Monday, June 25, 2012

Video Violence Part 2 (1988)

... aka: Video Violence Part 2: The Exploitation!

Directed by:
Gary P. Cohen

In the original Video Violence, a couple moved to a small town, opened a video store and discovered - a little too slowly - that nearly everyone in their area was into making their very own snuff "horror" videos. This sequel centers around two of the more prominent killer townspeople from the first movie; mustachioed Howard (Bart Sumner) and the rotund Eli (Uke). The deadly duo now have their own pirated public access TV talk program called "The Howard and Eli Show," where they review and preview amateur snuff videos their faithful viewers send in to them. And naturally, the two can't help but get in on the action themselves cause it's so much gosh darn fun. In the pre-credits sequence, set on a Gothic horror movie set, Eli and crew snuff out a wannabe horror actress. When she refuses to eat a fake human heart, they drive a stake through her chest and rip hers out instead... and all before the rolling cameras. Somehow, the show is able to scramble satellite signals so their program overrides other local TV stations. Though no one knows where the broadcasts are originating from, or if the supposed snuff footage is real or fake (hint: it's real), authorities are trying to locate the studio and people involved. All of the controversy has turned it into a surprise hit with audiences.

At W.G.O.R. studios, the "Gurus of Gore" begin yet another broadcast and have lined up for us tonight many home grown snuff videos as well as a few coming attractions and even a special guest appearances. Howard kicks things off with a monologue of very bad jokes (frog in a blender, anyone?) and then there's a commercial for Wilbur, a flesh-eating pet parents can buy for their kids... if they want them dead. Airhead actress Debbie Landau (Elizabeth Lee Miller), who's been lured there by an ad in the papers looking for a girl to star in a new splatter film, is then brought out and interviewed. The guys look at her resume and headshots, coerce her into stripping down to her panties, then gag her, tie her to a chair and torture her. She has the tendons on her arm cut out with surgical scissors, both of her fingers sliced off and then her eyeball gouged out, among other things. The second skit has William Toddie (the corrupt Sheriff in the first VV) back for a bit to play a retired sheriff who builds a homemade electric chair and wants to try it out on a petty criminal he and his wife (Barbara Brunnquell) have kidnapped. The couple crank up the juice so much his eyeballs pop out and then his head explodes.

The longest skit (which runs over ten minutes) is called "Pizza Boy." In it, three girls in negligees having a slumber party get sick of the violence perpetrated on women on the Howard and Eli Show and set out to show that women are just as bloodthirsty and chauvenistic as men. So how do they accomplish this? By ordering pizzas, and tempting the pizza boy with weed, beer and breast-flashing, before making him strip down to his underwear and then slaughtering him. Next up, is "Deli Dick's Country Kitchen" where Dick (Tom Straffi) and his assistant Otto (Dick Haig) hire a young lady (Carol Maloney) to help them advertise some new kitchen products. They drug the girl's lemonade and then use their "Slice 'N Dicer" to make a finger sandwich and their "Drac-O-Matic Blood Dispenser" to drain out her blood. We then check in on the Video Studio rental shop as a sorority girl tries to rent tapes and ends up getting suffocated with shrink wrap by the owner and customers. There are a couple of other minor bits in here as well, such as a "Best Of" sequence with gag titles, a woman showering and a guy attacking her while dressed as Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers.

VV2 boasts a genuinely clever and fun premise, but sadism played for cheap laughs isn't going to be everyone's idea of fun and the skits themselves are highly uneven. Sometimes they're amusing, sometimes they're not, but they're almost always juvenile and usually downright dumb. Of course, the production values are non-existent and the photography and editing are often awful. There's a good deal of time padding and cheap-looking gore fx, too. However, this slapdash cheapie actually manages to end on a high note with a very funny and clever finale that brings back three of the stars of the first film (Art Neill, Jackie Neill and Lisa Cohen) and wonderfully ties together both of the two movies. VV2 is filled with constant references to the original, so make sure to see it first so you can catch the numerous in-jokes here (some of which are pretty funny). Mrs. Neill sings the end credits theme "The Alligator Blues."

Both Video Violence films were released on the same DVD by Camp Motion Pictures. Each film has an audio commentary track from the director, several of the actors and a few of production people. There's also a seperate interview with the director and trailers for other Camp releases.


1 comment:

spookyx3 said...

"i took tap and ballet as a young girl, and now i think i'm ready to break in to hollywood. my favorite color is blue, i like to read, and ride my bike, and my turn-offs are hairy women and finding dead mice in the bottom of soda bottles."

slow as it was, the original did "small town, big secret" very well, IIRC. can't remember if it tried for... overt laughs, like the sequel. VV2 had a neat idea with a lotta potential. ended up too samey, & felt sort of thrown together. nice ending, tho.

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