Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge Is Better Than Scary Movie…Sorry!

Horror comedies have long been a much needed cornerstone of our genre. When I’m looking for something to watch, but just want something easy to throw on and relax, horror comedies are usually my go to. These films range in variety from great like Scary Movie 1 & 2 and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, to absolute hogwash like Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13thA Haunted House, and Silence of the Hams. Even the films in the subgenre that are absolutely atrocious can still provide a few laughs, though there is one thing nearly every horror comedy has in common: references. Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge finds itself full of laughs and references, wrapping itself in with a great anthology bow.

Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge is a comedy horror anthology that uses its four vignettes to further the wraparound story in an incredibly interesting way. I was initially in awe with how many horror references are packed into this film. When I say it’s too many to count, I literally mean that. I tried and my notes looked like a maze. Created by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns, Scare Package II is a direct sequel to the Joe Bob Briggs vehicle Scare PackageIt’s rare to find a sequel that really outshines its predecessor, but I think Scare Package II does so in an absolutely brilliant way. Let’s start by taking a look at the four stories before getting into the meat of the wraparound (and main) story.

“Welcome to the 90s”

Written/directed by Alexandra Barreto

Welcome takes place on New Year’s Eve ’89. Our killer Tony (Joshua Miller) walks up to two different college houses: the Final Girls House and the Sure To Die House (STD). Whereas Tony would usually take his pick of the drunkard partygoers, tonight he picks the Final Girls House. We meet our main characters Ellen (Stef Estep-Gozalo), Ginny (Luxy Banner), Nancy (Shaina Schrooten), and Sally (Elizabeth Trieu). If those names sound slightly familiar, you’re right. The introduction of each character is matched with a title card that explains who they are, i.e. Nancy: Never sleeps, never runs in hallways, never followed her dreams. It’s honestly one of the favorite moments in the film, as each character has a specific card that tells you [basically] which movie they are from. Rather than having a boring New Year’s Eve in, they must survive the night as Tony decides: new year, new rules.

This story is a fun subversion of obvious ’80s tropes and brings us an interesting look at what the slasher subgenre would turn into later in the ’90s. Full of fun references and some pretty solid practicals, “Welcome” is an excellent first entry in Scare Package II and sets up the vibe this film is going for perfectly. Barreto’s direction here is spot-on, and compliments the script incredibly well. I think out of all of the stories in this film “Welcome to the 90s” is the most entertaining and engaging one.

Daisy's head gets twisted around, while the masked killer stands in the background over her shoulder

“The Night He Came Back Again! Part VI: The Night She Came Back”

Story by Anthony Cousins, Ryan Schaddelee, John Karsko // Written by John Karsko // Directed by Anthony Cousins

From the title alone there, are way too many references to count. From retconning a relationship between the final girl and the killer to three different masks; this story takes jabs at nearly every big franchise slasher that doesn’t know when to stop. “Part VI” is the second sequel after “The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV – The Final Kill” from Scare Package. It takes place 20 years after the events of “Part IV.” We follow Daisy (Chelsey Grant) as she and her husband Scott (Alex Galick) go back to the cabin where it all started on the 20-year anniversary. Will freedom ring on this July 4th?

This story is a fun homage to films like Friday the 13th and Halloween, while also finding its own way to stand out. It’s really nice to see two characters from “Part IV” come back for “Part IV,” and if there is ever a Scare Package 3, I would be highly upset if there was not a follow-up, or prequel, to these. The slashiness of “Part IV” is great, with some fun bloody moments, but this story really stands out with a few excellent moments of body horror.

The group of kids hover around the dead body of the homeless man they brought home

“Special Edition”

Written/directed by Jed Shepherd

“Special Edition” is stylistically the most different out of the rest. Departing from the intentionally gaudy over-the-top segments we have gotten so far, “Special Edition” stands to be more somber and straightforward. Lacking many references and retro visual flair, this story intends to provide us with a badass story and some really wild naturalistic visuals. Of all the stories this one really caught me off guard. A group of friends join Zoe (Jemma Moore) at a lighthouse, as Zoe’s brother has died mysteriously. The friends join to help Zoe clear out her brother’s stuff. What they end up finding is a laser disk, and a remote that would give Adam Sandler PTSD. Will they make it out alive when the laser disk offers them more than they bargained for?

This one is a sort of nice reprieve from the slapstick humor we’ve gotten so far. While the premise does hearken back to a certain film that destroyed my childhood under the guise of a feel-good family film, it’s impressive with how easily Shepherd handled the change in style. It’s often not easy to take an audience in one direction for over half of your film and then just completely change course. Kudos to Shepherd for pulling off this story, and to Koontz and Burns for taking the chance to throw such a serious piece right in the middle of this hysterical film.

“We’re So Dead”

Written by Aaron B. Koontz, Cameron Burns // directed by Rachele Wiggins

What happens when you mix Reanimator, Stand By MeIt, and The Fly into one singular story? You get “We’re So Dead.” When a group of friends finds the body of a dead homeless man, they decide to bring it back to one of their houses. In a move that would prove Herbert West proud, they inject the corpse with a syringe of neon green fluid and all hell breaks loose. Also, does anyone else want a Sunny D?

“We’re So Dead” is probably the most riotous of all the stories. There are so many incredibly captured comedic beats that I couldn’t help but laugh. The body horror is played for laughs here but still succeeds in being horrifically macabre. While there is very little originality in this story, that’s not really the point of it. It’s bright, colorful (greens and yellows), and will make any fan of ’80s body horror happy. It does feel a little out of place, but it ends up playing a larger role in the whole wraparound idea of the story so it works in that regard.

The attendees of the funeral stand in a Saw-like room with collars around their necks attaching them to the wall

Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge

Written by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns // directed by Cameron Burns

To put it plainly, if you’re a fan of Scare Package, you will definitely be a fan of Scare Package II. Conversely, if you’re not a fan of Scare Package I think you will also be able to enjoy Scare Package 2. That probably doesn’t make sense, but just trust me on this one. Scare Package II is similar to its predecessor in some ways, but it goes in such a completely different direction and a very Saw way. While my Letterboxd rating of Scare Package was a three and a heart, this one will definitely be getting at least a four and a heart. But what is it about?!

Scare Package II follows closely after the events of the first one. We find ourselves at the funeral for ‘Rad’ Chad Buckley (Jeremy King) after meeting his fate at the hands or rather a fist, of the Devil’s Lake Impaler (Dustin Rhodes). The funeral attendees consist of Jessie Kapowski (Zoe Graham) from “Horror Hypothesis” in the previous film, Rick (Rich Sommer), Ms. Kapowski (Kelli Maroney), Kimmie (Shakira Ja’nai Paye), Dwight (Graham Skipper), Moira (Maria Olsen), Kirk/Goo Guy ( Kirk C. Johnson) from “One Time In The Woods” in the previous film, and his bodyguard Bert (Bruce Davis). Unfortunately, Adele could not be in attendance.

A Billy the puppet-like doll that looks like Chad enters the room on a tricycle.

Mere moments after the funeral starts, all hell breaks loose when the coffin starts to emit smoke. After the attendees go crazy trying to escape, they all pass out. Soon they are forced to play Chad’s evil recreation of multiple different Saw films; it’s time to play a game! From beer pong with insidious consequences to truly explosive outcomes of forgetting to be kind and rewind, this film references damn near every horror film in existence! At no point do the homages and references feel like they are overplayed or too much, it really fits in perfectly with the film based on how Chad’s character was created in the first one. There are a few plot holes in the film, but I think Koontz and Burns do an excellent job at finding a way to retcon an explanation (which ends up just being another movie reference)!

Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge isn’t just a fun, bloody, and entertaining film, it is truly the parody film to end all parody films. There’s really no better way to make a parody film than this. Unlike Scary Movie, the parody aspect of this works to move the film along, rather than just being a sight gag to give you a laugh and hold you over until the next one. The references and homages are the plot points, and it works better than I thought it could. My top ’22 horror list is a long and weird list, while this sit in the latter numbers of my top 15 of the year, this film without a doubt stands as the most entertaining horror comedy I have seen this year.

Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge drops on Shudder December 22nd, 2022. Be rad, check it out!

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Written by Brendan Jesus

I am an award-winning horror screenwriter, rotting away in New Jersey.

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