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Dawn of the Dead, Child’s Play 2, Subspecies III: Bloodstone, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, and Robocop 2
Horror Bulletin Weekly Newsletter #246
This week, we’ll continue our “September of Sequels” theme with a bunch of movies whose names end with a number. 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead” is the second in George Romero’s original undead films. Then we’ll catch up with Freddy in his fourth outing, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” from 1998. After a short film, we’ll continue with “Child’s Play 2” from 1990 and “Bloodstone: Subspecies II” from 1993. Surprisingly, for sequels, we thought most of these were really good.
In addition, for our bonus films this week, we also reviewed:
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Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993)
Robocop 2 (1990)
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Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Directed by George A. Romero
Written by George A. Romero
Stars David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross
Run Time: 2 Hours, 7 Minutes
Spoiler-free judgment zone
This was an excellent shuffling zombie movie with lots of action, gore, and characters you care about. The setting, mainly in the mall, is fun too. It made us nostalgic for the days when malls were more of a thing, with a better variety of store types in them. We’d rank it as the tops of the original trilogy.
A news crew watches some experts arguing about the current situation on the news. They’re arguing about the dead rising from the ground after the first film, “Night of the Living Dead.” The man on the TV explains all the rules of zombies. The people behind the cameras comment on the authorities’ mishandling of the situation. There’s an argument with the producer, and the news people all walk off the job. Martial law has been declared, and things are falling apart quickly. Stephen comes in and tells Fran to meet him on the roof at nine; he’ll bring the helicopter.
Meanwhile, the mostly racist police are surrounding an apartment building full of minority criminals, and they’re eager to shoot a lot of them. The Puerto Ricans shoot first, and it’s a bloody mess. Roger is with the cops, and he helps them raid the place. Roger ends up shooting one of his own bloodthirsty men to stop him. There are undead in the apartment as well. It’s very traumatizing for Roger, who leaves and meets up with Peter, another cop. Roger tells Peter about his friend with the helicopter. An old priest comes in and talks about the dead in the next room. What they see next convinces them to run.
Stephen and Fran refuel the helicopter and run into armed men. Roger and Peter arrive and scare away the looters. The four fly away. Peter’s a black man, and there’s some mild tension there right from the start. They fly over the army and rednecks in big hunting parties. They stop for more fuel and run into more of the undead. We see that Stephen’s not a very good shot.
Without anything better in mind, they land on the roof of a shopping mall. From the skylight, it looks like there are only a few dead inside. They barricade themselves into the mall offices and eat survival rations for the night. Peter suggests that they can clear out the entire mall and have access to everything downstairs. They turn on the lights, music, fountains, escalators, and the comical “shopper zombies” get all confused.
Peter and Roger break into a Penney’s and go “shopping.” They have a load of fun and then load up a wheelbarrow with supplies. Meanwhile, Stephen finally manages to kill a zombie. They use the fact that some stores have two levels to their advantage. While they’re doing their thing, Fran tries to defend herself against the littlest, weakest zombie ever– a Hari Krishna with his tambourine. The guys get back just in time to rescue her.
Stephen mentions that Fran is pregnant. The couple talks about whether an abortion is a good idea or not. Fran says that the bright and pretty mall is a kind of prison too. “We've got everything we need right here.” She wants to learn how to fly the helicopter, just in case.
We cut to zombies shambling through the things they did in real life; they act out of habit. Roger and Peter drive semi trucks to block the mall’s entryways. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but they get the job done. Roger gets a close call and cracks up a bit, but Peter picks him up right away. Roger gets sloppy, and he gets bit.
They bring Roger inside and bandage him up, and he’s in a lot of pain. Peter and Stephen drop down into the hunting store for guns and ammunition. Then, they take one of the “prize” cars for a ride, shooting as they drive through the place. They lock the mall doors from the inside. It doesn’t take long to hunt down and kill all the zombies inside the mall. Then it’s clean-up time. Yuck!
Fran says that Roger’s leg infection is getting worse. Peter says he’s seen lots of guys get bitten, and none lasted more than three days. They all know what’s going to happen.
They guys make a fake wall to hide the staircase to where they sleep. Just in case a human patrol comes through, they’ll never even know those rooms are there.
Then we get a “shopping for free in the mall” montage. Peter says, “When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth.” They’re still outside, pawing at the windows, trying to get in, but they can’t.
Roger takes a turn for the worse. He knows what’s coming as much as the rest of them and asks Peter to “take care of me when I go. I’m gonna try not to come back.” He soon dies, and he does, in fact, come back. Peter takes care of it as promised.
Months pass, and Fran is looking more and more pregnant. The news broadcasts end and Stephen starts to lose hope and get antsy.
Stephen teaches Fran how to fly the copter, but some raiders spot the helicopter in the air and follow it to the mall, planning to get in. The well-armed raider army gets ready for battle.
The raiders have to fight all the zombies first, and there are a lot of them out there. Inside, Stephen and Peter lock up all the stores so it’ll look like they were never there. The men outside break open the big doors, which also lets the zombies inside. Stephen says the mall “is ours” and starts shooting at the raiders, tipping them off that the mall isn’t empty.
Peter climbs into their hiding place, but one of the raiders sees them go in. Stephen gets trapped in an elevator shaft and is shot in the arm. The raiders have what they came for and ride out, leaving a mess behind them. Stephen gets bitten before Peter can get to him.
Fran wants to run to Stephen, but Peter says it’s better to just wait and see. We see later that Stephen is a zombie now too. Since zombies act on instinct, he makes his way back to the hideout, and others follow him.
Peter sees them coming and tells Fran to go up to the copter and get away from here. He doesn’t want to go along. Peter shoots Stephen. Peter puts his gun to his own head to kill himself, but then changes his mind and runs to the copter. Fran has almost taken off, but she waits for him. They don’t have much fuel, but it’s better than staying here…
This, in my opinion, was the best of the original trilogy. Forget the zombies, who wouldn’t want to live in a mall?
Remember malls? When it came out, I thought it was just fascinating to see how the inside of a mall worked with the controls and everything. This is exactly what malls of the 70s and 80s looked like.
As the remake showed us, this whole thing gets a lot harder when the zombies aren’t slow. The individual zombies in this one aren’t particularly tough or scary, they’re just shambling dead folk. There’s a lot of gore, but the zombies are mostly just people painted blue. It’s got the expected humor and social satire, but it’s living in the mall that really sells this one.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1998)
Directed by Renny Harlin
Written by Wes Craven, William Kotzwinkle, Brian Helgeland
Stars Robert Englund, Rodney Eastman, John Beckman
Run Time: 1 Hour, 33 Minutes
Spoiler-free judgment zone:
This continues with the surviving Dream Warriors from the last film and expands on more of the dream-fighting and dream-sharing idea. This one has a steady body count as Freddy kills his way through a bunch of youngsters. All in all, it’s on about the same level as part 3.
We open at Freddy's house. Kirsten goes inside, and strange things start happening. The house is all torn up and looks very haunted. Through a series of unfortunate events, she winds up in the basement of an old factory. She calls for Joey and Kinkaid to come help her, and they’re both pulled into her dream as well. “It’s Freddy. He’s here. He's coming back for us!” The two boys say Freddy is dead; they killed him in the previous film. In the dream, a giant dog bites her, and all three teens wake up.
All the teenagers go to school, and we get to meet some of the characters. Alice has a crush on Dan. Rick and Kristen are a couple. Kincaid and Joey warn Kristen not to go into dreams anymore; they might stir things up.
After school, we see that Alice and Rick don’t have a great family life. Kincaid talks to his dog, Jason, and nods off. He wakes up in the junkyard where Freddy’s bones were burned. There’s a flaming earthquake, and Freddy’s bones reassemble. He’s back, and Kincaid is dead. Joey also goes to sleep and sees a mermaid in his waterbed. Freddy jumps out, and soon it’s Joey inside the waterbed.
Kristen goes to school and knows what happened when Kincaid and Joey don’t show up. Kristen, Alice, Rick, and Dan go to Freddy’s old house. Kristen’s mother interrupts and takes Kristen home before dosing her with sleeping pills. Kristen dreams of herself at the beach until Freddy shows up as a shark. She soon finds herself in Freddy’s basement again. Kristen pulls Alice into her nightmare too. Freddy kills Kristen, but first, Kristen gives Alice her dream power.
Alice talks to Sheila, the math wiz and inventor stereotype with asthma. Sheila nods off during a big exam. Freddy appears and kisses her– he sucks her dry. Back in class, she dies of an asthma attack.
Dan and Alice talk about Freddy; he doesn’t believe her story. Rick tells Dan their town's history isn’t exactly safe for teenagers. Alice sits through a really boring class lecture on dreams. Rick goes to sleep in the restroom and ends up in Freddy’s world. Rick is killed in a ninja battle against the invisible Freddy.
Dan and Deb try to console Alice, who’s now lost nearly everybody she knows. They come to the conclusion that Alice changes a little after each of her friends’ deaths. Now she can work the nunchucks just like Rick could.
That night, Alice and Dan go to Debbie’s house, but Deb has turned into a giant bug in her dreams. Except Alice and Dan are stuck in a dreamy time loop where they can’t get anywhere. Meanwhile, Freddy kills Debbie in a roach motel. Alice looks at Dan and says, “I’ve collected, like the others.”
Dan gets hurt in a car wreck and is sedated for surgery. Alice goes through all her new abilities, and we get a “getting ready for dream combat” montage before taking some sleeping pills. The doctors wake Dan up, leaving Alice alone with Freddy.
Alice uses karate against Freddy, but he laughs it off. “You’ve got their power, but I’ve got their souls.” She blows a hole through Freddy with Sheila’s invention. “I am eternal,” he boasts. Alice holds up a mirror for Freddy to see himself, and all the souls he’s eaten tear their way out of him. Freddy dies, and all the souls escape.
Out in the real world, Dan and Alice talk. She sees Freddy’s reflection in the fountain– is it all over for him?
It continues on where part 3 left off, with the Dream Warriors still active, at least for as long as they live. This one expands on the idea of dream magic by giving Alice completely different powers.
They really drop like flies in this one– one dead teen after another. Robert England got top billing this time, and he’s hammier than ever
Short Film: Caught (2023)
Directed by Douglas Sullivan
Written by Douglas Sullivan
Stars Matt O’Leary, Jessica Cook, Decker Ordoyne
Run Time: 1 Hour,
Carter’s mom tells him that he has to be really quiet, and he laughs, not the least bit quiet. She tells him to hide under the bed and then turn out the lights. Mom’s clearly not playing a game, and Dad looks really serious as well when he comes in.
Then they hear growling outside…
Telling a kid to be quiet is like telling a cat to “sit” it’s just impossible. Actually, kids just make everything more difficult. If you expect you’ll be living in a horror film, you probably just shouldn’t have them.
This is well filmed, looks great, and has a creature you wouldn’t expect. Very nice!
Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993)
Directed by Ted Nicolaou
Written by Charles Band, Ted Nicolaou
Stars Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Melanie Shatner
Run Time: 1 Hour, 26 Minutes
Spoiler-free judgment zone:
This was a good sequel on par with the first one, maybe even a little better. The practical effects and makeup are very good, with lots of gore and gross-outs. It leaves us well set up for the third film, which was filmed simultaneously.
We get a quick voiceover recapping the first film. Radu bit the girl but ended up getting staked in the end and decapitated. We zoom in on Radu’s head; his little demon friends drag it over to his body, and then they pull the stake out. His head grows tendrils and connects it to his body. He stands up, looking pretty healthy, considering. He then opens his brother Stefan’s coffin and stakes him to take the bloodstone. The sun comes up before he can stake Michelle, though.
Night eventually comes, and Michelle looks at what’s left of Stefan. She pulls his stake out, but nothing happens. She pries the bloodstone out of his cold, dead fingers and then hides before Radu can show up. When he does, he’s not happy.
Michelle runs back to her cabin and gets clothes and a passport. She can only barely see her reflection in the mirror, so that might be a problem. She then runs to the train station and boards one. We see that Radu is not far behind. She gets off in Bucharest, where she calls Becky back home, who has no idea what’s going on but agrees to come help.
Radu goes to see his mother, who looks like the Cryptkeeper. He gives her a dagger with his father’s blood on it. She’s pleased until he admits that he’s lost the bloodstone. She does a spell and gives him instructions on how to be victorious.
Michelle wakes up at sunrise and has to hide in the motel’s bathroom to avoid the sunlight. Housekeeping comes in and opens the window wide before getting to work. They find what looks like a dead woman in the bathtub.
The police inspector arrives and immediately notices the bite marks on her legs. They carry her away in a body bag. He also finds the bloodstone. She wakes up in the truck, and mayhem ensues. She breaks into an antique shop and finds a glass coffin to sleep in.
Sometime the next day, Becky, Michelle’s sister, arrives. She goes to the hotel, and the police come to tell her that her sister was found unconscious and then vanished. Lt. Marin and Mel from the embassy come to question her. They give her the stone, but she doesn’t know what it is.
Night falls, and Michelle starts stalking a man. She follows him to a loud goth dance club. She sprouts fangs but can’t bring herself to bite the guy. She goes back to her glass coffin and cries herself to sleep.
Becky and Mel go to interview an old professor, Popescu, about MIchelle’s research project. They investigate an old vampire legend. They show him the bloodstone, but he says that doesn’t know what it could be. He volunteers to go with them to the monastery where Michelle and her friends were last seen.
They go see the legendary home of the king of vampires. The descendants of old Count Vladislavs still own the castle and grounds, but he doesn’t remember their names. They find a fresh grave. Popescu leads them down into the basement of the castle. Mel complains that it’s getting late and they should head back. They go upstairs, and all the torches are already lit. Radu wakes up and comes right to them. He tells them to leave, and they do; nothing further.
He does follow them into town. Becky goes to her hotel as Michelle watches from the shadows. Becky catches up and demands to know what’s going on. Michelle takes the bloodstone back from Becky and takes off again. Michelle drinks from the bloodstone, which solves her hunger problem. Radu shows up, makes a speech, and takes the stone.
Radu takes the bloodstone to his Mummy. He complains about Michelle’s blood, polluted by his “good” brother.
Becky tells Marin and Mel about her meeting with Michelle. Popescu tells them the story of King Vlad and the Bloodstone. Lt. Marin says the story of Dracula is a myth. He shows them a picture of the bloodstone. Mel doesn’t believe any of it, but Becky does.
Michelle returns to the dance club and picks up the guy she abandoned the previous night. She bites him but gags on the blood. She gets over it real fast and finishes him off. Meanwhile, Radu pays a visit to Becky, who is asleep in her room. He’s about to bite her when the phone rings; it’s Michelle begging for help again.
Becky finds Michelle, who is covered in the dancer’s blood. It’s about dawn, and Radu shows up. Michelle doesn’t want to die, so she agrees to go with him for the day. They find a tomb, and they both go to sleep.
Becky goes back to Popescu and updates both him and Mel about Radu. Popescu has all the tools a vampire hunter would need. Mel bows out, thinking it’s all insane. Popescu and Becky go into that same tomb. They find the unhappy couple asleep inside.
Popescu falls over. Mummy has stabbed him from behind. The old woman cackles maniacally. Night falls, and Michelle eventually wakes up to hear Radu and Mummy tormenting Becky. Radu offers to share Becky’s blood with Michelle, and Michelle is tempted. Instead, Michelle stabs him in the face with a knife and sets Mummy on fire.
Radu gets up and stabs his shadow with the knife; the shadow then turns into his real hand, so she stabs him several more times, including once right through the skull. He falls down.
Michelle releases Becky and Becky stakes Radu. That stops him. The two girls run outside, but it’s still daylight, so Michelle can’t leave. Michelle backs herself down the hallways until Mummy gets her again…
Radu is just as much fun as he was in the previous film; I love how his shadow behaves. Still, if he wouldd have been more proactive rather than just lurking all over town, he’d have gotten what he wanted… several different times.
This was filmed simultaneously with part III, so a cliffhanger ending was to be expected. Other than that, it’s quite good.
Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Directed by John Lafia
Written by Don Mancini
Stars Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham
Run Time: 1 Hour, 24 Minutes
Spoiler Free Judgement Zone:
Despite the police and his mother knowing about Chucky at the end of the last movie, Andy is on his own again with no one believing him. It’s fast-moving and violent, with a lot of dark humor and a higher body count than the first film. They put a lot of money into the effects and sets and stepped things up a bit with Chucky’s expressions. If you liked the first Child’s Play, you’ll probably enjoy this.
We open on the burned, melted remains of what’s left of Chucky from the first film as the credits roll. The skin is replaced, new limbs are added, and he’s spray-painted with more freckles. We cut to a limousine driving to the “Good Guys” factory. Mr. Sullivan gets out, and the company is doing damage control over the story that got out about their murderous toy. They’ve done a quality control check on the doll, and it’s all come up normal. Except when the technician puts the eyes in, he gets shocked and blown out a window.
Meanwhile, Andy’s in therapy. His mother’s been locked away in an institution, and he explains all about Charles Lee Ray to his social worker. Grace, the foster child coordinator, wants to send Andy to live with Phil and Joanne Simpson. On the way home, they’re almost run over by a Good Guys truck.
Andy meets Kyle, another foster kid in the home. She’s expecting to be thrown out at any time. Andy finds a Good Guy doll in the closet, and he panics, but Joanne apologizes and says she will get rid of “Tommy.”
Meanwhile, the Good Guys lawyer, Mattson, takes the Chucky doll out to his car to dispose of. Chucky calls Grace to find out about Andy posing as “Uncle Charles.” Chucky then wakes up, makes Mattson drive him near the Simpsons’ house, and then kills Mattson. Chucky trades places with “Tommy” the doll whom he buries in the backyard.
Chucky has Andy tied to the bed, and they’re gonna play “Hide the Soul.” Then Kyle comes in and unties him. Phil and Joanne come in, and they think Kyle tied him up. Phil throws the doll into the basement and locks the door. Chucky’s nose is bleeding, so he’s turning human again. “If I don’t get out of this body, I’m screwed.”
Chucky follows Andy to his first day at the new school. The teacher gets mad at Andy and locks Chucky in the toy closet. Andy climbs out the window, and then Chucky kills the teacher.
Phil isn’t pleased with Andy’s behavior. The doll is still lying at the bottom of the stairs where he left him last night. Phil and Joanne argue about Andy needing more help than they can offer. That night, Andy goes downstairs with an electric knife to dismember Chucky, but Chucky’s not there anymore.
Andy and Chucky fight for a bit until Phil catches Andy with a knife and gets the wrong idea. That doesn’t go anywhere because Chucky kills Phil. Joanne and Kyle soon rush in and find Phil, dead, and they get the wrong idea about Andy.
Grace comes to pick up Andy; he’ll be going to stay at the center for a while. Kyle finds the Chucky doll and takes him out to the trash can. She goes outside and finds the remains of “Tommy” in the dirt. If that’s Tommy, who has Andy been playing with? She looks in the trash again, and he’s gone. Kyle goes inside to find Joanne has been murdered as well.
Chucky attacks Kyle, and she sees him clearly. He makes her drive him to the orphanage center. The fire alarm sounds, and all the kids file outside. Grace confronts Kyle and Chucky, but she only lasts a few seconds.
Andy and Chucky get a lift in the back of a newspaper truck, but Kyle chases after them. They all stop and run inside the Good Guys factory. “No more Mister Good Guy,” Chucky quips as he recites his voodoo spell, and the clouds spring up outside the building. Chucky finishes the spell and then gets a nosebleed. It’s been too long; he’s stuck in the doll.
Kyle interrupts Chucky just simply killing Andy, and they run through the maze of Good Guys boxes. Eventually, they come to the factory portion of the building. Chucky chases them and loses a hand, which he replaces with a knife.
Kyle notices the machine that melts down the defective dolls. The technician arrives to fix one of the machines, and Chucky ensures the man gets a new set of plastic eyes. Chucky winds up in the furnace, “Andy! I was only playing!” When he comes out of the machine, he looks like a reject from “The Thing.”
Except he didn’t die. He cut off his own legs to avoid the machine. He attacks Andy one more time, but Andy dumps acid all over him. There’s nothing left of Chucky this time but a lump of plastic. Even now, he tries to get Kyle, who shoves an air hose into Chucky’s mouth until he explodes everywhere.
Kyle and Andy head home, wherever that is.
Chucky’s face is much more expressive this time than in the last film. There's a lot less explanation and development here and a lot more killing. Chucky’s a lot funnier in this one than in the original film, but it’s definitely not an all-out comedy the way some of the later movies are.
It’s not as original as the first one, but it’s still quite good.
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993)
Directed by David Price
Written by A L Katz, Gilbert Adler, Stephen King
Stars Terence Knox, Paul Scherrer, Ryan Bollman, Christie Clark
Run Time: 1 Hour, 32 Minutes
Spoiler-free judgment zone
It takes place right after the first movie, and they make more of an attempt to explain what’s going on and why. The acting is pretty bad, the CGI and effects aren’t very good, and the script is on the boring side. It’s not a very worthy sequel at all, a real step down.
A man and a cop walk down into a basement and find a bunch of rotten, dead bodies. This mass murder includes all the adults in town. There are a bunch of teenagers and children. The kids won’t say much more than they all saw the corn.
The doctor checks out the Children of the Corn before loading them all onto a bus for relocation. Mrs. Clark says the surviving children are all killers and that anyone who takes one of those kids into their house they’ll die next. Except for her, half the people seem to know the kids did it and shrug it off, and the other half seem to be in denial or oblivious that the kids did anything. Either way, there aren’t any repercussions for them.
Garrett and Danny argue in the car. Garrett has a new reporter job, but he has to take his annoying son, Danny, with him. They arrive in town just in time to hear the massacre has wound down. They missed the whole story. They run into Angela, who runs a B&B.
A news crew drives through a cornfield, and an evil-looking stormfront appears out of nowhere. The van won’t start, so they get out where the corn can tear them apart. The corn shoots them with lightning bolts and kills Bobby. The other guy is impaled by harpoon-corn.
Garrett asks Micah, one of the kids who survived the slaughter, what happened. Micah is also staying with Angela. “I saw the corn. The blood was for the corn.” Danny storms off until Lacey tells him the next bus out of town isn’t until Tuesday.
That night, Micah goes off into the corn, and the monster chases him, sending him through an awful CGI portal where he melts and is reassembled. Mordecai and Jebediah talk about “He Who Walks” and that a new leader is coming since the death of Isaac. Micah comes out of the corn, the new leader of the evil children. Danny runs into Micah and the group as they start heading home.
The next morning, Garret goes to see Mrs. Burke, who says, “Evil works through the children.” Danny goes to watch Casey take a shower in a waterfall. Mrs. Burke goes looking for her cat under her house, which is up on jacks for some reason, and she gets squashed flat. A man sitting in the church has an explosive nosebleed at Micah’s command.
Garrett goes to a wrecked and abandoned school. He runs into Frank Red Bear, who knows exactly why he’s there. He says that what happened is simply “Life out of balance. Those kids went apeshit and killed everybody.”
Elsewhere, Micah talks about abuse and fornication to Danny. Garrett talks to the town doctor about all the deaths, and the doctor is evasive and frightened. The doctor is soon murdered by a bunch of the kids.
Garrett then goes with Red Bear to see a magic rock with paintings that show that this has all happened long ago.
As Garrett and Angela have sex, Danny sneaks out to watch Micah and the kids do a blood ritual in the cornfield. He gets caught and volunteers to join up with the cultists. That doesn’t stop him from chasing and making out with Casey the next morning– until they roll onto someone’s dismembered hand.
Red Bear says that last year’s corn is infested, and the adults in town were planning on mixing it in with this year’s crop so they don’t lose out on the money. So “He Who Walks” is riled up because greed and nature are out of balance. The fungus dust is getting everywhere. It especially causes hallucinations in children. The sheriff shows up, pulls his gun, and ties them both up in the cornfield because he’s in on it too. He then sets the harvester to slowly advance on them and leaves. The two men manage to avoid the far-too-slow death machine.
The kids kidnap Angela for some reason. Garrett and Red Bear find the remains of the news crew from earlier.
There’s a town meeting and some debate as to whether they are lovable children or murderous monsters. As all the adults are inside arguing, the children chain the door shut and set the place on fire, killing them all, including the sheriff and the preacher.
In the cornfield, Danny and the cultists get ready to sacrifice Lacey and Angela. Suddenly, they see the monster coming out of the corn– no, it’s the big combine machine from earlier, now being driven by Red Bear and Garrett. Red Bear gets shot in the stomach with an arrow. Everyone runs off into the cornfield.
There is a monster out there, tunneling under the earth. Garrett, Angela, Danny, and Casey are soon captured, and Micah rants at them for a bit. Red Bear wakes up just long enough to put the harvester into gear, and it pulls Micah in. He morphs and mutates, and the monster leaves his body, leaving Micah to be chewed up in the machine.
Our heroes burn Red Bear’s body in the cornfield in the morning. We then get a scene where Red Bear’s ghost vanishes into the woods because that’s what Indians do when they die in mediocre 90s movies.
The CGI scene where Micah turns evil is cringeworthy awful. The whole thing with Mrs. Burke was just a play on the “Wizard of Oz” with her sister, Mrs. West.
The acting and directing are pretty bad throughout. Terence Knox has no chemistry with any of the other actors, and he’s not particularly interesting on his own. The story is pretty uninspired, simply killing people more or less at random.
It’s wildly formulaic and predictable. The plot is not inherently bad, but the boring acting and predictability really hurt this one.
RoboCop 2 (1990)
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Written by Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner, Frank Miller
Stars Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Belinda Bauer, Dan O’Herlihy
Run Time: 1 Hour, 56 Minutes
We open on a guy running through a parking garage who decides to steal a car. The security system electrocutes and kills the guy. It’s a commercial for “MagnaVolt: Lethal Response.” Then we hear about the Amazon’s nuclear power plant exploding, irradiating the rainforest. The Surgeon General was just gunned down while giving a press release on the deadliest drug known, “Nuke.” The Nuke Cult is run by Cain, the cult leader. Detroit’s Police are going on strike from OCP again.
We cut to downtown Detroit, where people are all strung out on Nuke. The crime problem is definitely not solved. We see all sorts of stuff, culminating in a gun shop robbery. They get a rocket launcher and all kinds of fun weapons. They hear an approaching siren, but the cops are on strike, aren’t they? They blow the cop car way up.
But that’s no ordinary cop inside. It’s— RoboCop! He shoots the crooks and then finds Nuke in their car. Robo wants to know where it’s made. We get a reminder of his three, only three, directives.
Somehow, RoboCop tracks down the factory and soon, the bullets start flying. We get a decent look at who we expect will be the main gang members this time around. Lewis arrives to clean up some of the leftover goons. One of the bad guys is a kid, and MurphyCop hesitates before shooting him. The kid shoots Robo in the head, and he gets some memories.
Later, Murphy stalks his former wife and son, who have no idea who he is. She sees him and is very concerned about the stalker; she’s suing OCP because of it. Then she finds out they used Murphy to make Robocop, so he might be dead but not buried and gone. The attorneys ask him if he thinks he’s human, and he denies it. Ellen Murphy comes in, and they talk. She wants him to remember, but he doesn’t really. He sends her away, “They made this to honor him. Your husband is dead.”
More commercials. A guy kills himself because he didn’t use OCP Communications.
The mayor comes to see Mr. Johnson, who’s the new number two at OCP. The company gave Detroit a huge loan that they couldn’t pay back. The Old Man wants to foreclose on the entire city. Johnson and Dr. Faxx have tried to create RoboCop 2, another prototype that kills its handlers— and itself. The second model pulls its own head off. The project isn’t going well. The problem is the police officer's brains inside. Dr. Faxx wants to find the proper kind of mind for the next one.
We cut to the police station, where we see Officer Duffy using Nuke. The child who shot RoboCop earlier is Hob, and he’s a very young drug dealer working for Cain. RoboCop watches Duffy give police plans to Hob, and Hob orders snipers. RoboCop interrogates Duffy to find out where Cain is.
RoboCop goes to a factory that looks suspiciously like the one in the first film. He finds the skeleton of Elvis Presley— and Cain’s men inside. RoboCop quickly finds Cain and the two talk. Hob shoots Robo’s arm off, and then they electrocute him. They chain him to a machine and tear him apart. Then they dump the pieces out at city hall.
RoboCop’s alive, but only barely. OCP doesn’t want to foot the bill for the repairs. Elsewhere, Hob takes Duffy to see Cain, who tortures him. Back at OCP, Dr. Faxx is evaluating death row inmates who might volunteer for RoboCop 2. The Old Man says that with Robocop out of the way, Detroit will fall into chaos, which is good for the foreclosure.
Faxx wants to update RoboCop’s directives since he’s become so destructive. They do repair RoboCop, but they reprogram him with a whole bunch of new directives. All the cops are happy that Murphy is back on the beat, even the Sarge. RoboCop is strangely friendly and human-sounding now.
A little-league team is robbing an electronics store. Rather than shoot the coach, RoboCop wants to talk. Lewis shoots him. Lewis apprehends the kids inside, but RoboCop is reading the dead man his rights. He then gives the team a lecture on nutrition as they escape. RoboCop is clearly messed up.
The police doctors find out that he’s got more than 250 new, conflicting directives, and that’s the problem. He goes outside and grabs a power line, frying his own circuits to do a reset. Now, he has… no directives. Feeling better, Murphy now wants to get Cain— and all the other cops are in on the action.
At the factory, Cain talks about new flavors of Nuke. Every cop in town assembles outside, and soon there’s a major shootout. Hob and Angie get away, but the lab explodes. Cain tries to run over Murphy with his truck, but that doesn’t go so well. Cain is captured, but he may not survive.
Dr. Faxx thinks that Cain is a perfect candidate for the RoboCop 2 android, and since he’s already addicted to Nuke, he’ll be easily controllable. Angie wants to rescue Cain, but Hob outsmarts her; he’s going to be the new boss. Faxx talks to Cain in the hospital, and she pulls the plug on his respirator.
The doctors remove Cain’s brain and put it into the RoboCop 2 body - a really big body. Elsewhere, we watch an awful TV telethon show to raise money to save Detroit. The mayor begs for cash on TV. Hob and Angie call in and offer to pay the city’s debts.
The Old Man at OCP wants to know who’s bailing out the city. If they can’t foreclose, their stock will plummet. Faxx says they have the surveillance capabilities to follow the mayor and see who’s behind the payment.
Faxx talks to Cain, now in the machine, and he sees the Nuke canister. She gives him orders to carry out before he can get the drug.
The mayor goes to meet with Hob for the money. The mayor laughs at Hob, who’s just a child. Hob says they can pay the 50 million. The mayor laughs, but it’s soon obvious that he’s deadly serious: he’s got an entire armored car full of cash. The mayor has few options.
Suddenly, RoboCop 2 shows up, and he’s ten times more violent than the original. Cain spots Angie and shows his digital face to her. Then he rips her head off. Only the Mayor gets away alive.
The first RoboCop arrives on the scene and finds all the bodies. He finds Hob in the back of the money-filled truck. He’s dying, but he tells Murphy what happened.
At the new OCP version of City Hall, The Old Man makes a speech, culminating in the reveal of his new city plan. The mayor comes in and agrees, but he doesn’t get very far. The Old Man reveals one more thing— RoboCop 2. The mayor recognizes it from the shootout but can’t say anything about it. He pulls out a tube of Nuke to make a point about ending the drug plague. However, RoboCop 2 sees the Nuke and has other ideas.
RoboCop 1 comes in, and everyone shouts at the same time. The two robocreations fight and have a very cartoony battle. This culminates in a rooftop battle— One pulls Two off the roof, and they fall hundreds of floors through the street into the maintenance area beneath.
The Old Man and Johnson watch the battle from the rooftop. “This could look bad for OCP,” he says. Lewis steals an OCP tank and rams Robo 2. That’s not enough, so Robo 1 wants to give the Nuke to Cain.
Cain/Robo 2 takes the Nuke and is quiet as he enjoys it. Robo 1 jumps on his back, and there is much thrashing around until he pulls Cain’s brain out and smashes it on the pavement.
Johnson reports to the Old Man about the body count and costs involved. He suggests pinning the whole thing on Dr. Faxx. The Old Man praises his thinking.
Lewis complains that they can’t pin anything on the Old Man, but Murphy says, “Patience, Lewis. We’re only human.”
Peter Weller spends a lot more time with his mask off in this one. The animation of the prototype RoboCop 2 test was pretty obvious stop-motion. The work on RoboCop 2/Cain, is better, but not much more than ED-209 in the original. The digital “recreation” of Cain’s face on the monitors looks like something right out of the “Lawnmower Man,” and is nightmarish.
The new RoboCop machine seems to have an unlimited ammunition supply and tries to use it all. There are a lot of explosions, and there is more of RoboCop, but it’s just not the same as the original.
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