Meat Market 2 is a 2001 Canadian low-budget zombie horror comedy movie. It was directed by Brian
Clement and produced by Frontline Films, and released on VHS and DVD in North America in 2001 by SRS Cinema.
Set in the aftermath of a zombie plague and the ensuing disintegration of North American society, the story follows the remaining characters from the first Meat Market as they encounter a bizarre cult that at first appears benign but rapidly reveals itself to be a far greater threat than the zombies.
Shot on video for a very low sum of money, the movie made back its cost and, along with its predecessor, has achieved a limited degree of notoriety and cult status.
The film opens with the surviving characters from Meat Market, Argenta, Nemesis, Valeria and the newly introduced Ferriden being forced to kill the now-infected Shahrokh, also a survivor of the first in the series. Valeria, a vampire, also expires due to lack of blood which she requires for sustenance. As the three survivors wander the ruins of a strange city, they encounter an apparent survivor, Janet, who tells them of a safe haven where food and shelter is available. As they find the secluded compound, Janet reveals herself to be an armed agent working for the RCANA (the Reconstructive Commerce Association of North America, a group attempting to rebuild based on sound business principles), and forces the others inside. Argenta is sent for processing, deemed worthy of being a member of the organization, while Ferriden is taken aside and categorized as being fit for experimentation. Nemesis is immediately executed.
Inside the compound, Argenta is taken to a motivational seminar where the leader of the group, Bill Wilhelm, whips the crowd into a frenzy with a speech on how to rebuild from the ruins, concluding with his gory dismemberment of a captive zombie. Argenta, skeptical, is taken by Janet on a tour of the facility, while Ferriden faces grotesque procedures at the hands of the deranged Dr. Gehlen, who keeps a room full of zombies with which to carry out his experiments. The corpse of Nemesis sits in the morgue, watched over by the sleazy Dr. Hubbard.
Argenta soon realizes the group is more of a cult, as Bill explains that they must take on the values of the zombies in order to flourish in the new world. Janet sits down to a banquet, and as Argenta looks on in horror, realizes that the cult is composed of cannibals.
Ferriden, feigning unconsciousness, overpowers Gehlen and allows the imprisoned zombies to kill his captor. Now infected, Ferriden commits suicide just as Nemesis (being a vampire) revives and kills Hubbard, drinking his blood. Argenta escapes and links up with Nemesis, and they both arm themselves, fighting their way out of the building as zombies overrun the facility from inside and out. All inside perish or become zombies, just as Argenta and Nemesis walk away into an uncertain future.
Style & Inspiration
Director Brian Clement admits on the DVD commentary the inspiration drawn from various horror and post-apocalyptic films including Zombie Holocaust, The Road Warrior, The Crazies, Dr. Strangelove and George A. Romero's original Day of the Dead. Lacking in the overt comedy elements of the first in the series, Meat Market 2 sets an intentionally darker tone, but like the first, it also features deliberately gratuitous nudity and gore with a meandering plot playing into the thematic use of the name "Meat Market". Like the first in the series, Meat Market 2 pokes fun at the genre's explicit sex with the use of obviously out-of-place full-frontal male nudity, alongside female nudity.
Meat Market 2 was shot mostly in the west-coast Canadian city of Victoria, British Columbia, over a period of several months on weekends and during time off while the director worked full-time, for an extremely low sum of money. Scenes of ruined buildings were shot around the area of Bamberton, British Columbia, where a partially abandoned cement plant exists. Shot mostly guerilla-style without permits, the movie was recorded on S-VHS, before the widespread availability of the now more-popular format of mini-DV. During editing, the filmmakers paid close attention to sound design and chose to use over-the-top, exaggerated sound effects. The music score was composed by Justin Hagberg, who in later years went on to play in heavy metal band Three Inches of Blood.
Some critics and audiences praised Meat Market as "a full-on, all-out horror extravaganza done gut-churning Italian style" or "an over the top homage/throwback to the golden age of splatter". However, many others complained of its poor production values, grainy lighting, or simply the fact that it was produced on video rather than film. Clement has himself admitted in interviews the limitations of the Meat Market series and his desire to move forward as a director.     
Meat Market 2 had been preceded in 2000 by the more comedic Meat Market and five years later by the British-financed and loosely-associated Meat Market 3 in 2006, both of which have also been released on DVD.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Meat Market 2 2001 DVD director and writer audio commentary track
- ↑ B-independent.com, 2001 review.
- ↑ Sleazegrinder.com, 2001 review.
- ↑ Director interview, on The Video Graveyard.
- ↑ Fangoria Magazine, October 2003, Iss. 227, pg. 56-59, "Notes From the Underground: Eating Flesh & Getting Naked".
- ↑ Vancouver Island Insight Magazine, April 2005, Vol. One, Iss. One, pg. 10-12, by: J. Michael Dlugos, "Brian Clement: It's Not About Gore...Anymore"
- ↑ Monday Magazine, 17 October 2007, by: Amanda Farrell, "Zom-B-Gone"
- ↑ Times-Colonist, Victoria, 31 October 2007, pg. C11, by: Michael D. Reid, "Time for zombies to R.I.P."
- ↑ Director biography, on IMDB.