976-EVIL II: The Astral Factor (1992)
Directed By: Jim Wynorski
Starring: Patrick O’Bryan, Debbie James, Rene Assa
Sub-Genre: Demons & Possession
I am not sure how a mediocre horror movie goes about getting a sequel, let alone getting the sequel without the “star” director coming back, but four years after the original, we were treated to The Astral Factor, the second installment of the 976 series (which currently stands at 2).
I guess if you are going to serve up a sequel to a none too successful movie, you might as well try and get your target audience on your side from the very beginning, and Wynorski does just that by having the opening scene feature a naked college coed taking a shower and then donning a clingy white shirt running through the hallways for her life.
The plot to The Astral Factor revolves around a campus where people are turning up dead at an alarming rate. It’s no secret to the audience that the killer is none other than Mr. Grubeck, the dean at the college. Grubeck is not acting on his own though, he is being helped along by, you guessed it, SATAN! Why would the dark lord show up when he can utilize a demonic phone line though? The haunted phone line is back, and Spike is on a mission to stop it. Yes, he is back. Same actor even. Guess the guy was happy to get another pay check.
Anyways, Satan has given Grubeck the ability to astrally project himself to kill more victims after he has been arrested, so he is committing crimes while behind bars. The story is pretty weak, but overall, some of the effects and deaths are decent. It’s probably a little better than the first, but not by much. I guess there is a reason it hasn’t gotten a R1 DVD release to date. I guess I can thank Netflix for staying up to watch this train wreck.