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Fleas 2: Grotesque, Ugly, and Hilarious!

Once again, Director Evan Jacobs surprises me with his directorial capability. From a parody movie series about evil Satanic toilets, we have now entered the realm of uncomfortable body horror in the form of diseased ingrown toenails. Fleas Two revolves around two entirely out-of-their-depth friends, Bob and Quinton, (Director Evan Jacobs himself and Mike Hartsfield from the DT franchise), attempting to resolve an issue on Quinton's part, that being an ingrown toenail that he's attempting to remove without any official medical assistance. What entails is a hilarious, nearly hour long chronicle of two friends making an already horrific situation even worse. I was grossed out on multiple occasions throughout this movie (if not the entire damn experience if I'm being honest), but shining through the signature parodical nature of a Jacobs film is some genuinely interesting dialogue. The friendship between Bob and Quinton is what elevates this movie from a standard gross-out niche body horror into something genuinely worth your watch, given how realistic and nonchalant it is. I'd even say 90 percent of this movie's joy is derived from listening to these two dolts and their exchanges take place over the film's duration. Fleas 2 creates a strange, almost 'carefree' attitude with this increasingly troublesome injury on Quinton's toenail turning from just a silly gag into something genuinely terrifying, almost on the same level as a subtle horror or thriller.

However, let's rewind back to their dialogue. Quinton and Bob are two maladjusted friends that from, what I could gather, are no strangers to dabbling in alternative medical practices and have an innate mistrust of authority figures. Moreso Quinton, who is clearly a stand-in for perhaps certain groups and individuals that trust the word of internet gurus and bloggers more than official medical authorities. This mistrust and ironclad believe in his own 'Home Remedies' is what drives this movie, as Quinton continuously refuses to actually visit the hospital despite being begged to do so by Bob. Instead, he only continues digging at his ingrown toenail, eventually abandoning all sense and reason via sawing off his foot entirely. The entire process from start to finish is something rather difficult to sit through, only exacerbated given the film is making no effort to shy away from the wonderful practical effects that make it seem as though Quinton is genuinely parting with his foot in the most grisly and avoidable manner possible. Nevertheless, this 'Pinky and the Brain' type dynamic between an arrogant, egotistical, and often times misguided leader and his goon sells this movie entirely for me. We see numerous attempts on Bob's part to get Quinton to give up this mad goose chase and accept help from the hospital, all of which fail and usually entail Quinton insulting Bob's intelligence in some way. It's honestly rather upsetting to see, as despite the comical nature of it all, I can't help but feel their friendship is teetering on verbal abuse on the part of Quinton, something that is only further implied near the movie's end when Quinton remarks that it was 'a surprise' that Bob's idea of a tourniquet actually succeeded, instead of simply thanking his friend. Though, in all fairness, the thing was probably more harm than good anyway, but both of them didn't even realize it. This idea also resurfaces when Bob buys food for the pair, only to realize Quinton hadn't forked up enough cash and he had to pay out of his own pocket, only for his concerns to be rebuffed when he brings it up.

Fleas 2 also has a markedly different tone than Death Toilet Franchise. As aforementioned, there is no shortage of laugh out loud moments, but this comical side of the movie is often overshadowed by this growing unsettling nature of Quinton's ingrown toenail and his utter refusal to seek professional assistance until it's far too late. It begins innocently enough, even with the gorey outback we're lead to believe this will be an offshoot of the DT movies via having a crackpot storyline, just with more gore. By the end of the movie, culminating with Quinton severing his entire foot and laughing akin to a delirious maniac who seems on the verge of death though, we are still feeling that same jovial reprieve, but mixed with a feeling of eerie nature that has crept up throughout the movie. I'm entirely unsure whether this was intentional or not, but the grainy 'found footage' type format of this movie mixed with the clear mental deterioration of Quinton as he doubles down on his 'no doctors' ideology seems to give off that vibe.I should also take note that Jacobs has stated this movie is his 'most political', and it's quite hard to ignore as it progresses, with Quinton outright implying the COVID pandemic is merely a farce and doctors are either federal puppets or know-nothings. It's clear to me that Director Jacobs and his talented crew, despite being masters of the spoof film genre, have much to offer outside of that sphere if they truly apply towards it. If you're looking for a more lighthearted spoof film to lighten your day though, I'm not sure if you'll be satisfied. However, if you want to entertain yourself for under an hour and can handle gore, then I highly recommend this film. I rate it ten diseased ingrown toenails out of ten.

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