.The flesh eating terror has run by river into a supply line for a bottled water facility with the company unwittingly shipping the toxic tonic to a local high school (this portion is told in an animated opening credits sequence). Meanwhile, the senior class is gearing up for prom and graduation, as we follow a young man's trials with girls and life (for a good bit of the runtime, who cares?). But when the night finally arrives, the punch is spiked...
Spoilers throughout review / Not to sound like I have a personal vendetta against Ti West after being so wishy-washy over House of the Devil, but Cabin Fever 2 pretty much sucks...hard. This sequel exists in an entirely different dimension and it's obvious after watching that this was a director-for-hire quickie for West; while House of the Devil was his baby. One of the ultimate sins is committed here being a horror flick you watch expecting all bloody hell to break loose, but that never really happens. The experience is annoyingly uneventful, uninspired, and so familiar you can call every turn in your sleep. It's most recent and similar brother is Gregg Bishop's fun, prom-night-zombie-invasion indie Dance of the Dead. If you haven't seen Bishop's film, check it out instead as it does everything much better, funnier, and with a true sense of personal investment by those involved...with actual zombies!
If you hated Eli Roth's Cabin Fever, this will make you pick it back up and reevaluate your stance. Despite the goofs and gross-outs, Roth's 2002 debut created an identifiable and palpable fear of infection, while Part Deux inevitably has a bunch of kids quickly vomiting blood and dying. You're left yearning for the dead to start twitching and rise with a ravenous hunger for flesh. It doesn't help that dangerous situations with the uninfected encountering the sick are few. Instead, a completely unexplained armed strikeforce rolls in, kills a few residents, and locks the school down with everyone still inside. Most of the students perish within minutes in a sealed, cheap looking auditorium so there's no wild schoolhouse crawling with infection scenario.
There's also an out-of-place grudge between the lead young guy and another guy trying to steal his girl. Okay, that's not so foreign, but the bully turning into a psycho with a hammer recalls shades of the off-putting conclusion of The Zombie Diaries. None of this really matters because you don't care about any of the people on-screen. The lead guy is captured by the commandos as he and his girl escape the building. The girl then hitches a ride with Deputy Wilson (Giuseppe Andrews) from the first film and Mark Borchardt of American Movie. We're then treated to a throwaway sequence of the high school's slut stripping at a club "revealing" her infection and another animated montage of the infection spreading further. FIN. Then, after finishing my tall glass of Shasta Tiki Punch, I exclaimed "That was it?"
Giuseppe Andrews reprises his role, which is nice even if it doesn't lead to anything, but his decision to pick-up the frantic blood-caked chick is nonsensical since he's aware of the infection. An unrecognizable Rider Strong is also there in the beginning to connect to Cabin Fever's ending and meets a quick end in an homage to Robocop. Larry Fessenden and Judah Friedlander show up to die as well. On the gore front, the splatter ranges from weak to decent, but it's lacking and opts for dumb gross-outs like vomit and pus-spillin' dicks. I can't understand these "unrated" direct-to-video features nowadays. When saddled with a trite story, why not truck in seven 55-gallon barrels of gore? It's unrated, with no chance of a theatrical run, and mostly for horror fans expecting wall-to-ceiling splat--so show us something, dammit! No balls I tell ya, West's film ain't got shit on the likes of Street Trash and Slime City. There's two more recommendations to check out instead.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever isn't unwatchable, just the kind of one-and-done, "meh" rental evening that's all been done better elsewhere. Sitting down with it cradled in your DVD player will do nothing for your horror well-being aside from wasting your time. This valuable time is better spent visiting the other flicks I mentioned above, especially the actually satifying Dance of the Dead, or digging out Roth's original. The swap meet bud who gave this DVD-R to me (thanks again!) said West seemed to be trying to overcompensate, but I'd argue he didn't deliver enough of what's called for. This should have been happily way over the top regardless of the thoroughly beaten dead horse premise. In the end, Cabin Fever 2 feels like a pointless trip to a third sequel, much like Beyond Re-Animator.