In the wake of the Columbine High tragedy and other teenybopper atrocities, Hollywood’s long-standing love affair with crazed adolescents–and their carnage–has been getting soft-pedaled for awhile. A case in point being the film “Killing Mrs. Tingle” having its title changed to “Teaching Mrs. Tingle”. Nobody wants to rock the boat too damn much, because rebellion is fine as long as the financial bottom line is met. Offending the folks in middle America is a big no-no.
But when all this weirdness blows over–you can’t get away from the fact that mentally-disturbed, killer teens can generate some pretty decent numbers on the video rental front, and even at the box office. So, there’ll always be a place for homicidal high schoolers from “Carrie” to “Scream 3”.
A case in point is a movie called “Devil In the Flesh 2”. It’s the story of Debbie Strong (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe): a stunning young psychopath who goes progressively more berserk as the film progresses. After killing her abusive mother and grandmother she’s been placed in a mental hospital where she endures indignities like the pudgy nurse who cops a free grope here and there. But our very pissed-off anti-heroine manages to bust out of the Hat Factory in high style–setting her sights on making a new life for herself where she has plenty of opportunities to manipulate and destroy everyone she can.
Initially, she plans to run off to Mexico and act like a lunatic, but when she happens upon an incredibly dopey girl who’s on her way to college–Debbie get’s the chance to steal the girl’s identity (and her tuition money) and go completely bonkers on a plush campus.
Once Deb shows up at school she immediately runs into a gallant, pretty boy professor (Jsu Garcia) who charms her with his simple, down-to-earth arrogance. The kooky gal is instantly smitten, and her wacky, obsessive behavior soon becomes (literally) painfully obvious.
The violent beauty buddies right up to her mousy roommate, Laney, and at first all is peachy. But once Laney catches wind of Debbie’s nutsy past, she’s a goner. The smarmy professor’s girlfriend is also in deep trouble when the Debster decides she’s sick of her, too. This all leads up to an all-out, kick out the jams climax that leaves a trail of dead bodies and threadbare clichés.
Surprisingly enough, “Devil In the Flesh 2” is pretty darn entertaining. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe is incredibly sexy and her campy, over-the-top performance is a real treat. All in all, this isn’t a great film, but for B-movie trash, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And with this kind flick–you can’t ask for anymore than that.