Director – Robert Hall
Cast – Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker, Mimi Michaels, Owain Yeoman, Danielle Harris, Gail O’Grady, Johnathon Schaech, Nick Principe, Christopher Allen Nelson
Release Year – 2011
Reviewed by John of the Dead
When I saw Robert Hall’s Laid to Rest back in 2009 I thought to myself that it had all of the right elements to make for a fantastic slasher experience but just lacked on the writing execution. Slashers have rarely been known for good writing, but at least a moderate writer should be able to do enough to warrant a good slasher film so long as the director is competent. While Hall was fantastic with his directoral duties in Laid to Rest, the writing held the film back and honestly had me thinking that given sequels are rarely better the original that this sequel would suffer an even worse fate than its predecessor – and that was the case. While ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 delivers the same zany gore sequences that Laid to Rest did, the writing regressed to piss-poor levels and Hall’s execution suffered as well, making for an anticipated flick that I must say is not worth any anticipation at all.
ChromeSkull has survived the face melting and head bashing he received in the first film and is back to continue the carnage he started in tracking down those who survived his initial wrath, which we learn is fueled by ulterior motives.
Boy was this a disappointment. I did not expect it to surpass the 6-rating original, but I really did not expect it to be the crock of “—-” that it was. Robert Hall found success with Laid to Rest, and in the process also gave us a brutal and cool-looking antagonist to marvel at as well, but it seems he let that get to his head in this very cocky effort that ruined everything he created.
The film virtually takes off right at the climax of Laid to Rest, giving us more of the same antics we saw in the first film, which is basically ChromeSkull leaving a bloody mess everywhere he goes. The big difference between the two films is that we are given a lot more reasoning regarding why ChromeSkull does what he does, which proved to be one of the biggest mistakes of Robert Hall’s career thus far. Why was it such a big mistake? Simple, because the reasoning behind ChromeSkull’s carnage is effing stupid. Hall and co-writer Kevin Bocarde decided to bring in a government conspiracy element to play into what drives ChromeSkull to do what he does, which was not actually a government conspiracy, but something like it. In fact, I don’t believe the viewer ever actually learns what the agency behind him is, but that is not where where the writing faults end. Stupid dialogue plauged the film from beginning to end, which spewed from the mouths of lowly characters who did little to aid the story. There are too many story-related faults to mention, with most of them being downright stupid and proof of Hall’s cockiness as he figured he carried enough weight to give us an utter piece of crap story and assumed we’d like it due to his past success. Not with me bub.
Hall’s direction is equally bad, coming in as a complete opposite performance in comparison to Laid to Rest. Sure the budget is lower this time, but with pathetic acting, shotty camerawork, and horrendous cinematography, it seems Hall simply slapped this film together as quickly as he could, and with as little effort as possible. He did manage to at least give us more of the awesome gore and insane kills provided by ChromeSkull, and those kills are the only reason this film has a 4-rating and not something lower. What really saddens me is he had a strong foundation to work on due to how downright awesome ChromeSkull was in Laid to Rest, but Hall made a potential career ending mistake that I doubt he will be forgiven for.
Overall, ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 is an absolute wasteful effort from Robert Hall that should have carried on the moment created by its predecessor, but sadly this sequel starts off in the negatives and never once achieves positive status besides giving us some great kill sequences. The storyline is utterly stupid and so is the dialogue as well as the character, and combined with poor direction this effort is one that you should definitely stay way from, even if you are a fan of the original.