* (out of 5)
September 22, 2006
Navi Rawat as HEROINE
Krista Allen as TUFFY
Balthazar Getty as BOZO
Judah Friedlander as BEER GUY
Jenny Wade as HONEY PIE
Duane Whitaker as BOSS MAN
Josh Zuckerman as HOT WHEELS
Eileen Ryan as GRANDMA
Clu Gulager as BARTENDER
Studio: Dimension Films
Directed by: John Gulager
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Anyone who has ever followed the “Project Greenlight” television show probably will agree that while the series is intriguing and entertaining, the movies all suck. “Stolen Summer” was lame. “The Battle of Shaker Heights” was even worse. They both bombed at the box office.
When it came time for the third season to air (on a different network, no less), producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck decided to take the next film in a much more populist direction. Instead of telling some whiney coming-of-age story or bringing to life a film with social significance, they went after the horror market with “Feast.”
Some thought this might be the key to propelling the “Project Greenlight” movies into the mainstream. Unfortunately, “Feast” does not turn this around.
The biggest problem with “Feast” is that it isn’t made with any heart. While the filmmakers might like the horror/action genre, I couldn’t feel any of that love in the film. Instead, it seemed like some lame-brain Hollywood executive made a list of all the elements that have worked in other films and had some hack filmmaker vomit out a bad carbon copy.
“Feast” isn’t much of a film, but rather an echo of a film. There could have been something decent in there, but it is made with such a cavalier attitude without even trying that it’s completely empty. The attempt seems to be to make a spoof of the genre. However, it seems more to be poking fun at horror flicks than lovingly ribbing them.
Earlier this year, “Slither” tanked at the box office, but at least that film showed a certain level of charm and devotion while sending up the horror movies of the 1980s. Similarly, “Snakes on a Plane” was a heartfelt and hilarious send-up of the goofy action film. “Feast” doesn’t come close to these movies.
This movie, however, doesn’t even try. It uses cheap tricks, like title cards to introduce each of the dozen-plus characters. The last time I saw this in a film was in “The Crow: Wicked Prayer,” and that’s not the movie you want to copy.
After introducing a cast of characters that have no likable qualities whatsoever, the movie jumps into violence as some unexplained animals from the desert lay siege on a bar. The next hour or so turns into a weak imitation of “From Dusk Till Dawn” without all the quirkiness and characterization to get in the way.
And while the film delivers in spades in the gore department, it ignores the other staple of cheesy horror flicks – nudity. The only skin you see is one bra scene. Considering Krista Allen, who spent much of the entire Skinemax mini-series “Emmanuel in Space” naked, leads the cast, there should have been something else to earn that R rating. (I know, I’m a pig, but I’m speaking as a loyal member of the horror film demographic.)
Instead of getting a wide theatrical release, “Feast” is being snuck into the cinema for midnight shows around the country on the weekend of September 22 and 23. I must admit, if the film is going to work, this is the only market that it will prevail.
I attend a 14-hour horror marathon each year in my home town, and part of the fun is watching cheesy horror flicks while you’re hopped up on caffeine and sugar from the refreshment stand. “Feast” would work remarkably well in this context. However, it devours itself in any other form.