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DVD Review

DVD cover

Reeker 2: No Man's Land


Starring: Stephen Martines, Valerie Cruz, Mircea Mchroe and Desmond Askew
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 06 October 2008

Three bank robbers escape from the city to Death Valley with the cash. They stop at the 6 Corners Travel Stop where the ex-girlfriend of one is waitressing. He tries to persuade her to go with them but she refuses. Coincidentally, the sheriff and deputy are also there. It's the sheriff's last day on the job, and he has been living a lie for many years - basking in the glory of apparently having single-handedly arrested the notorious Death Valley Killer and sent him to the gas chamber years before. But he's no hero, as the others discover when a shoot-out ensues. When the police call for back-up they find that all communications are down. The deputy goes in search of help as brutally mutilated bodies are discovered, and one of the robbers tries to escape with the cash. Both come up against invisible barriers keeping them in the general area. Then a lightening quick supernatural killer arrives to take them out - and the sheriff thinks he recognises the face...

This has a lot of similarities to the original Reeker. It would be easy to dismiss this as a rehash, but in truth Reeker 2 is very much a game of two halves - or more succinctly four quarters. The early part of the film goes back to tell the origins of the killer - or at least from the point of the last death up until his recompense in the gas chamber. Although it's pretty redundant as far as the rest of the movie is concerned, it is fairly interesting and entertaining. The middle half is so bland and predictable that you could be forgiven for giving up on the whole thing and going down the pub.

The last quarter is where the script comes into its own. From the point that the barrier prevents them leaving, the characters have more purpose. The dialogue between two of the bank robbers, when one loses the top of his head in an accident, is hilarious and, importantly, played straight.

The visual effects displaying the jerky movements of the Reeker are very well-handled, preventing you seeing it too closely, which can take away its effectiveness. I like the idea of the Reeker being a representative of Death, sent to dispatch those that should have died by other means - and existing halfway between life and death. It's different to The Final Destination, wherein Death catches up with them afterward. Here it all takes place at the same time - in a single moment, and it feels like a genuine revelation to see how the relevant characters die more naturalistically.

Extras include a Director's Commentary, the Making of Reeker, and Trailers.

If more time had been spent polishing the hackneyed middle section, this film might have felt much tighter and progressive. Still, it has its moments. If the Reeker character can be bought by a major film studio its future as a franchise would be assured. Now there's a scary thought.


Ty Power

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