`976-Evil II: The Astral Factor' is the kind of movie that you see on late-night TV with your friends and get drunk watching it.
A local killer, Mr. Grubeck (René Assa), murders a young woman (Karen Mayo-Chandler) on a college campus. The townspeople are shocked that he would such a thing, as Mr. Grubeck is one of the towns' more outstanding citizens. While the police are investigating the situation, Spike (Patrick O'Bryan) wanders into town. A police psychologist's daughter, Robin (Debbie James) stumbles upon the scene and blacks out after seeing Grubeck in handcuffs. While being interrogated by the police captain, (Rod McCary) Grubeck asks for a phone call and calls 976-Evil. The line tells him that he will be granted a favor for serving the dark side and recieves a special power that makes him transparent, yet solid and can walk through walls. That evening, Grubeck stalks Robin on a date with her friends, until Spike shows up. He spills the truth about the phone number to Robin, who semi-believes him. Grubeck appears in the hotel room of the witness to his murder, Turrell (George Buck' Flower) and kills him. When Spike searches Grubeck's house for evidence, the house attacks him, and he barely makes it out alive. He shows Robin Grubeck's phone bill, which contains more than 100 calls to 976-Evil. Believing Spike, Robin breaks into Grubeck's office to find more information, but suffers another flash and faints. When the lawyer for the police (Monique Gabrielle) lives out her flash, Robin becomes even more worried. When no one believes her, Robin and Spike team up to defeat Grubeck themselves.
The Good News: For a movie that shouldn't have been made, as the original was creative, but probably was made to never have a sequel, this one is actually quite interesting. It allows the viewer to become involved in the story, as it appears before their eyes. The storyline is the best part of the movie, as it is still similar to the original but different enough to never play like a true sequel, where the plot can be guessed 99% accurately within the first ten minutes or before. The film still gives a few shocks here and there, and the ending is still one of the best I have ever seen. It has a spooky quality to it that completely turns the point of the story around and looks like it took the longest to make, as it threw out the events of the movie and gave it a new direction. The last twenty minutes also gives the film a new twist, as it becomes a straightforward action film. The chase was really inventive and exciting, as it was undoubtedly the highlight. The part where the character became a member in the movie on TV was also interesting to watch, as it integrated flawlessly with the `reel' footage from the movie. The gore is top-notch, and never intrusive, only highlighting the killing scenes' scares.
The Bad News: As the sequel to a film that never needed one, this film suffers a lot from bad cameras, bad dialogue, and pretty bad scenarios for most of the movie. Only the last twenty minutes are of real importance and interest, with the movie-within scene being of viewing interest before then. It was also influenced by the late-80's horror scene, so this movie contains love-struck teenagers in dopey situations, a ton of bad jokes, and typical stereotyped performances. Spike is routine as the bad boy biker, Robin the innocent virgin, and the police are useless as the teens fight off and kill the enemy. It also takes an incredible amount of time for police to believe the situation, which is getting more and more boring to watch. If Sam Loomis took over hour to convince Haddonfield Police that Michael Myers was back in the ton is shown in three movies during this time, another one to do that is simply unnecessary to watch. How about some more creativity in movies?
The Final Verdict: despite the fact that this movie shouldn't have been made, it is still a good way to speed 90 minutes with friends. It should be a worthwhile effort to seek it out, as it does have tons of redeeming factor to it. Gore aficionados should find it more so than others should.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, and Nudity.
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