Zombie Bloodbath 2: Rage of the Undead (1995) (USA)
I gave a lot of space in my review of Zombie Bloodbath to talking about how even the makers of low-budget, flawed films deserve our respect for the effort that goes into it. Well, Todd Sheets, you have lost my respect. Zombie Bloodbath 2 is even worse than the first. Zombie Bloodbath was flawed but watchable; the sequel is painful. I ended up fast-forwarding through large parts of the movie, because the movie consisted almost entirely of 1) live characters shrieking at each other hysterically, going nowhere, 2) (shrieking) live characters torturing other (shrieking) live characters, going nowhere, and 3) zombies eating (shrieking) live characters. That's it folks. That's the whole film.
Yes, there's a plot, about college kids in a broken-down van, escaped convicts, crazy hoodlums, and a satanic cult, but I realized something while watching this film. Todd Sheets is not making films for a general audience. He's making them for the people that are in them. That's why we're subjected to watching every character that dies get slowly eaten, and why we have to see at least one shot of every single person that volunteered to be a zombie extra. We can't have an extra get cut! That would be unfair! No, Mr. Sheets. Unfair is expecting the rest of the world to get something out of what is essentially a city-wide home movie.
The odd thing is, it looks like Sheets was actually trying to do something more meaningful with this film. This film was more violent than the first, with lots of the above-mentioned torture, and Sheets kept cutting away from the action to show us satanic logos. At the end, after the action is done, he indulges in some political commentary, talking about how we're killing ourselves as a society, both culturally and ecologically. He also shows separate shots of Bill Clinton and Saddam Hussein with the subliminal message "Devil" appearing for a split second. This heavy-handed political message was at odds with the rest of the film, though, which couldn't be taken seriously at all. In the DVD extras the movie is referred to as a horror spoof, but that would imply that there's some humor in the script, which there's not. So, neither serious film nor spoof, this film is just a string of violent cameos of the residents of Topeka and Kansas City, where the film was made. If you don't live there, you don't need to see it.