Review: 976-EVIL 2

I haven’t seen the original, but from what I gather, it’s about an evil psychic hot-line which grants people the knowledge and power to make their dreams come true, but at a horrible cost.

In this sequel, the dean of a community college is given the power of astral projection, which he uses to kill people.

The dean’s motivation is kind of confusing.  In the opening scene, he uses his powers to kill a girl in the shower room (which is a beautifully executed ’80s slasher movie sequence, by the way).  Then, he uses his astral projection powers to kill the witnesses, or anyone trying to stop him, while locked away in his jail cell.

Because his actions were so practical (only killing people that got in his way) the dean wasn’t all the threatening.  He’s not a maniacal slasher that can kill anyone at any moment, he’s just a guy to be avoided.

976-EVIL 2‘s horror sequences aren’t scary.  Much like Prom Night 2, 976 takes the weirdness of Nightmare on Elm Street, but lacks the creepy villain to ground it and make it feel genuinely dangerous.  Instead, we’re just left with a prankster ghost who makes refrigerator doors open menacingly.  ‘Horror’ isn’t just a dangerous situation, it’s the sense of dread that accompanies it.

There are some nice, creative sequences, though.  The aforementioned shower-chase scene is one, and there is also a very cleaver mash-up of Night of the Living Dead and It’s a Wonderful Life.  Again, neither scene is horrific, but they do look good, and display a lot more effort than normally goes into to this kind of movie.

The dashing hero of the film is a leather-clad biker named Spike.  I take it he was in the first movie as well.  He isn’t very interesting, though he’s slightly amusing as a walking cliche to be laughed at.  I think they could have replaced him with a cowboy who rode a horse all over town and he would have fit into the rest of the movie just as well as leather-biker-man does.

Joining Spike in his war against the dean is Robin, the blond screamer that also adds nothing in particular to the story.

976-EVIL 2 is a run-of-the-mill, direct-to-video horror movie sequel.  It has a few creative touches, and is competently produced, acted, and directed.  On the other hand, it isn’t scary at all.  The villain is dull and the underlying evil is mostly disregarded.

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