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Savage Harvest 2: October Blood (2006)

DVD Cover (Elite Entertainment)
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5.0
 / 10
5 votes
Movie Connections:
Savage Harvest
> Savage Harvest (1995)
> Savage Harvest 2: October Blood (2006)
Genres:
Horror, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Jason Christ Jason Christ
Starring:
Emily Haack Emily Haack
Benjamin Gaa Benjamin Gaa
Eric Stanze Eric Stanze
David Propst David Propst
Jonathan Baker Jonathan Baker
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Review by Chad
Added: September 28, 2007
Watching this sequel to Savage Harvest is sort of like watching parts two and three at the same time, and by that, I mean that it really feels like there's two different movies wrapped up in the two hour running time. I'd have been extremely worried if I had known about that before popping the disc into my DVD player, but I went into this one blindly and actually enjoyed the hell out of this approach. It certainly wouldn't work for every movie series out there and a shoddy writer could easily ruin this type of storytelling, but it turns out that it worked nicely for Jason Christ's take on the old Indian legend made famous by one Eric Stanze in the first film.

The first half of the storyline is basically a recap of the legends and events from the previous film mixed together with an introduction to our heroes for the evening. I won't rehash everything that is revealed during these recap scenes as you can simply go read my synopsis for the other film if you haven't already, but what I will do is tell you that it's not just an hour of flashbacks and recaps. You see, the characters for this outing - Ashley Lomack (Emily Haack), Tyge Murdock (Benjamin Gaa), Zack Ledanakoh (Eric Stanze), and Deke Myrick (David Propst) - have connections to the people who died on that farm at the hands of the evil spirits, and what we learn during this first hour is who is connected to who and how, as well as how these four people have come together and what connections they have to one another. It's a slow start, but it's very well done and will certainly keep viewers interested.

Now we come to the second half of the film which - in stark contrast to the slow-going opener - is a gore-packed slaughterfest. Those damned kids wind up back at the scene of the first slaughter and manage to once again awaken the evil spirits, and I'm assuming that the smarter readers out there can figure out where it goes from there. The Evil Dead references come into play once again (there's a reason that young lady is named Ashley), the blood flows freely, limbs are severed, hearts are punctured, and it's just a damned good time all around for those of us who enjoy buckets of blood.

Save for the blockbuster series like Friday the 13th and Saw, just about every sequel has to have some level of recapping involved for those silly people who decide to pick up part two or three before seeing the previous film(s) in the series. Now, going through these recaps is a tricky task that can easily cause viewers to quickly lose interest, especially those of us who've recently seen the previous film and already know all about the legends and how these evil spirits operate. This is one thing that I have to give our good buddy Christ credit for; save for one brief scene, you never get the impression that he's trying to shove all of this information down our throats so that he can get on with his own take on the story. It's all incorporated very naturally and - again, save for that one scene - it never feels like an actual recap; had I not seen the first film, I honestly wouldn't have been able to point out which parts of the story were exclusive to this movie and which came from the previous. This may seem trivial, but when you watch as many sequels as I do (the things I do for this site), you'll learn to appreciate the fine art of recapping.

It also certainly helped that this first hour was more than just a mere meet-and-greet session with all of the stars of the film. Sure, there's plenty of that, but there's also some other stuff thrown into the mix to keep it interesting (no spoilers, but the "sister" thing was very cool) and it's all done with a surprising amount of style. This is not one of those films where we just watch two people sitting on a bench chatting as a way of introducing themselves to the audience; no sir, there's actually some really good cinematography here, and it didn't hurt that most of the actors were above average in their roles and managed to make the audience care about them.

Finally, we move on to what most people probably paid for when picking up this DVD, that being the horror portion of the film. This works out just as one would expect from a film dealing with hordes of people possessed by evil spirits, and it also works out as nicely as it did in the previous film (but with better effects this time around). There's great gore effects here, some surprises in the "who lives and who dies" department, and of course, some genuine scares; after all, I did call this a "horror" film and not a "gore effects" film, and it certainly lives up to that description.

Overall, it's quite a good horror film, but does it live up to the standards set by the original? That depends on what you're looking for from your horror. If you're the type of person who goes in and simply wants to see a bunch of people get slaughtered in rapid succession, then no, it does not; it's a slow-building story that builds to a grand finale unlike the "here's the plot, let's get started" style of the first film. This one focuses more on telling a good story than the previous did, but that's certainly not to say that they skimped on the gore either: it's just not the selling point of the film this time. For that, I'm going with an 8/10.
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385 #1: 385 - added 08/27/2011, 10:34 PM
Leagues better than part one. Which the acting was better, but the story was strong enough to cover it.
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