Hunky horror director Matt Farnsworth’s 2011 film The Orphan Killer (my blog post here) is a vicious grindhouse slasher about a psychotic killer in a mask hunting down his sister, slaughtering people of faith along the way due to his horrible experience in a Catholic orphanage as a child.
While it took a while for the sequel to arrive, it shows, because clearly Farnsworth doesn’t rush out cheaply produced films. Part 2 is just as gruesome with great practical gore effects, but Farnsworth makes a brilliant move here; he doesn’t give us more of the same.
Picking things up a few years after the original, the sister thinks her brother is dead, but she’s wrong! The film wastes no time in being sleazy and gory as the brother makes his return, killing anyone who gets in his way.
This time Farnsworth shows a quirky, darkly comic side. The masked brother talks and delivers plenty of humorous lines. He also does the oddest ritual to turn his sister into an almost demonic killing machine to join forces with him.
Together they kidnap men for her to practice on. There are hot guys, some shirtless, and the pair giddily tortures, mutilates, and kills them, playfully calling each other baby brother and baby sister.
That is basically the whole plot, so it doesn’t need to run nearly two hours long. Even so, it definitely doesn’t get boring, and there are some unexpected surprises along the way, including what feels like a minor shift in horror subgenres for a moment. The siblings even end up at the site of the drag race in Grease (for you young gays, a drag race used to be when two guys raced cars on the street), but alas, the sister doesn’t get the urge to belt out “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee (Reprise)”.
There’s a moment that feels like a natural end to the film, but then it kind of jumps the shark…and lands on a boat! Very odd, and without this veering off, the running time would have been better. However, here’s where I could see Farnsworth having a dilemma. There are also twenty minutes of deleted scenes, and personally there are scene in the final cut I would have left out in exchange for some of the deleted scenes that actually give us a bit more story development. But with 140 minutes of footage, I can see why Farnsworth opted to focus on the insanity from start to finish, sticking with the tone he was going for instead of delving into pesky plot points.
And finally, I just have to make note of something that happens in the film, and I’m not sure if it’s a conscious decision on Farnsworth’s part, but it goes to show how easy it is to avoid having an anti-gay moment in your film. At one point, the orphan killer is sneaking up on a guy jerking off at work, and when the jerk-off hears him he thinks it’s one of his male coworkers. I was all braced for the jerk-off to make some sort of derogatory gay comment towards who he thinks is his friend, because that is what most filmmakers have characters default to in circumstances like this, but it doesn’t happen here, serving as a perfect example of how easy it is to not be a homophobic prick when you make a movie.