Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever is both a surprisingly good movie, and every bit as bad as you would expect.
The film, directed by Ti West – who has since disowned it – takes the gimmicks, gore, and bad taste humor of the original and ups the ante ten fold. I don’t get squeamish very easily, but this film marks the second time this year I have almost vomited while watching an American movie.
Picking up the plot thread left at the end of the original film, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever details what happens when the Down Home Water Co. delivers a case of infected water to a high school on the eve of prom. Before long, the virus is spreading in the school. Everyone’s getting it. Whether it’s from bloody urine in the punch bowl or blowjobs in the bathroom, rarely have I seen a dead teenager movie where the teens were more doomed. More after the jump:
This being a sequel, (and a far belated, direct to video sequel at that), the rules have changed. Whereas the original had the virus take hold over a few days, this entry has melting flesh within hours. The original had skin falling off of a girl’s leg as she shaved, this one has a boy’s penis oozing puss in his pants. The original had an isolated group of teens, this one has hundreds of deaths.
And this movie really, really goes for broke. Nothing is sacred; no one’s dignity is spared. There is a scene where a morbidly obese girl loses her virginity in a pool only to discover that her ruptured hymen just will not stop bleeding. A boy’s member falls off. Another girl has a miscarriage in the showers during the prom (all played for laughs). Keep in mind, I didn’t just spoil all of the movies gags, every scene is like this.
The problem is, though the movie is deeply unhinged, it’s also incredibly hackishly made. The editing is just rancid, cutting from one image to the next with no discernable motivation. Continuity errors and poor eye line matches abound. I really never notice this stuff, but it was glaring and distracting in this picture.
This is a film that has been cut and recut to oblivion. One dead teenager starts out as the cool-guy friend, giving the protagonist dead teen advice on how to pick up girls. Then, a few scenes later, he arbitrarily shifts into the role of the nerdy buddy. The aforementioned pool scene seems to be based in some sort of larger prank subplot that remains unseen. In another scene, a girl with an open sore on her mouth performs fellatio for “revenge” on some unknown third party. There must be a very different cut floating out there because the whole thing is just barely feature length, even with the horrendous, tangential epilogue scene set in the strip club and a ridiculous, poorly animated, closing animated sequence.
What should be the film’s centerpiece sequence – a prom full of students who all begin to projectile vomit blood on one another before be being mowed down by black-ops soldiers – occurs almost wholly off screen. We see a few poorly framed shots of the mayhem and then the aftermath, but none of the meat shots. Given how lowbrow the whole film is, this scene could have been something of legend, instead, it looks like an undergrad at film student’s first attempt at a gorno.
There’s no getting around it, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever is not a good movie. If you try and watch it with a girlfriend, she won’t jump in your lap, she’ll probably just dump you. You can’t really watch it in mixed company because it’s really, really, really offensive in its grotesqueries. And ultimately, it’s a very poorly made movie too. And yet, I find myself wanting to recommend it. Maybe I’m a sick fuck, but I was thoroughly entertained. In fact, I think I had more fun with this disc than I have with the vast majority of theatrical horror for the past half-decade. And, with a needless sequel released 7 years after the original, after sitting on the shelf for 2 ½ years, that’s a miracle in and of itself.
I watched this film on my laptop, then put it into my DVD player. I’m not a techie, but I think someone screwed up the transfer. Everything looks stretched and screwy. I know this is DTV and basically a dump by the studio, but come on! get the friggin aspect ratio right!
This DVD has a making of feature that is notable only in that it completely excludes any mention of Ti West, often to hilarious results.
There is also a gore-reel which showcases some really, really nasty stuff, and how they did it. I actually really like this kind of thing. CGI effects reels bore me, but seeing a tooth pulled from a giant animatronic head is sorta cool.
Ti West might have disowned the film, but in many ways it is close to what he promised. Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever is certainly a John Water’s style horror-comedy full of the most offensive images of bodily malfunctions possible. Also, it has a kick ass soundtrack. I laughed, I cringed, I almost threw up. It’s not a well-made film and it has clearly been stitched together like a Frankenstein monster, but I certainly wasn’t bored.
THE FILM: 4.2
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 8.9
THE DVD: 3.0