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March 30, 2012

Movie Review: Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

Directed by Robert Hall

Starring Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker and Mimi Michaels.

“Chromeskull” is the sequel to the 2009 surprise hit “Laid to Rest”, where we were introduced to this latest and greatest masked serial killer of the silver screen. And this movie picks up exactly where the first one left off. Chromeskull is rescued by his secret team and whisked away from the bloody crime scene, barely alive, his face completely torn off. Taken back to his secret facility hidden within an old chroming factory, he is patched up and soon on the mend, and eager to get back to his bloody work of stalking hapless victims, slashing them to pieces with his ultra-badass knives and recording it all for posterity with his shoulder-mounted video-cam.

Chromeskull's number one assistant, Preston (Brian Austin Green) is forced to tie up the loose ends in the wake of his boss's most recent rampage. As his work progresses, Preston finds he revels in the act of hacking and slashing so much that he hatches a plan to take over as the new Chromeskull himself. This leads to an eventual showdown between the two which ends in a bloody mess and Preston minus his head. As the cops close in on him, Chromeskull must fight off the police and some pesky kids if he is ever to escape.....and hopefully make Chromeskull 3.

This movie was a 50/50 split for me. A lot of things were left unexplained, no back story and no word on the nature of the “secret organization” that is there to support Chromeskull's murderous exploits. Who were those people, and how did they come about getting a job like that? That sort of frustrated me. As for a story-line, well.....there is none. You've got Chromeskull and his rogue assistant tearing everyone they can get their hands on to pieces and they're being tracked down by what has to be the most brain-dead group of keystone cops ever. That pretty much sums up the plot, but lets be perfectly honest, does anyone really watch a slasher flick for a good plot? No sir, they do not. They watch a slasher film for one reason, the voyeuristic thrill of viewing hot young girls turned to hamburger by totally bad-ass serial killers. And in that respect, Chromeskull delivers the gruesome goods, in spades!

Each kill scene is a true work of art. Brutal, bloody and graphic, the accompanying sound effects taking each scene over the top. With the camera lingering on the carnage for just that few extra seconds that most other movies of its kind don't bother to do, leaving a lasting impression and a bad taste in your mouth. ( I will admit, I found myself wincing during more then one of these scenes) The make-up effects were truly impressive and they made this movie worth watching.

The other high point of this movie is Brian Austin Green's performance as Preston, Chromeskull's blood-thirsty protege. He basically hijacked this film and made it his bitch. I just couldn't get over the fact that this was the same goofy teenager from Beverly Hills 90210, disemboweling teenagers with gritty gusto. Well done Brian Austin Green. (Too bad you had to go and get your head slashed off, I'd of loved to have seen you in the next sequel.)

I'm usually pretty hard on masked-slasher flicks, but with the gore level ratcheted up in this one it was actually a pretty fun watch. In spite of its many shortcomings, Chromeskull has a lot going for it. Slasher fans and gore-hounds alike should find what their looking for here. Two deliciously menacing villains and plenty of wretchedly stylish violence. Pop some popcorn and enjoy.

7 out of 10 Reviewed by KennyB

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