Thursday, December 7, 2006

Now Playing: Feast

I'll confess to never having seen a single minute of the Project: Greenlight series that aired on Bravo for three seasons. Funny considering how into film I am but I just never gave it any thought. Part of that is my literal zero interest in anything even remotely approaching "reality tv" up to and including an in-depth show based on the film industry. This reasoning will most likely lead me to miss the upcoming Spielberg-produced reality show where he cherry picks a director, but such is life. Feast is the only movie of the three Project: Greenlight's I was interested in because when it actually started screening people actually made the remarks that it was good.

The previous two movies were "coming-of-age" stories which, if done right, can be quite compelling. If they're completely botched in the execution as both were, however, they can practically kill the genre dead. So I'm guessing they decided to use the recent resurgence in horror films at the box office to see what they could cook up.

The result is an uneven, yet preposterously funny gore-fest highlighted by the way characters are introduced. Whenever we see someone new the screen freeze-frames and some text appears next to their head. We learn their name, their occupation, sometimes a fun fact, as well as their life expectancy. Some of them are laugh-out-loud funny but for my money the one that caused me to laugh so hard I had to pause the film to catch my breath appears about an hour in. I won't spoil the details because they're too good, but kudos to whomever came up with this idea.

In between the comedic bits are all the bloody ones. This film is long on guts and short on the notion of keeping people alive. The threat comes from a pack of monstrous animals living in the desert that for whatever reason lay siege to a near-by bar. These things are fast, tough, and viscious as hell as the huge body count attests to. One thing this flick does well is slaughter characters as frequently and as brutally as they can. And all this is roughly half an hour into the film...

The cast of B and C-listers deserves credit for sticking through what I'm fairly sure wasn't the easiest shoot in the world. Heck, it wouldn't have been on Bravo in the first place if everything went smoothly.

Henry Rollins is awesome as a motivational speaker and the ways he tries to band everyone together cracked me up. He's an extremely funny guy in the real world and seeing how spot-on he plays this character is just brilliant. The lovely Krista Allen has a decent role as the single-mom eye candy who's practically given up on life (as noted in her "character card," and Balthazar Getty is perfect as a prick who wants to stay as far away from the hero role as he possibly can. This includes abandoning all responsibility as often as he can along with whomever else is near by.

I will make special note that if you're even remotely afraid of witnessing eye trauma on screen then avoid Feast like the plague. Without mentioning the specifics of the inflicted injury, I will say that the scene goes on for about two minutes longer than it should have. Gore hounds will appreciate just about everything regarding the monsters and how they operate, not to mention the very colorful and plentiful deaths.

While Feast is far from a great movie, it's at least a fun movie for people with strong stomachs. Those of us weaned on The Evil Dead may have seen plenty of it before, but the absolute hilarity of the character descriptions combined with some stellar sight gags and one liners makes the movie far funnier than it has any right to be.


  1. whiteboyskim wrote:
    "Part of that is my literal zero interest in anything even remotely approaching 'reality tv'"

    nathan wrote:
    *cough* The Amazing Race *cough*

    Sounds like it could be fun. I'll add it to the queue.

  2. My Fair Lady watches that, not I. But since you're referring to our failed attempt to get on said show rest assured it was because she was interested in it far more so than I. :)