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'ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2' DVD Review

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating

By

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2
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The Bottom Line

Dumb, nonsensical plot made tolerable only by the extravagant kills.
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Pros

  • Well-executed, gory kills
  • Green is a charismatic villain

Cons

  • Plot makes no sense
  • Characters behave unreasonably
  • Story gets bogged down in annoying office politics

Description

  • Starring Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker, Danielle Harris, Mimi Michaels, Owain Yeoman, Gail O'Grady
  • Directed by Robert Hall
  • Rated NR
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011

Guide Review - 'ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2' DVD Review

This sequel picks up where Laid to Rest left off, with masked psycho killer ChromeSkull presumably dead at the hands of amnesiac "Princess" and her new pal Tommy (Thomas Dekker). I say "presumably" because, well, this is a sequel entitled ChromeSkull, so you know he's coming back somehow.

That "somehow" is a rescue by a mysterious group of black-clad individuals, led by Mr. Preston (Brian Austin Green), who swoop in to recover the killer's body before the police arrive. They arrange for emergency surgery (cue the 6 Million Dollar Man-esque montage) that reconstructs ChromeSkull's face, and within a few months, he's back in murdering shape again.

Preston points ChromeSkull toward a new victim, Jess (Mimi Michaels), a young woman suffering from an eye condition that threatens to make her blind, and the serial killer is eager to resume his reign of terror. However, Preston oversteps his bounds when he goes after previous victims Princess and Tommy, leading to a power struggle between him and control freak ChromeSkull.

Laid to Rest earned a bit of a cult following in 2009, thanks to a villain with a striking look and a series of ultra-gory kills, courtesy of makeup effects guru-turned writer/director Robert Hall. The fact that the script made little sense apparently mattered little to the film's fans, but even they might have their patience tried by this sequel.

ChromeSkull not only fails to address questions that remained unanswered from the original film (Who the heck is this guy and why does he ritualistically lock victims in coffins?), but it opens a whole boatload of other questions that go unanswered. Are we supposed to just accept that there's some powerful covert corporate-style organization employing dozens of people whose sole function is to support a serial killer's murderous rampage? Apparently we are, because Hall never bothers to explain. And while we're busy trying to wrap our brains around that, we have to deal with scenes of backstabbing (figuratively and literally) office politics as people vie for power within this ridiculous organization.

Still, if all you want is vicious, bloody kills, then ChromeSkull delivers in spades. The death scenes are well set up, the makeup effects are expertly executed and the CGI gore is fairly seamless. That said, fans of the original might be disappointed that several of the kills aren't ChromeSkull's handiwork, and genre fans will definitely be disappointed that scream queen Danielle Harris isn't involved in any of the action.

The direction this time around isn't as distracting as in the first film, but Hall should seriously consider hiring someone else to script his movies. Beyond the silliness of the plot, the story is filled with eye-rolling moments (Why do they even bother locking these coffins if everyone escapes so easily?) that leave you praying that a good kill is around the corner.

The DVD

Special features include commentary, deleted scenes, a featurette and bloopers.

Movie: C-
DVD: B

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the distributor. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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