Meat Market 2 (2001) 1 brainhalf brain

Brian Clement brings us the next installment in the Meat Market series, and while I think it's a slight improvement on the first, it's still plagued by many of the same problems, namely, actors who can't quite pull off the hardened killer role, stilted dialog, and random scenes inserted to give us the "bigger picture." The film is better technically: the sound and lighting were noticeably better than in the first. The story line is also more clear. In the first film it was basically a hodge-podge of survivors coming together and, well, trying to survive. In this film, the remnants of those survivors, Argenta (Claire Westby), Nemesis (Alison Therriault), and Ferriden (Stephan Eng), are looking for supplies when they get captured by a military compound seeking to establish a new world order. The leader of this compound is Bill Wilhelm (Rob Nesbitt), an ex-motivational speaker who is using his skills to form an army and stimulate research into possible ways to harness the powers of the undead. I enjoyed his performance best in the movie: he seemed to be the most natural in his role, and his character was a darkly humorous mix of corporate thinking and dictator-like mania, although even he was forced to act out some cliched scenes here and there.

There were some parts that were irritating because they were so obviously gratuitous. In one instance, when the heroes are captured, Argenta is singled out for possible indoctrination, and she and some other captives are sent to the shower room. Then follows what seems like several minutes of showering females, until you're saying to yourself, OK, we get it, they're showering and naked. I guess Brian Clement wanted to boost his sales that little bit more. The movie in general seems to touch more on sex than the first one did, I think mainly for the voyeuristic value, but also sometimes for the gross-out factor. I'll leave it to your imagination what kind of scenes those would be.

Clement seems to have improved as a director and editor, but he's still barging around in the budget basement. If you liked Meat Market, you'll probably enjoy this too (although El Diablo Azul, one of my favorite characters from the last film, appears only briefly), but if budget stuff isn't your taste, better to move on to the next thing.