Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for Pervasive Strong Creature Violence and Gore, Language, some Sexuality and Drug Content
Directed by: John Gulager
Written by: Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton
Starring: Balthazar Getty, Navi Rawat, Henry Rollins, Judah Friedlander, Josh Zuckerman, Jenny Wade, Duane Whitaker, Jason Mewes, Eileen Ryan, Eric Dane, Krista Allen & Clu Gulager
FEAST is unusual in its creation right out of the gate. This horror-comedy was actually the result of PROJECT GREENLIGHT Season 3 in which amateur filmmakers competed to get their first feature film funded from the likes of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. FEAST was the winning script out of the bunch and John Gulager was the director awarded with the opportunity to direct it. Far from anything brilliantly original, FEAST is a totally fun and goofy creature feature that’s sure to please a vast array of moviegoers (whether they enjoy scary movies or not). The title cards (introducing characters with their names, a fun fact about them, and life expectancy) automatically gives you an idea of the tone this film is going for. If you’re looking to have a good time with a horror-comedy, than this is a sure to satisfy that craving.
A group of diverse losers are drinking at a rundown bar in the middle of the desert. Their happy hour is interrupted by a stranger bursting through the door. He’s covered in blood, carrying a shotgun and the severed head of an unidentifiable monster, and brings news that a group of beasties are headed towards the bar. The mixed bag of characters must lock up, band together, and fight back against the creatures if they ever want to see the light of day again. This isn’t easy seeing as these monsters are clever and strong with an appetite for human flesh.
An easy comparison to give FEAST is that it’s the second half of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN with the vampires replaced by flesh-eating monsters of unknown origin. The movie doesn’t stop and feed us too much background information on these creatures. In fact, we don’t get a full view of how they look until the finale. Wisely, the most we see up until the point is a baby monster, an arm, and the side of a severed head that isn’t clearly shown. Though the movie might be seen to overly fall back on gross-out humor (one moment cracks me up every time I watch it and involves a certain piece of monster anatomy stuck in a door), there’s actually a lot of funny character dynamic. I think the only actual name we’re given in the title card for the characters is Tammy, the rest go by titles like Grandma, Bozo, Beer Guy, Bossman, etc. The dialogue exchanges by them make for big laughs, aside from the fact that gory splatstick is used quite a lot.
As entertaining and fun as FEAST is, it does suffer from a couple of crucial flaws. These being shaky camera work and dark lighting in certain scenes. It’s not as if these issues are apparent throughout the whole film, but they do put a damper on scenes that could be otherwise really cool moments. A good example is near the beginning with a baby monster attack. The camera is whizzing all over the place as hilarious havoc is breaking out, but you might be sitting there for a few minutes trying to figure out who just died and how. These problems aside, the movie is well worth watching and a bloody blast. Just know what you’re going into ahead of time.
There isn’t a whole lot more I can say about FEAST. It’s a basic premise executed in a very fun way. The movie does suffer from a few recurring technical problems, but they’re not a huge distraction. This is a goofy gorefest much like the cult films that Peter Jackson kicked off his career with (e.g. DEAD-ALIVE, BAD TASTE). If you can laugh at over-the-top gore, asshole characters spewing sarcastic dialogue back and forth, and handle a little iffy camera work/lighting on occasion, then FEAST should fill your appetite for a solid horror-comedy this October!