Monday, October 13, 2008

I can hold it, thanks!

"Rest Stop 2: Don't look back" is the sequel to the similarly named 'Rest Stop: Dead Ahead".
If you haven't seen the first one, I wouldn't bother with this one. It follows very closely and ties up some loose strings from the original. Or at the least, check out the first one before renting this.
The first Rest Stop was panned by critics and wasn't exactly a hit. But it is a real guilty pleasure of mine.

The second one starts off exactly one year after the events of the first one.

To recap, Jesse and Nicole have left (runaway) together, heading from their native Texas to sunny L.A. to get into showbiz (yeah, right!). They are well on their way, just having crossed the border into California when they make a pit stop at a rest area.
Danger and mayhem ensue and to get straight to the point - they never are heard from again.

Well, Jess's brother, Tom, has recently arrived home from Iraq (he's in the Army) and makes it his mission to go looking for his long lost brother.
(As if no one has ever searched for them or questioned the fact that they never even called to say they were in L.A. or that they were ok...)

Anyway, Tom takes his alcoholic bitch of a girlfriend (incidentally Nicole's best friend - how convienient!) and another friend - who had an uber-crush on Nicole -with him to hunt them down.
As stupid and unbelievable as it sounds, Tom and co. end up at the VERY rest stop that Jess & Nicole had all their woes. How ironic.

If you can check your brain at the door and just watch this for the fun of it, it does offer some good gore and a bit of backstory that isn't entirely mundane. There are alot of recurring characters that we get to learn more about, in particular, the beyond-weird family from the camper-on-wheels and of course, the driver of the menacing pick-up.

Rest Stop 2 really delves into the 'ghost' aspect of the story, which was briefly touched upon in the first movie - and this really does help alot to realize all is not as it seems. You know, the old "who is real and who is a ghost' thing? There are a few creepy and unsettling moments.

I must say I absolutely HATED the girlfriend character - she got on my nerves like a two-year old at a doctor's appointment for shots. I wished bad, bad things on her, and someone apparently heard my wishes, so that was gratifying.

There is some obligatory nudity, as well as some comic relief (the buddy character gets stuck in a port-a-potty with some rather foul results!) and like I said, the gore factor was fairly decent.
But there isn't alot to think about here.

If you can just relax and not continually criticize, you'll be fine.
In the extras, the director and writer hinted that if this does well (it was straight to DVD) they have many more 'stories' to tell about the rest stop. I think that would go over like a lead balloon.
Please stop now. You've said it all, I think.

All in all, not a total waste. Worlds better than the April Fool's Day remake!

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