Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

We enjoyed director Robert Hall’s ‘Laid to Rest’ here at the FCU when it came out a couple of years ago. Or last year. I can’t remember. Admittedly that film had a threadbare plot and featured an inordinate amount of characters that did stuff that made no sense whatsoever, but Hall had jammed in so many gorily violent moments that had you whispering ‘damn’ under your breath, that it was hard to resist. That is if you like that kind of thing. Thus when the inevitable sequel came out, you know we were going to have a front row seat in the Barcalounger to hope that Mr. Hall could build upon the momentum of the first film. He did not do this. ‘Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2’ isn’t necessarily a worse film that ‘Laid to Rest’, just more of the same film, which made it a disappointing film.

Picking up where we left off after the carnage at the quickie-mart at the end of the first film, Princess and Tommy (Thomas Dekker) drive off into the sunset, but as soon as they hit the road, and extraction team descends upon the store, led by the scurrilous Mr. Preston (Brian Austin Greene) to retrieve Chromeskull, who is all f’d up as you might remember, and put him back together. It seems that Chromeskull is some kind of powerful rich dude and has his own Black-Ops serial killing setup squad or something. Job one for Mr. Preston: Find Princess and that cell phone and bring her back to the serial killing batcave.

Tommy and Princess, this time played by briefly by actress Allison Kyler who agreed to flash some boobage, which Bobby Sue Luther absolutely refused to do in the first film, make it to the motel. Tommy runs out to get Princess something to eat, Princess decides to take a shower, Mr. Preston shows up and Princess will not be a concern to us no longer in this film.

That out of the way, this time around our story is about Jess (Mimi Michaels), a young lady who is losing her eyesight and has somehow drawn the short straw as Chromeskull’s next target. This time around the film gives us the unwanted bonus of serial killing office politics as Mr. Preston is feeling underappreciated, like most middle managers, and he is also attempting to fend off the ambitious Ms. Spann (Danielle Harris) who is bucking for his job. To appease his feelings of neglect Mr. Preston has taken to becoming Chromeskull 2.0, hacking and slashing away, which doesn’t make the original Chromskull, all put together real nice – minus his face – very happy.

Anyway, poor Jess the blind girl is locked in a coffin getting prepped for murder. The cops, led by the hardworking, albeit completely incompetent Detective King (Owain Yeoman), is searching for her and they’ve rounded up Tommy, a complete wreck, to help in this. Eventually Tommy will reluctantly join Jess the blind girl at the murder playground, with a couple of Chromeskull’s running around laying stupid, incompetent cops to rest. It will bloody, it will be violent, it will make very little sense, and a ‘Laid to Rest’ movie is born.

So why is Detective King completely incompetent? We have a killer out there, a killer who has already taken out a small police force and seems to be immortal. I know, let’s send super cute Detective Holland (Angela Armani) out there to do some snooping around ‘by the book’ at an abandoned warehouse where this killer just might be, all by herself. When the adorable Det. Holland doesn’t make it back, let’s send a couple more cops to look for her. They should probably split up when they get to the warehouse. All I’m saying is that as team leader, I’m not going anywhere near where Chromeskull could theoretically be, without a SWAT team by my side. Movie SWAT teams are expensive, and thus another small police force is completely dead. Fortunately the FBI was ‘monitoring his actions’. And if by ‘monitoring’ they meant ‘watching Chromeskull kill people at an alarming rate while doing nothing to stop it’, then that’s what they meant.

Clearly we have no issue with the violence in this movie. Why would we? If we did, after watching part one, we would be avoiding this like the plague. I think this one had less murder than the first film, though the murders we did get were way more gorrific. What I was hoping to get with ‘Laid to Rest 2’, knowing that well conceived human evisceration was a given, was a little more exposition, a story that conceivably could exist on the planet Earth, and characters that acted a little bit like real humans. I didn’t get any of that.

Since Mr. Hall introduced the Chromeskull Serial Killing Organization, or CSKO Inc., I’m thinking I deserve to know who this guy is, why he does what he does, why he’s tonguing sliced up chicks in hospital beds, and how does one apply for a job at CSKO Inc. And what exactly is their business model? How do they generate income? I’m curious. The police force was awful, only serving the purpose of getting murdered horribly, characters behaved idiotically, only serving the purpose of getting murdered horribly, but there you go.

We did enjoy Thomas Dekker’s wreck of a character who we gotta say, managed to behave a lot like a guy in his situation would probably behave, considering what he’s had the misfortune of living through, and Mimi Michael’s character of Jess did make for a sympathetic final girl.

Since it looks like Chromeskull is just getting started on his cinematic serial killing journey, I just want the story to improve. You got the whole murder thing down pat, Team Chromeskull, let’s just improve the storytelling a little bit.

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