Le Fear II: Le Sequel, directed by B Movie guru Jason Croot, is impervious to criticism because it presents itself as a mockumentary and runs on the fumes of characters who are too stupid to step wrong accidentally. Smart move; the movie is frequently funny.
Mockumentaries are intended to deliver fiction as fact, as in This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and employ all the necessary documentary techniques to help facilitate it. Talking head interviews. Shaky handheld photography. Natural lighting. Candid outbursts and concealed murmurs. Le Sequel uses all these techniques but one: The interviews. Instead it pushes through from start to finish as a “making of” piece, chronicling the troubles faced by an amateur horror film crew as they try to get the best alien/vampire/monster/witch doctor movie off the ground.
The director is Carlos Revalos (Kyri Saphiris), the most inept, visually stunted director since Edward D. Wood Jr. He approaches Dirk (Andrew Tiernan) for money for his new horror film. Dirk promises a $10,000,000 endowment if Carlos can pump in $500,000 of his own money. Take out a second mortgage on your house if you have to! Desperate for success, Carlos obliges. His first wrong move.
His second wrong move is not so much a move as it is a lack of one. As a condition of Dirk’s investment, the film’s production team is supplied by Nollywood, the Nigerian capital of cinema. They send over Efi (Seye Adelekan), an ingratiatingly useless producer who eats chicken all day and says he’s got location agreements when we all know he doesn’t (the entire fiasco involving a caravan as a set is handled superbly); Africa (Roxy Sternberg), the special effects expert whose props cost 15 Pounds and explode if left in the heat for too long (it doesn’t matter to her, she worked on Avatar); and Femu (Scherrikar Bell), a self-proclaimed singing prodigy who is none to pleased when she finds out she is the film’s runner.
These three imbeciles are an absolute joy to behold. Adelekan in particular carries a misguided confidence that makes him funny in the face of stupidity. We just want to beat the crap out of him, but then we’d feel sorry afterwards.
If Carlos knew what he was doing, which he claims, he would have realised that he’s been had by Dirk. Where’s the 10 million? How can it possibly buy three African crew members as moronic as the ones he gets? 10 million is twice the budget of Memento (2000). Carlos shoots his whole film with props that cost no more than 100 Pounds combined. Put Memento next to Carlos’ film. Dirk says it’s a wonderful picture. 10 million points if you think Carlos believes him.
I enjoyed Le Sequel. It is funny, looks like a mockumentary should look, and supplies characters we care about, even though they probably couldn’t screw in a lightbulb. My only complaint is that it runs for too long and loses quite a lot of steam by the end. Carlos gets run over by the same misfires time and time again. Africa throws in the same cheap props thinking they’re Oscar-worthy. The actors are incorrigible. The makeup artist, Queenie (Victoria Hopkins), is given variants of two default lines. The script editor, played by Croot, runs off after Efi and never comes back. If I were Carlos and were given this crew to work with, I would have shut down production after the first day and posted Dirk a life-threatening letter.
Best Moment | There are many hilarious moments. My favourite might have to be Racquel’s replacement, Lucy, showing up for filming.
Worst Moment | Nope.