Criminally Insane 2
Ethel Janowski returns after a twelve-year stretch in the looney
bin. Seems the local asylum is cutting back on expenses and deems
her sane enough to be placed in a halfway house. It doesn't take
long for her to resume her favourite past times: eating and murder.
I saw this movie before watching "Criminally Insane" and didn't
really know anything about the series at the time. I was a little
appalled that this very cheap, SOV sequel actually made it's way to
my video store...I must say though, that with a title like "Crazy
Fat Ethel 2" (why they opted for a different title, I'll never know)
I was tempted.
one has the same cast and crew as the original
"Criminally Insane" (the same credits are used for both) but I don't
recognize anyone other than Priscilla Alden who, thank god, reprises
her role of Ethel. Whether or not this was made for a quick buck or
because of the popularity of the first movie is sort of a mystery.
About half of "Crazy Fat Ethel 2" is comprised of scenes from the
"Criminally Insane" under the guise of the many flashbacks and dreams
that Ethel has. Makes me wonder if Millard took a few cues from
"Silent Night, Deadly Night 2" (that production had NO excuse)... kind
of a cheat, but a good sneak preview for those who haven't seen it.
What's left is kind of like a lukewarm, weak cup of tea.
was I? Oh yeah, cheapness... Ethel goes to a state-funded
halfway house (a gaudy place that looks more like the set for a porno
movie) headed by a geriatric woman named Hope Bartholomew (nice name).
Ethel begins to have delusions that Hope is her dead grandmother and
that one of the other residents is the detective that put her away.
There's another patient at the house who claws at the walls and eats
houseflies in his soup (for some reason, this guy doesn't figure into
the story at all and disappears about midway through). All the
performances in this movie are some of the worst you'll see... Priscilla
Alden is a pro compared to the rest of these undesirables.
Ethel 2" does make a few forays into the bad taste area that
made the first one so good...it's all just so badly executed with it's
lingering camerawork and lack of post-production. In one scene, Hope
leaves the patients in the care of an incredibly ugly pipsqueak who
feeds them dog food and taunts Ethel with a candy bar (there's an
extremely long scene of him eating the fucking thing...close-ups and all).
After killing him, she's blackmailed by another patient into giving up
her dessert... and you know where that leads.
on a rather flat note. After Ethel kills everyone, she
does a very strange little dance in the backyard while holding a knife.
We're treated to another five minutes of flashbacks and then... THE END...
that is, if you make it that far.
Embarrassingly awful... for real... it is kind of funny to see people who
can't act fake their way through dying. A guy is strangled walking up a
staircase in an unnecessarily long scene. There's a cheap multiple stabbing...
when they show the victim later, all the knives are sticking out of their
shirt sideways. An old lady gets beat over the head, resulting in a
perfectly round blot of ketchup on the side of her head.
None at all, which makes the new footage a bit much to bear. You do get to
hear some music used in "Criminally Insane" in the flashback sequences.
Skip it unless you've seen "Criminally Insane" and enjoyed it. Some very odd
moments that will make you question your sanity, but those are few and far between.
Review By: The ScareMaker