Feast (2005)

We all know I loved PIRANHA 3D; that’s not news.  But with the announcement of a sequel, PIRANHA 3DD, I’m very stoked that we’re gonna get at least one kick ass summer flick in 2011.  The team that’s making the sequel is director John Gulager and writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, the guys who brought us the FEAST trilogy.  When I heard the news about the follow-up I went out and bought the trilogy to re-watch and see if this was the right team to follow up Alexandre Aja’s tittie-filled gore flick.  So besides reviewing the first FEAST, in the upcoming week I’ll also be reviewing FEAST 2 & 3.  Let’s get to it!!

We all know the history of the first FEAST flick:  It was part of the 3rd season of the TV show PROJECT GREENLIGHT, a reality show about the making of films.  Personally I never watched PROJECT GREENLIGHT and frankly it doesn’t interest me.  I’m really not one for reality TV shows.  FEAST is, plain and simple, a monster movie.  The monsters are never really explained (we never know what they are) but we do know they are full of teeth and razor-sharp claws, have voracious appetites, and are very horny.  I also had a blast with this one.  The entire trilogy has become one of my favorite guilty pleasure franchises around (along with the FINAL DESTINATION films).  So what makes FEAST so goddamn fun?  In a word, the writing.

It doesn’t take long for the shit to hit the fan in FEAST!!

FEAST doesn’t take the typical journey most monster flicks take.  Sure we get a group of different personality-types locked up together in a small-ish space (this time in a dingy bar in Bum-Fucks-Ville, Texas) having to come together (kinda) as they fight off the monsters.  That’s pretty much where the similarities to other monster flicks ends … not to mention that writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton completely shake up the formula.  The first thing you’ll notice is the super-fast pacing of the film.  Director John Gulager, son of actor Clu Gulager who stars in FEAST, wastes no time getting straight to the action and the gore.

An example of the on-screen character fast sheets.

The movie opens with us “meeting” all the regulars in the seedy little Texas bar.  Bozo (Balthazar Getty) is the resident wiseass who might be the film’s hero/star; Hot Wheels (Josh Zuckerman) is Bozo’s wheelchair-bound brother; Beer Guy (Judah Friedlander) is the bar’s delivery man; Honey Pie (Jenny Wade) is the waitress; Tuffy (Krista Allen) lives above the bar with her young son and turns tricks to pay the bills; and Bartender (Clu Gulager) is … well he’s the bartender/owner of the bar.  The first thing I love and that’s a little different is we get a “character fact sheet” that pops up on screen as we’re introduced to each character.  For example when we meet Bozo the screen freezes on him and we get some info:  His name, a brief character summary, and his life expectancy.  I liked this little touch and it really plants the seed about how this film was gonna be different from the tradition it comes from (i.e., monster flicks), and it also sets the mood that this is going to be a film with a sense of humor.

Honey Pie & Coach (Henry Rollins) trying to figure out their next move.

Into the bar walks Coach (Henry Rollins), a motivational speaker on his way to a conference, and Harley Mom (Diane Ayala Goldner, John Gulager’s wife), who’s planning on robbing the bar.  But before Harley Mom can strike, a bloodied guy carrying a shotgun (Hero, played by Eric Dane) bursts through the doors and tells everyone they are in big trouble unless they listen to him.  He tries to tell them that he and his wife hit something in the middle of the road and that whatever it was it’s parents are pissed and now chasing them.  When someone asks him, “Who the hell are you?” he simply responds (in his best heroic tone), “The guy who’s gonna save your ass.”  Before he barely gets those words out, something from outside crashes through the window he’s standing next too and rips off his head.  All this happens in the first 5-7 minutes and from here on in the film doesn’t let up.

I’d say Honey Pie made the wrong move!!

What I really loved here is the fast-pace of the writing.  The film moves along so fast that you won’t care about the silly and elementary plot.  The dialogue is also great as the characters panic trying to figure out what the hell the creatures are while at the same time attempting to barricade themselves in the bar.  From the intro you’re positive that you’ve sized up all the characters and know which are gonna live and die.  But Dunstan and Melton take all the characters in very non-stereotypical directions.  In fact the humans often times do more damage to each other than the creatures do.  There’s really not a hero in the entire bunch.  They all attempt to fill the heroic role at one time or another but all crumble to cowards in the face of mortal danger.  And everything in FEAST is played tongue-in-cheek.  This is not a film that takes itself too seriously, and the humor here works.  The humor never gets in the way of the horror or diminishes it.  In fact the humor and horror work hand-in-hand here and they compliment each other perfectly.

You do NOT wanna see the rest of him … trust me!!

The only negative thing I have to say about this film is that scenes with the monsters are pretty hard to watch.  When the monsters are attacking the editing becomes super fast and it’s really difficult to see what the fuck is going on.  Seriously; the editing here makes Michael Bay seem like Ingmar Bergman!! I’m assuming that they did this due to the budget, a meager $3.2 million (I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s mere pennies compared to major Hollywood releases).  But then again SELLA TURCICA was made for about $20,000 and that made the #2 spot on my “Best of 2010 List.”  I’m just saying.

A very hot and ass kicking Krista Allen.

But besides the at times seizure-inducing editing, if you’re looking for a really fun, gory monster flick that doesn’t just shake up the formula but bends it over and plows it in the fart box well you’re gonna really enjoy this film.  What other films out there can you find young kids getting killed, heads getting ripped off, a cast full of cowards who turn on each other at the drop of a dime, monsters puking an acid-like vomit on people (which makes them dissolve), and giant monsters who fuck anything they can get their hands on, including a cat??  Not too many!!  This film isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is (a funny, gory, monster flick), and if you go into it expecting to see that then you’re gonna have a great time.

My Summary:

Director:  John Gulager

Plot:  4 out of 5 stars

Gore:  6.5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Comments
9 Responses to “Feast (2005)”
  1. HorrorWhore_84 says:

    I looooove this movie! (your review is great too…) Iv owned it on dvd since it came out, knowing how it was made and seeing some of the behind the scenes filming, i was very interested to see what came of it. The action is crazy, i love the character bios and the dialogue. Its perfect for group viewing with friends…every time I show it, EVERYONE enjoys! Perfect monster movie!

    Like

    • Thanks HorrorWhore_84!!! What did you think of FEAST 2 & 3? I’ll be posting my reviews of them in the next week or so.

      I agree about the original … it’s just a really fun monster flick!! There’s no hidden message or any of that bullshit … just a solid monster flick that delivers.

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  2. Buzz says:

    Just finished watching this film. I didn’t really think it was that great to be honest. The first half an hour is really fantastic for all the reasons that you mention, especially when that kid gets eaten which was hilariously funny (I worry about myself sometimes). After that I felt the films one note humour started to get a little flat. In a film like this I think you need one of two things (preferably both). 1. You need good action and you’ve stated yourself that the action here isn’t very good. I would have been more inclined to let this movie off because of the low budget but after seeing Skyline I don’t think I’m prepared to do that with any movie any more. 2. The other thing it needs is good character development, which I just didn’t feel there was any. There were glimmers of where there could have been room for the character growth, like when Bozo accidently shoots Heroine. That was a great scene, you can see the shock and torment on his face, and can almost feel the impact of what he’s done as it hits him… and then it’s never touched on again. Good’o. Another thing, I didn’t like any of the characters, so there was no one that I was really rooting for. I especially hated Tuffy; I couldn’t believe it when she turned out to be the protagonist. She takes the death of her son far too well in my opinion. And this is the woman that Heroine thinks would be the ideal person to look after her daughter if anything where to happen to her? The woman who not only epically failed to protect her own child but also got over it in about half an hour. She would be the person I’d most want to keep my kids (if I had any) away from. Almost anyone in that bar would have been better than her. Overall it’s not a terrible film, it did just enough to maintain my interest, although just barely. There were quite a few times when I thought about turning off because I was board but then something happened which made me keep watching. I will say that them stalling the car at the end did make me laugh, so at least it went out on a high note.

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    • FEAST just hits all the right notes with me Buzz. Did I say in my review that the action in FEAST wasn’t very good? If I did I meant to write the EXACT opposite!! I love FEAST and I loved that there was no traditional hero or heroine to root for. All the characters were despicable and the harm they caused each other was as good as the damage the creatures were doing to them. This isn’t a film where you can look for meaning … it’s just a bare-bones, badass film that’s meant to be a really fun ride. And for me, mission accomplished.

      If you’re looking for an excessively gory, fun film Buzz ya gotta check out FEAST 2: SLOPPY SECONDS. I’ll post my review of it soon.

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      • Buzz says:

        “When the monsters are attacking the editing becomes super fast and it’s really difficult to see what the fuck is going on.” – That sounds like an admission of bad action to me mate. Fair enough if you like that whole deviate from the normal hero thing. I know loads of people think that Raging Bull is a great character piece and a classic movie but I thought it was just the boring showcasing of an asshole for 2 hours. Feast has a bar full of Jake La Motta style characters. I’m not saying that you or anybody else is wrong for liking that style of anti-hero but it dosn’t really fit my own personal tastes. That really leaves very little to hold the movie up in my opinion. Gore alone is not going to cut it with me, as it think it’s fairly well evidenced by the Saw series that gore isn’t enough to support a movie. Which only leaves the humour and I stand by my point, that it made the first half an hour of the film great but after that it fell a little flat. I’ll be looking forward to your Feast 2 & 3 reviews but unless you report on some changes to the setup that might interest me, then I doubt I’ll be watching them.

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      • When I wrote, “When the monsters are attacking the editing becomes super fast and it’s really difficult to see what the fuck is going on” … I was referring more to the lighting anfd editing moreso than the action itself. The action was great; the creatures were attacking and tearing apart humans, but between the extremely fast editing and poor lighting we couldn’t see any of that action. Hope that clears it up.

        I actually love films that stray from the path and fucks around with their heroes. How many times can you see the rugged, frat boy-like hero save the day before that gets boring?? In FEAST part of the fun was figuring out who was gonna live and die. Since there was no hero or heroine established, anything could happen and anyone could live or die. It’s like a variation on Dostoyevsky’s quote: “Without god, anything is possible” (I may have hacked up that quote … been a while since I’ve read Dostoyevsky) 🙂

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      • Buzz says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I do like anti-hero’s… just not these ones 😛

        Like

      • But that’s what makes anti-heroes so damn fun… they’re selfish, cowardly, and usually unlikable 🙂

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