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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20%
Average: 11.11%
Pretty Bad: 6.67%
Total Crap: 11.11%

2 reviews, 33 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"The Best Monster Movie Of Its Kind Since The Original Tremors"
5 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: There are many reasons to be critical of the Project Greenlight experiment. It’s selection process is more than imperfect. Final choices for the first two seasons tried to go with a more friendly coming-of-age milieu; annoying those hoping the films would vie for the edgier side of the independent line and not impressing those who eventually did get to see them. Of all the issues apparent, this has always been my heaviest criticism (even beyond falling short myself in both contests.) Light on the budget side they might have been, but straight-to-video and cable movies have had more of a campaign to get them seen. Mediocre product they may have been, but its contestants deserved more of a coming out than a mere 13 theatres; which is less than the average Coca-Cola sponsored short film which plays before features. But no mistake is without redemption and Dimension films has the chance to not only resurrect the honorable (but dying) intentions of Chris Moore, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon but unveil a horror treat to movie fans everywhere that is in its simplest form – the best monster movie of its kind since the original Tremors. That was 1990 for those keeping score.

Hey it’s time for a ragtag bunch of folk to be couped up for a night of monster terrorizin’. OK – that’s Feast in its simplest form. But not for long as we’re immediately clued in that the filmmakers are aware of our expectations. We get a thorough introduction to over a dozen-plus characters (including Jason Mewes apparently playing himself.) There’s the town jackass (Balthazar Getty) and his wheelchair-bound brother (Josh Zuckerman); the bartender (Clu Gulager) and his staff – waitresses (hot) Honey Pie (Jenny Wade) and (weather-worn but even hotter) Tuffy (Krista Allen) who has a young son (Tyler Patrick Jones) and a hillbilly boyfriend (Duane Whitaker); the delivery guy (Judah Friedlander) and elderly barfly (Eileen Ryan); a biker chick (Diane Goldner) and the guy looking for an affair (Henry Rollins). If you’re already marking off your horror checklist of who the odds-on favorites are to survive, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are way ahead of you by providing not just their name and occupation, but life expectancy.

Bursting into the bar this night are a man (Eric Dane) and his wife (the beautiful Navi Rawat from TV’s Numbers whose job description is to kick ass in a tanktop) and they have some nasty buggers in pursuit. What they are and where they came from is of little consequence when you have patrons being devoured immediately and blood spraying by the gallons. The ferocious exuberance displayed in the first 15 minutes will both overjoy even the most average of horror fans and have them skeptical that there’s no way director John Gulager can keep it up. The fact that he does is not the only surprise in store.

In the post Kevin Williamson era, horror writers have found it necessary to keep up a self-referential tone not just to wink at its base of fans but to draw in those who snub their nose at a genre they gave up on years ago thanks to its never-ending cliché. The intro montages wears out its cuteness by about two or three nice-to-meet-yas, but Feast’s sense of humor doesn’t just nestle up to tearing down the obvious. There are character quirks such as Friedlander’s assertion that they are “Uppercased fucked!” countered by Rollins’ positive thinker classifying this as a “species standoff” that requires them to think out of the box. His Rooseveltesque solution – “I need a stick.” Getty has some terrific one liners and great interaction with Ryan whom he foolishly looks to guidance. You’ve seen the Alien Queen spit out her eggs from a giant sac, but I guarantee you’ve never witnessed monsters getting it on to replace their brethren faster than water through a Gremlin.

The greatest travesty of the modern horror landscape is having its soul sold to the PG-13 era. Gore is either a crutch or an exclamation point, depending on the filmmaker’s skill and confidence in the material. One of the many impressive aspects of Feast is that being aware of its limited budget, Gulager and team have piled on the bloodletting to dam-breaking effect and ogles that line between extreme horror and giddy glee that masters Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson perfected. The monster effects are equally grand and ghastly with just enough creativity in their limited visualization to make us squirm.

Feast was screened as a work-in-progress at the Chicago Film Festival and any complaints about the film are in the color correction departments with a few overly dark shots which weren’t a plus within the Pvt. Ryan editing in a few moments which is a more legitimate issue. Horror fans have been so hungry to have their genre find a resurgence that anything which got whispers from festivals or overseas, like the overrated Cabin Fever and Dog Soldiers, broke free into cults shouting their names. Even the gore-drenched High Tension short-circuited its clever chip by a third. Feast throws us right into the blood pool and keeps everyone afloat except maybe for those with weak stomachs and hand-shaped eye curtains.

The R-rated horrors may be limping towards a comeback but it’s going through its own transition through a string of awful remakes (The Amityville Horror, House of Wax). And when all else fails – bring it back down to a PG-13 (The Fog). Maybe it’s the price we must pay to get the occasional Dawn of the Dead, where skepticism is thrust aside in favor of a joy of filmmaking and an intolerance for just giving an audience the bare minimum for their nine bucks. Horror fans deserved Feast and, more importantly, the monster movie deserved it after being relegated mostly to video shelves and taking a back seat to the serial killer renaissance. Project Greenlight and Dimension must do right by Feast. You may add nepotism to its list of faults (John is Clu’s son) but the greater one would be letting this charmed third outing rot away in just another 13 theatres. Considering Dimension’s recent offerings (Darkness, Below, They, Cursed, Venom and the upcoming awful Wolf Creek), they could use a bit of redemption themselves.

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originally posted: 10/16/05 05:55:22
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Chicago Film Festival For more in the 2005 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell entertaing 4 stars
2/01/13 jcar a orginal, freaky, and entertaining horror flick with plenty of gore and laughs. 3 stars
10/09/12 Golden J. Williams Jr. Don't mess with the Monster Family, they're hungry, horny and Jr is ready to cum!! 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles LOVED 5 stars
6/03/10 Justin This movie lacked a good Baby tossing. Other than that it was very good. 4 stars
12/26/09 Chad Dillon Cooper This movie has attitude. Love it, love it love it 4 stars
10/09/09 mr.mike Rips off Quentin and Romero...very nicely. 4 stars
6/10/09 NathanExplosion Just TRY to watch this stoned..... 4 stars
6/13/07 Charles Tatum One funny line, then 80 minutes of blood and little imagination (and no scares) 1 stars
5/05/07 TyrantisTerror Hilarious, witty, and gripping. 5 stars
5/03/07 David Pollastrini some good gore otherwise kind of dull 2 stars
2/24/07 Brian Mckay Evil Dead meets Dog Soldiers meets a Guy Richie movie.Fun, but over the top and weak ending 4 stars
2/05/07 William Goss A lot of fun, even as the first-reel buzz wears off and seams begin to show. 4 stars
1/20/07 malcolm a fucking blast. if you're not a horror-head you'll miss a lot of inside jokes. 4 stars
1/18/07 del "Feast" makes stupid people vote "Awesome," apparently...kinda like Nascar and wrestling. 1 stars
12/27/06 Agent Sands entertaining for awhile as a gorefest, but for me it's just good for one watch. 3 stars
11/14/06 candy says: Many "amazing" movies make stupid people feel smart, Feast makes smart people feel stupid. 5 stars
11/12/06 the man it was amazing for the first 10 mins then it realy sucked 2 stars
11/11/06 Jamethon You all should have your movie-watching licenses revoked...this is pure GARBAGE!! 1 stars
11/07/06 Nasty nas What a load of shit!! qUITE SURELY 1 stars
10/30/06 Gibmucs Wont win any awards but does entertain... a bit. 3 stars
10/25/06 Mike Bad guys looked lame, comedy not that funny. This is way OVERRATED. 2 stars
10/24/06 Drew G A pretty fun gore fest, though not too frightening 3 stars
10/24/06 michael classic horror flix 4 stars
10/23/06 Pritchett Quite possibly the worst piece of shit I've ever sat through...utter, festering garbage. 1 stars
10/23/06 HypnoToad Must see? I couldn't see a thing. 3 stars
10/19/06 JOSHUA this is a great horror comedy and hope for a sequel with a bigger budget and more gore! 5 stars
10/18/06 Metalhead A GREAT throwback horror film!! THIS is what should be in theaters!! 5 stars
10/14/06 Starker Great horror flick - MUST SEE 5 stars
9/17/06 The Bishop Finally, some originality in the horror realm! 5 stars
11/05/05 Gab C frickin awesome 5 stars
10/17/05 Blutarsky Dude, you need to take "Below" off your list there. 5 stars
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  22-Sep-2006 (R)
  DVD: 17-Oct-2006



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