Leaf Blower Massacre 2 is exactly what it sounds like: a sequel to a movie about someone killing people with a leaf blower. Not coincidentally, Leaf Blower Massacre 2, like Leaf Blower Massacre, also revolves around someone killing people with a leaf blower. (To those of you who picked the “over” for how many times I would mention the term “leaf blower” in this review, congratulations on your win.)
While the first Leaf Blower Massacre was a 12-minute short, the second film is a feature — or rather, something approaching a feature, running a scant 60 minutes or so. With the expansion in length comes an expansion in the role of Shavar Jennings (Shavar D. Clark), who was just one of a series of victims in the first movie but is the star of the sequel. In Part 2, we learn that Shavar survived the helmeted killer’s attack and that his fiancee Nicole (Anita Nicole Brown), another victim in the first film, is missing.
We also learn that Shavar is a college professor — who, based on the previous movie, enjoys leaving the house dressed in a doo rag to play in seedy poker games with equal-opportunity racial stereotypes. As he tries to settle back into his job teaching the oldest students this side of 90210, Shavar finds himself targeted by a couple of homicide detectives as the prime suspect in the murders. He decides to do some investigating on his own to clear his name — and to find Nicole — but time is of the essence, as the psycho killer continues to “blow” victims away right and left.
There’s something inherently funny about the concept of someone choosing a leaf blower as a tool of homicidal mayhem, and frankly, a short might be the perfect format for such a one-trick-pony concept. The first Leaf Blower Massacre never took full advantage of that opportunity, however, aside from an inspired Texas Chainsaw Massacre homage. The sequel does a better job at generating kills that use the tool effectively (with generous but understandably cheesy CGI gore, given the budget), but it still doesn’t completely buy into its own absurdity.
The first film briefly touched upon the ludicrous potential by having the tool be a plug-in, but in Part 2, it’s gas-operated and much more portable. Can you imagine the comic possibilities involved with trying to find an outlet whenever you want to kill someone? It’s too bad that writer-director Anthony Cooney couldn’t, because the sequel takes itself too seriously for its own good — or at least, its attempts at humor fall so flat that they don’t register as attempts at humor.
If all you need from a horror movie is blood and boobs, then 1) I’m sorry you had a childhood trauma that scarred you for life, and 2) you’ll be happy to find that Leaf Blower Massacre 2 checks those boxes and even throws in a healthy dose of death metal for your listening…pleasure? For those of you who demand a bit more, though, LBM2 kind of *resists urge to say “blows”* whiffs.
It’s got typical micro-budget shortcomings — poor video quality, murky lighting, uneven acting and sound that makes it seem like everyone is talking from the bottom of a Silence of the Lambs pit — but that doesn’t excuse the uninspired script, bland characters and overall mediocrity of execution. That said, the concept alone is intriguing enough to lure you in, and it certainly doesn’t come close to being the worst of similar no-budget efforts. Plus, I give Cooney credit for casting a black lead in a genre where that’s still a relative rarity. Clark lends a certain level of charm to the lead role — resembling a buff Baron Vaughn — but it’s frankly hard to tell how his acting is because the sound is so muffled.
Ultimately, thanks to inert characters, unintelligible dialogue and plot points that go nowhere, more than anything else, the film is ignorable, which is not what you’d want from a movie called Leaf Blower Massacre 2.