have got stronger and faster, but we only know that through dialogue as they still looked shambly to me – no running zombies here.

We have the same issues with sound and the recording on video is still a pain. Again the effects are good for what they had but crap in the grand scheme of things. Often aspects are put in for simple gross out (ripping of a penis by a zombie as food, sex with body parts) or titillation (gratuitous shower scenes) it seems. The acting was just as wooden, in fact probably worse as there were more human extras, who were blooming awful at times.

There is a third film in the series, which looks to have a bigger budget if the trailer is anything to go by, and it appears the superfluous aspects have been excised for pure zombie flick action – meaning no vampires in number 3 by the looks of things; though we do have a credit for El Diablo Azul again so maybe not all the superfluous elements have been excised.

More story but same old, same old, really. 2 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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