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CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2 (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Robert Hall

Starring:
Thomas Dekker
Owain Yeoman
Brian Austin Green
Danielle Harris
Mimi Michaels

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Chromeskull is back, baby..and he's angry. Picking up where the last one left off, old CS is left laying near dead on the ground, his face destroyed by acid. His crew of professionals led by Preston (Brian Austin Green) scoops him up and begins to patch him back together. Meanwhile, Mr. Austin Green gets a little overzealous and begins to tie up 'loose ends', posing as Chromeskull to take out victims.
Is it good movie?

I dug the original Laid to Rest. It was super gory and a simple throwback to the slashers I used to love. Naturally when this one came across my desk, I grinned like a chump because I have been looking forward to the sequel.

I'm proud to say that if you like the original Laid to Rest, you absolutely won't have any real trouble with the sequel, unless you like to have everything completely shrouded in mystery. This entry lifts the veil a little, showing you how the technological killer operates.

Essentially, Chromeskull has a warehouse dedicated to evil. It's basically like a full on corporation of evil. The guy has metal shop workers working all the time, simply making elements of destruction to bludgeon people with! I mean, it's a bit of a stretch but now you know how he pulls it off.

In fact, if you're watching this movie for realism, you should probably just not watch it because it's really kind of cartoony and comic-book esque. Chromeskull is just an evil guy, that's all we know and need to know and he's brought back from what seemed like sure death with some graphic reconstructive surgery. With that said though, it does take a little away to think of Chromeskull as a head of a company where he sends scary all-caps text messages as a form of communication. For those of you who love Danielle Harris, she's in this one too for a cup of coffee as an evil underling who really loves working for her boss.

The one thing that this movie promises is gore. The first movie was known for its nasty death scenes, and this one absolutely tops it. There were several times my fiancee turned to me and said "Why are you watching this? It's disgusting"..and she watches a lot of horror flicks. For whatever reason, there's a lot of really nasty things happening to people's faces. I won't give anything away, but know that you're going to see graphic, graphic gore that doesn't cut away in the name of nasty death scenes.

This is some of the nastiest looking stuff I've seen in quite some time. There's also a penchant for people sticking a blade somewhere, twisting and cutting their way out. Really sick stuff here. Eyeballs, entrails, filleted mouths, this is the reason a lot of people watch stuff like this, and it absolutely delivers. Chromeskull (and impostor Chromeskull for that matter) really doesn't take it easy on anyone.

Other than the gore, there's not a lot going on in this flick. The ties to the first flick are strong, as Thomas Dekker returns to play the hero guy (uniquely named Tommy) in this one (I won't tell you what happens to Princess), and a girl who's going blind soon is our heroine in peril. There's also a cop hot on the trail of Chromeskull (conveniently looking out for a vanity license plate with CHRMSKL on it..smooth move, Chromeskull), and he looks a lot like Bruce Campbell. Oh, and there's a lot of that annoying "Look, we have a blurry picture, let's zoom in until it's in perfect detail." That stuff drives me crazy.

It's hard to care about the kids, even though they're doing an okay job. This is because the main meat of the story is really Brian Austin Green's maniacal desire to basically emulate Chromeskull. It's not like this part of the film is particularly deep or emotional, but Green is (surprisingly) far and away the strongest cast member here. He's interesting, charismatic and honest. It's a simple plot though- he wants to help, Chromeskull doesn't like it, he gets carried away, tries to become Chromeskull and then has a showdown with him that ends nastily.

Ultimately, this isn't a movie that will intrigue you for plot's sake, but instead a movie that will have you shouting out loud with your buddies, remarking about the copious amounts of graphic blood and guts displayed on your screen. And in my book, there's nothing wrong with that every now and again- keeps the old urges down.

PS- Nick Principe is awesome. He owns as Chromeskull and really loves the character. Props!
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and looks pretty good, but not exactly impressive. You can tell this is a hi-def disc but it doesn't look way better than an average DVD. There's a fair amount of grainy, blocky handycam footage that doesn't help either.

Audio sounded great, coming in loud and clear in DTS HD 5.1. I was really impressed here, although the mix is a little front-heavy.
The Extras
A Cut Above- Creating Chromeskull runs about a half an hour, and gives lots of juicy information. There's a scene in the movie where someone gets a tattoo, and I remember thinking it looked real. Well, it WAS real, and it's a cool little trivia fact that they filmed it for the movie. This tends to be a little standard, but the cast and crew are enthusiastic and honest so this was pretty compelling.

There's also an audio commentary with director Robert Hall, co-writer Kevin Bocarde, and actor Brian Austin Green. It can be repetitive after the other features, but these guys are jazzed about the flick and have a ton of great info. Worth listening to.

Three deleted scenes (that run about 2 minutes total) and a couple of minutes of bloopers are also included. The bloopers were funny, but the deleted scenes were really short. I'm not big on deleted scenes.

Finally, there's a trailer for the film..and if you just want to see the jam sandwiches, you can use the Jump to a Kill feature!

Last Call
Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 delivers. Yes, there's a bit more lingering before Chromeskull gets his act together, quits moping and starts killing but the movie keeps a good pace. The ultra-violent kills are inventive and horrific though, so you'll get what you paid for. All in all, a wonderful bloody romp. Bring on the third entry!
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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