So, the first sequel to 1985s hit horror comedy is available on DVD (well, it has been for about 4 years, but this is my new review, so ner!).
Quick synopsis: The Army is transporting some containers of Trioxin, which also contain more zombies in a kind of suspended animation (much like the barrels in the first film). Thanks to the trucks driver being more interested in smoking a spliff and listening to his walkman, one bounces off as the truck crosses a rain drenched bridge, and rolls off into the creek below…
The barrel is found by some local kids who are exploring and messing near to their new housing estate. And they accidentally release the trioxin…. Add in some very familiar grave robbers, a cable installer, an older sister, and an alcoholic old Dr, and you have the bones of the film.
The film follows a similar pattern to the first one, albeit expanded to encompass a whole town, rather than just a cemetery, a warehouse, and a mortuary. Unlike the first film in the series, however, this film is played much more for the laughs, with the gore being vastly toned down (there is more ‘slime’ and ‘pus’ than ‘blood’ here, folks). The film clearly benefits from the expanded scale, allowing for some nice chase scenes, and an electrifying finale (literally), but lacks the sparkle of the original.
Thom Matthews and James Karen make the most of their slightly beefed up roles in this sequel, again playing a mismatched pair of ‘friends/colleagues’ who find themselves turning into zombies, even passing comment about it all feeling like deja vu.
This version of the film is slightly different to any previous releases on VHS as the soundtrack has been significantly altered, due to copyright issues over the music. A crap voiceover has also been added to the films beginning. The disc also contains a commentary track featuring the director Ken Weiderhorn and one of the films child actors, Thor Van Lingen, plus a trailer.
Now, I freely admit to really enjoying horror comedies, and ROTLD 2 is just that. However, it is pitched much more at the comedy end of the scale and does suffer thanks to this. Overall, it isn’t a bad film per se, just not as good as its progenitor (although I should note that the film was not written as a sequel to ROTLD, but was rewritten to fit the mythology of the first film in order to be made as its sequel).