Thursday, March 5, 2015

In short: Shepherd II (1999)

Remember how much I loved the first Shepherd in spite of and because of all the horrible nonsense in it? Well, the Roger Corman produced sequel nobody asked for does its hardest to drive that love right away again. It’s the sort of low budget sequel that contains so much recycled footage (though in black and white) from its prequel even the least suspicious of minds can’t help but imagine someone involved didn’t actually have the budget to shoot a full movie and did everything he could to pad out the running time.

Ironically, the new footage we get to see looks even cheaper and shoddier than that in the first film, with director Eli Necakov putting all his faith and all five dollars of Corman’s money in sets that often don’t even pretend to have anything in it, VR scenes that use the same background effects as a bad early 90s house video, some truly awful VR strippers to add in the all-important breasts (though we also get a full repeat of the first film’s sex scene, because that’s the kind of film we deal with here), action scenes that don’t look a bit awkward but just bored and disinterested, and a plot there’s really no point in synopsizing, as the film spends little time on it anyway.

Of course, the thespian glories – such as they are – of ventriloquist David Carradine and priestly Rowdy Roddy Piper are absent too, and while the returning Mackenzie Gray (now spending his time in a cyber chair and wearing funny wigs in the VR world), C. Thomas Howell and Heidi von Palleske do some perfectly decent eating of scenery, things around them – even the things so silly they should provide decent entertainment value – dreg so painfully, all sense of fun I had from the first film is drained out of this one as if it were beset by fun vampires. Which would probably be an improvement over the plot the film actually has, so call me, Roger.

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