Comfortable and Furious


You do realize that Halloween is long, long over, don’t you? So why are you watching this crap?

Yes, but why not every day? Are you so afraid? Anyway, I watched like seven movies during a spontaneous horrorgy and I felt I should give a nod to Feast because it was the only one that wasn’t terrible, besides The House of The Devil which doesn’t really count because it’s almost like a legitimate film or something.

So now, “not terrible” is supposed to be compelling?

Well… you haven’t seen Amok Train. Once you’ve been around the block a couple of times, it isn’t so easy to find horror flicks that are not terrible. Masterpieces like Halloween III: Season of the Witch come around only so often.

So, what is so un-terrible about Feast?

It is set in a bar where a motley group of characters are under siege by monsters…

Sounds pretty original.

Well, it is only 90% predictable, which is pretty decent. Also, the opening attack by the monsters drew me in for about ten minutes of uninterrupted violence, and it’s cool how you don’t know which cast members are going to die. It’s like The Thin Red Line, except the best-known actor is Jason Mewes. The monsters are disgusting and have as many killing techniques as there are short lived characters.

There’s no denying that this is another horror film refabricated from Dead Alive, Evil Dead and From Dusk Till Dawn that tries to be clever, but it actually achieves a bit of cleverness and enough originality to keep things rolling. For example, one of the characters trapped in a bar is a motivational speaker, incapable of deviating from his script and so he figures that his pre-loaded platitudes are as suitable for monster attack as they are for house flipping.

They aren’t. But thankfully, this film has way more teeth than something like Zombieland and it never waivers from a mission to deliver the horror film goods. I mean, of course, three of the four women trapped in a rural bar at random look like models and, after being soaked to the skin in blood, what other course of action is there than to change clothes in front of everybody? Predictable can be good.

What else sets it apart?

It was financed by the Maloof brothers, who own the Sacramento Kings, The Palms and some sort of skateboarding competition. I didn’t know they were into movies too. None of these compares, however, to making the most obnoxious of all of the deeply obnoxious Carl’s Jr. commercials. Note: I could only find the mutant, Hardee’s version, but it’s basically the same ad.

Also, after a marathon of crap, it was refreshing to just watch a movie made with such simple attributes as a feeling of control and an understanding of the genre. I also watched The Crazies, which had its moments but just felt like the work of a director who wasn’t a horror guy. There was no suspense, no matter how turned off my brain was and a few borrowed gimmicks meant to manufacture suspense fell flat. But with Feast, I was drawn in by the simple subtlety of a decapitation reducing a man’s body to an out-of-control fire hose of gore.

When I say the film is controlled, I just mean that the actors, story and budget all seem to be carefully planned out, almost as though the filmmakers view making a movie as a significant undertaking. Some of the other films I watched, particularly those with Italian roots, like The Church, seem as though somebody woke up one day and decided to make a movie with their friends and the $340 in their checking accounts. I honestly think that they got half way through shooting Amok Train and they were like, “…wait, this doesn’t make any sense. Um, maybe the train could become possessed by a demon, and then have a conversation in which it explains the premise of the film to the protagonist… insofar as there is a premise.”

Having a devil train explain the premise of the movie actually sounds pretty awesome.

That’s because it is, but you have to endure the rest of the movie as well, which is so incoherent that it has to be explained by a train. Anyway, nothing like that is required in Feast. I mean, OK, in the opening of the film there are freeze frames on each character that explain the character to us in simple text, but that’s by design, son. It took days, if not weeks to write this script.

So, Novelty Deaths?

There were a couple. Probably the best is Beer Guy. He’s done for when one of the monsters pukes on him, twice. I was hoping that the puke would transform him somehow, but all it really does is burn his skin and make him sick. Then when he peeks outside for a path to escape, one of the monsters plucks out his eyeball. Finally, he is poised for revenge in the form of a suicide bombing with a Molotov cocktail, but before he can ignite the bomb, the monster does that Hulk Hogan move where it slaps Beer Guy on both sides of the head at once, but instead of “ringing his bell” this causes Beer Guy’s head to explode.

So, one liners?

“”You get puked on by a monster, and you tell me how it feels!”

Were there unexpected twists?

Kind of, but they are done without much fuss. Like the guy established as the leader in the opening is killed immediately. I also liked when one of the hot chicks was sent out to retrieve a truck and help everyone escape, she just hauls ass and leaves everyone behind. Not much is made of it, as this would probably be a pretty common response to the situation. She doesn’t get her comeuppance. She just takes off and ditches everybody and that’s the last we see of the character. The rest of them are quickly too occupied by survival to linger on it.

What did you learn?

The trailer is pretty strange. It asserts that the monsters are some sort of military project with some supporting footage. None of this is mentioned or even hinted at in the movie. It still gives you a reasonable idea of what to expect in the film, but I can’t think of another case where the trailer was so out of sync with the film.



, ,