APRIL 1, 2012
Because Blair Witch Project was such a monster success and was also super-cheap to produce (and using consumer video for half its runtime), there are more parodies of it than probably any other film in history. Most were short, some were pornographic (yes, I watched one), but Fright Reviews: The Movie 2: The Blair Witch Parody runs almost an hour, less than a half hour shorter than the real movie. So for that much I can give these kids some credit - they clearly were committed to pulling this thing off.
It's also quite "faithful" to the real film, for lack of a better word. While all parodies had a take on the "Apology" scene and involved getting lost, this one almost requires you to see Myrick and Sanchez's film in order to appreciate the bulk of the jokes. For example, there's a running gag about "Map check" here that recalls the original film's sole mention of this activity that we never actually saw (their map's most prominent appearance came after Mike tossed it away). They also do a spoof on the film's "That's the same log!" bit, taken to the extreme by having a character (a botany expert, allegedly) recognize a leaf on the ground that they had passed by days before. Some parodies still amuse even without much knowledge of the source material (I love Hot Shots but to this day I've only seen Top Gun once, years before I saw the parody), but I'd advise anyone but die hard Blair Witch fans to avoid this one.
Actually I'd advise them to avoid it too. Granted this is not only a spoof but also a sequel to another movie (I couldn't find that one online), so maybe I'm just missing something, but I definitely got that "in-joke" vibe from a lot of the movie, as the characters frequently mention characters that are never seen, and at one point one of them even plays a different character called "Slum Lord" for reasons I can't even begin to imagine. I was also confused by the opening moments, where a voiceover says "Previously on Fright Reviews" as we watch wordless shots of people wandering around a high school. Since the plot of this movie apparently directly ties into the events of that film (the ghosts are those of the characters killed in the first Fright Reviews, if I'm understanding correctly), I am curious why they didn't have a more helpful prologue, rather than have the main character stop the movie cold to explain everything that happened in that one (which was more of a slasher film, I guess).
Long story short - the main character's ridiculous sideburns are funnier than any of the attempted jokes (though I admit I did chuckle at the dated but wonderfully out of nowhere "Livin La Vida Loca" reference), and it's nearly impenetrable without having seen their first film. Also, given the "The Movie" moniker and frequent mentions of public access, I'm guessing they had a TV show as well that probably needed to be seen in order to appreciate this one. Did these guys not care about reaching an audience? Tuning into the last episode of Lost having never seen one before would probably be easier to follow - not to mention easier on the eyes. Enjoy a Blair Witch parody where they couldn't even get a girl to be in the Heather role!
Speaking of the film's visual demerits, we're dealing with amateur hour production value here; get used to bad dubbing, "actors" who frequently stumble on their lines (the main guy can't even say "Bygones be bygones"), and at least one blatant appearance of the film's script sitting on a table. To be fair, they're going for a half-assed meta tale here (the main character points to the script as one of his camping supplies, they frequently get the script pages out of order), but I don't think the other appearances are meant to be a joke. And if so, it's not funny. On the plus side, the editing isn't that bad, and they admirably recreate the original movie's two camera scenario by trying to pass off video footage as B&W 8mm, so again - they were putting some effort into matching the original film's aesthetic. The video quality is terrible as well, but given Vimeo's 500mb limit on uploads, I assume this was just quickly over-compressed in order to fit, and didn't look that bad to begin with - plus being 1999 there were no consumer HD cameras that I can recall.
Ultimately, it's probably the sort of thing that should have been kept among this trio and their other pals, and not posted online over a decade later (complete with a Geocities official site link at the end! Amazing flashback). I guess it could be worse - they could be trying to sell it to the folks behind the Decrepit Crypt set, or Troma (who sadly probably WOULD distribute it; it's no worse than some of the dreck they've put out), instead of putting it up for free. But it was a foolish decision - watch for yourself! Couldn't find a trailer (or an IMDb page) so I've embedded the thing below for your own amusement, or lack thereof.
What say you?
P.S. Thanks to my good friends Phil Blankenship and Jacqueline Greed for digging this one up! Wouldn't have had a movie today without their assistance.