Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever has smegma in it. That's all you need to know about it to know whether or not you're going to like it. No one puts smegma into a movie because it's an utterly disgusting body secretion. But not only does Cabin Fever 2 features a close up shot of a penis oozing blood-tinged white pus, that shot is arguably not the most offensive aspect of the movie. And yet I was oddly captivated by the disastrous sequel, which is a rarity for a movie I can summon no excuses for.

It's fitting that Cabin Fever 2 had it's North American premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Austin, TX, as it's likely to play there again in 10 years. See, the Drafthouse has a weekly event called Weird Wednesday that shows off film oddities from all over the world, and believe me, Cabin Fever 2 is an oddity. It's a gross-out, splatter-happy, straight-to-video worthy sequel to a film that was itself a gross-out and splatter-happy offering, albeit one that was worthy of a theatrical release. But calling it an oddity is not necessarily a condemnation on my end.

Now don't get me wrong, I want to make it perfectly clear that Cabin Fever 2 is a bad movie. However, it's a stitched-together mess that can be enjoyed if you're the kind of person who likes staring at grotesque medical abnormalities like kittens born with three eyes, children born with eight arms, and other affronts to nature that shouldn't exist. For those who don't track the production and release status of films that are unnecessary sequels to films a good number of people find insufferable, there has been an ongoing struggle between CF2's director and the film's 16 producers that culminated with director-for-hire Ti West disowning the film outright. What now exists is a studio's attempt to pick West's footage clean and assemble a wholly different monster from its bones. I hesitate to even name Ti West as the director of Cabin Fever 2, because it's quite clear that very little of West's meticulous, slow-burn style established in The Roost and Trigger Man is present in this bloody, bloody mess.

So, yes, Cabin Fever 2 is a Frankenstein monster, but it's also mildly amusing to stare at the stitches that oh-so-loosely hold the film together as this plot-less abomination lumbers from one truly vulgar recess to the next. I am not exaggerating when I say there are things in CF2 that I never expected to see on film. Ever. And yet, at times, they're not as offensive and mean-spirited as they could be. For example, a scene in which an obese woman undresses to jump into a pool is shot wide and at a great distance. Cheaper films (a strange concept considering just how bottom-of-the-barrel cheap Cabin Fever 2 is) would have done a tight close up of her many rolls unfolding from beneath her underwear, but we don't see any of it. Visually, it's a faraway blob and the audiences repulsion to what she's doing and what we know she's about to do is implied, not shown.

Then again, a not-as-trashy-as-it-could-be moment like that seems like high art compared to some of the gags this movie forces on the audience. Every bodily fluid you can imagine ends up not only on screen, but on someone's face. Smegma may be the most revolting of all of them, but it's so revolting that I almost want to give the film a half-hearted golf clap for throwing it in there. It's ghastly material, but these questionable quality are in such abundant quantities, that there's not a serious bone in its farcical body.

As for why Cabin Fever 2's plot hasn't been mentioned yet, well, it's because Cabin Fever 2 has no plot. A small town's water supply is infected with the flesh eating virus from Eli Roth's first film and then the whole town starts to, literally, fall apart. But the script is barely cohesive. It has Rider Strong reprising his role from the first film, same goes for Giuseppe Andrews as the party-loving hillbilly Deputy Winston, and there's a ton of high schoolers at the prom ready to melt away, but none of their story lines intersect in any kind of a meaningful way.

I have no idea what Winston's role in the movie was supposed to accomplish outside of comic relief. The people at the prom are uniformly forgettable outside of their body deformities, something the film's producers inexplicably felt was a great well to return to over and over again. The only memorable actor out of all of them is Noah Segan, the only clear 'lead' in the jumble of characters and plot threads, and even than that's mainly just because he does a good enough job to make me forget how painful watching Deadgirl is.

The only people Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever can and should be recommended to are those who have no standards for their horror films. They require no scares, no plots, and no memorable characters. All they want is the splat and the get and the tit, and in that regard, Cabin Fever 2 delivers as expected. But it's still an awful, Frankenbaby of a movie-film that'll only ever be tracked down because of how mismatched, over-the-top, not-a-care-in-the-world disgraceful it is.

categories Reviews, Horror