If you enjoyed Robert Hall’s 2009 genre effort, Laid to Rest, chances are high you’ll enjoy his direct follow-up, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2. It’s blatantly obvious that Hall is out to create a contemporary menace that will live on for decades; his own personal Freddy Krueger, or Jason Voorhees (if you will) and he’s clearly having a lot of fun doing so. For the record, he really is making noteworthy strides toward establishing a villain with longevity.
Like the original Laid to Rest, Chromeskull is all over the place in regards to the story itself. The setup gives a little back-plot, but it’s very, very little. Bacally, we see that Chromeskull had his ass kicked, and face melted grotesquely, only to be grafted up, and nursed to recovery. During the grafting scene we get to witness some high quality practical effects put to work, and it’s deeply appreciated and a tad disturbing.
After the film’s initial intro, it’s back to the expected grindstone. Chromeskull makes his recovery, dons his shiny mask and makes it mison to continue slicing and dicing his way through young attractive women and anyone else unfortunate enough to cross his path. However, there’s some strange buness in this one, as it starts to borrow from the Saw series, and eventually strays down an extremely random path.
I told you that Chromeskull is nursed to recovery, and if you were really paying attention you probably thought to yourself by who? Well, Chromeskull, somewhere along the way, lined up a whole roster of employees who work for him in varying capacities. Some make weapons. Some clean up loose ends. Some target future victims. It’s all very strange, and the incluon of these new asstants feels a lot like the direction that the aforementioned Saw series began to take.
I’m by no means calling this a Saw rip-off, as that is most definitely not the case. What I am saying, is that once again, Chromeskull has found himself stuck in the middle of a murky script that tries to build upon the story of our titular antagonist, but stumbles over itself repeatedly, and again leaves more questions than answers. Why is Chromeskull still hung up with coffins (at one point it seems a key character is about to explain it, but we viewers aren’t privy to that revelation)? Where did this slew of insane asstants come from and what the hell is it in it for them other than money (a comment is made about being paid by Chromeskull during the film)?
At the end of the day, it's up to me to keep it real and shoot you straight: Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, is absolutely ludicrous, and Robert Hall knows it. It’s also a lot of fun, extremely gory and inventive in terms of its butchery. There are a handful of really fun death scenes in this follow up, and while I’m not certain I can say it’s more creative than the first, I can say it’s on par, and it’s bloody fun.
If the brutality of Laid to Rest won you over, the continued onslaught presented in, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 will keep you feeling fully gratified. If you were hoping for some heavy technical improvements to the tale itself, you won’t find them; in fact, after viewing this flick, you’ll find far more questions gestating upstairs than answers unraveling onscreen.