Movies From the Black Lagoon: Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever - 2009, unrated
By Tom Doty

A pimple on prom night is a mini- disaster but chaos reigns when a flesh-eating virus drops in on that particular rite of adolescent passage in this spirited, if occasionally sophomoric, sequel to the film that launched Eli Roth (Hostel).
The first film followed the exploits of a small circle of friends who become "frenemies" when a flesh eating disease gets introduced into their group dynamic. It ruins their vacation and only one guy survived. Here that survivor (again played by Rider Strong) appears briefly. He emerges from the woods and appears to be in bad shape having succumbed to the disease. He steps right into the path of a yellow school bus and promptly explodes like an overstuffed tick.
The only other returning character is dopey Deputy Winston (dopey as in doped up on weed). He responds to the accident and promptly misdiagnoses the situation claiming that it was probably a moose. A brief credit sequence follows and it is nicely animated. It manages to set the mood for the camp to come while showing how the virus has gotten into a local company that supplies bottled water to the area.
A brief sequence of scenes establishes the high school characters as stock types which include: the brainy guy; the lovely blond who dates a bad boy while being loved from afar by the brainy guy; brainy guy's Kevin Smith-like buddy; the bad boy jock type who mistreats the blonde; and an overweight girl who is desperate for love but will settle for sex. These folks are hurting to begin with so a flesh-eating virus on prom night only hastens their preordained fates.
All it takes is for infected bodily fluids to get into the punch (believe me you don't want to know how they get there) and you soon have a prom that "Carrie" would envy. Things begin to look up when a bunch of hazard suit wearing guys show up but it turns out that they are there to contain the problem and have put of actually solving it. Just about everyone dies but that's okay as they are thinly drawn characters who only exist to perish as grossly as possible. If you hated your prom and think that bathroom graffiti is funny then you'll love this party till you puke (and die) fright fest.
This one gets by on some clever in-jokes that horror fans will get. There are nods to such classics as 'the Crazies," Italian Cannibal flicks, and, of course, "Prom Night." The gore effects are extremely gross, though well done, and most often pertain to bodily functions gone horribly wrong. The jokes are hit or miss and the acting isn't Oscar caliber though there is a great bit by Michael Bowen (Kill Bill) as a principal with a secret life in his closet. The only joke that got under my skin was a vague reference to the "Columbine" tragedy. I love the first amendment as much as anybody but reserve the right to ask films to ignore that incident unless they actually have something intelligent to say about it.
Best Line: "How are you gonna pass up 'Bride of the Cannibals 2,' the director's cut."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@myactv.net.