The production of the long-awaited sequel to Eli Roth's 2003 horror hit "Cabin Fever" was a long and over-complicated one, in which most of the juicy details have since been kept under wraps. We know not of exactly went on in the editing room that would make director Ti West want to disown the film, although the fact that he would want to do that in the first place certainly tells you something. West blames it on studio re-cuts, re-shoots, re-edits, and re-takes to the point where it wasn't even his movie anymore. He seems to believe that his style had been reversed-injected back into a stylistic needle and put somewhere in storage. He probably still has his cut of the film lying around somewhere, although as of now he doesn't seem to have any intention of releasing it to the public. So what we get is "Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever", a gruesome horror-comedy that was dumped straight-to-video, yet still manages to be worth its weight in both gore and demented laughter. The masses will be divided into two groups; those who hate the sequel and those who are fine with it. Either way, you've got to have respect for Mr. West and understand that - like it or not - he isn't truly responsible for the finished product.
Picking up where "Cabin Fever" left off, a now visually mutilated Paul (Ryder Strong) awakens from the backwoods stream that would be his tomb and makes his way to the nearest road. The second he stumbles onto the pavement, he is squashed by a school bus. Who else to pick up the mess than everyone's favorite party animal policeman, deputy Winston (Giuseppe Andrews). At first, he's oblivious to whose remains he is examining, although in time, he comes to the realization that it was indeed Paul's, and that the flesh-eating virus from the first film is spreading by the water that the blood of Paul and others has now contaminated. And that very water is being bottled up, packaged, and sent to various buildings of interest. In particular, a new shipment makes its way to a nearby high school, where the prom is just a night away from commencing. It takes a little bit for Winston to even realize what's going on, but once he does, he tries to set things right.
The characters (aside from Winston) consist of a few unlikely high school outcasts and snobs. Let's see: there's Nick (Noah Segen), a nerd who has the potential to be hip, his best friend Alex (Rusty Kelley), his crush Cassie (Alexi Wasser), and other mixed assortments of high school clichés. The first act is the students preparing for the prom, the second involves them attending it and the third act is all about the quarantine of the building and the blood-soaked dance-floor. Everyone's drinking the infected water, since it's in the punch and it's in the aforementioned water bottles that were just delivered to the school. This means that everyone - even the heroes - get a taste of the virus. Nick has to cut off his arm, his girl gets a nasty number on her back, and Alex's penis oozes with yellow puss (in what is, undeniably, the film's grossest scene). This is because earlier, he got a blowjob from a girl who was already semi-infected; in this sense, the sequel brings back the STD cautionary tale aspect of the original.
I think it's safe to say that most people didn't expect much from "Cabin Fever 2", but I also think it's pretty safe to say that a lot of those people got more than they could have asked for. The film is fun - albeit uneven and untrue to the director's vision - and that's really what counts when it comes to these films, right? There's some really over-the-top and disgusting gore scenes, lots of projectile vomiting, and even the guy in the bunny suit from the first film makes an appearance (and they almost unmask him, maybe next time). I can't call it good, nor can I say that it really works, but it has a nice if inconsistent flow and charm to it. But that all depends on how twisted your idea of "charm" is. I'll give you a test: if you simply cringe at the scene in which Alex is losing his fingernails and decides to literally glue them back on, you won't want to watch the film in its entirety. But if you can manage to both laugh and cringe at the same time like I did in that particular scene, then I think you're ready for it. It's no "Cabin Fever", but my advice is to forget all that and - as good ol' deputy Winston would put it - "just enjoy the party, man."
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