The Review: Feast turned out to be the train I completely and utterly missed out on. Only recently did I finally buck up and get a Dish for my television watching, growing up strictly with basic cable, so I missed out on all of the Project Greenlight crazyness in the past years when it was on HBO as well as the Bravo station. For those unfamiliar, Project Greenlight was a program where producers (including Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) got together and picked out one user submitted script in order to make a feature film out of. Feast was on the third season of Project Greenlight, and I’m sure there was all kinds of drama behind the scenes of the film – but having not seen that series I can only make judgement on the film itself and I suppose that’s even better. With no way of showing partiality towards the filmmakers and their good intentions, I come into Feast as just another guy looking for a bit of gory horror film fun. With that frame of mind, I have to say that Feast definitely delivered.
That doesn’t mean that we’re talking about a spectacular or particularly brilliant horror film, but overall Feast turns out to be one of the better independent horrors to make the scene as of recent. This comes in the past couple of years where independent and straight to DVD horror has made a bit of a resurgence in terms of quality. Feast is an old fashioned gore comedy that doesn’t skimp on either, as children are brutalized, limbs are lopped off and finally demons orally rape the innocent. That’s right, oral rape. Not exactly something you see every day in mainstream cinema! Feast takes joy in everything that is not politically correct, and after having seen the second film as well I can testify that the filmmakers behind the series are looking to push the envelope as hard and as heavy as they can while still packing in an audience. As a horror-comedy, something more than just some blood, guys and maggots – I find Feast actually works well at just about everything it tries to do. It doesn’t always succeed, but more often than not the heart is in all the right places.
Featuring a very reliable cast, the performances are all right on the head as they should be. I found myself particularly enjoying Henry Rollins, former punk singer and spoken work rock artist, as he found himself playing against type as a motivational speaker. In other words, big old Henry Rollins plays a wimp. Hard to imagine, since the guy’s biceps are larger than the state of Montanna and his gravelly speaking voice is more rough than the far side of a coal mine. Between his performance here and in the gory and yet slightly goofy Wrong Turn II, I’m convinced Henry is really coming into his own as far as his acting goes. The lovely Krista Allen also stars, and is as beautiful as ever. Have had a crush on her for many years, since those nights of staying up and catching her Emanuelle softcore romps on Skinemax in the late hours of the night. Ahh, the good old days. The rest of the cast all remain fundementally ‘cool’ like the story calls for and generally spit out their “much cooler than reality” dialogue in such a way that it doesn’t become overly forced or shallow.
This brings up another possible detriment the film may have in the eyes of some audience members. Feast is another hip take on genre film, with a little bit of influence from Tarantino and Rodriguez or even the wave of post Pulp Fiction crime films. It’s a hyper reality, where characters are cooler than cool and always have the right one-liners to quip out at just the right moments. Add to this a lot of kinetik editing, and every character in the film going by a nickname rather than any kind of actual given name. Some are going to be attracted to the concept and see it for a cool little bit of mcguffin, some are going to think it’s over the top and trying too hard. You the audience can make up your mind on that bit, but I personally found it to be a neat touch – especially in a horror film such as this that doesn’t take itself too serious and has such a love for juvenile humor and gore. When you’re actually trying to have a “cool” film, I think it becomes more embarrasing.
Feast is just part of this new wave of independent horror that seems to be gaining in popularity. Some are part of the “torture porn” subgenre, some are just ghost stories but it seems as if the horror genre is being reborn in some ways in the DVD market – as the Dimension Extreme lineup as well as the Ghosthouse Underground series of films have given us quite a few quality releases. Horror isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it’s great to see the youth finally making their mark on the genre instead of trying to simply duplicate our old masters. I’m giving Feast a 4 out of 5, as it really is a highly entertaining little flick with a lot of gore and is gruesomely entertaining. Don’t worry though, as gory as this one is, it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.