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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Feast

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Judy Thorburn

Feast

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"FEAST" COOKS UP ONE HECK OF A SCARE FEST

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

If you watched the Bravo TV reality series “Project Greenlight” executive produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore, then you are well aware that in its third competition (with fright master Wes Craven on board as an executive producer) Feast was the winning screenplay. I didn’t follow that last series which followed the making of the movie from start to finish. But, I did attend the theatrical World Premiere of the film that took place on my home turf of Las Vegas at the Palms Casino Resort, which is owned by the Maloof Brothers, who also helped finance the project, and are therefore credited as co-producers. You can read my coverage of the Red Carpet Premiere and after party reception in last week’s Vegas Happenings column, and on line at www.lasvegasroundtheclock, and of course, www.theflickchicks.com.

Granted, Feast may not win any other awards, but it should win plenty of fans, especially those who dig horror films that are bent on creating some laughs. If my memory is correct, the first film to intentionally add some comedy to horror was 1990’s Tremors. In fact the tag line for that movie was “the monster movie that breaks new ground”. It did, literally, creating a new genre.

The latest release in that genre is indeed Feast, written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan and directed by John Gulager. The script is not unique in that it follows a typical formula we’ve visited over and over again. You know; the familiar plot, where a group of people are isolated in a desolate place and are forced to fight for their lives against deadly, hungry for blood, creatures. One by one a human falls prey. It is just a matter of guessing who goes first and who is left as hero or heroine. Add humor and a few clever twists and you have the idea.

Feast takes place in a tavern located in (no surprise) the middle of the California desert. If any problems occur, well, you’re on your own. The opening credits alone are a hoot setting the mood for a scare fest that is strictly tongue and cheek. Before any action takes place, we are introduced to the cast of characters with a brief description and their life expectancy that is written across the screen. The motley crew consists of a hopeful hero (Eric Dane), his wife, heroine (Navi Rawat of TV’s Num3ers), Harley mom (Diane Goldner), Edgy cat (Jason Mewes, basically playing himself), horny redneck (Duane Whitaker), crusty old bartender (director John’s dad, veteran actor, Clu Gulager), goofy beer guy (Judah Friedlander), nerdy motivational coach (cast against type, Henry Rollins), hot blonde waitress (Jenny Wade), hot brunette waitress (Krista Allen) and young son (Tyler Patrick Jones), a boozed up Grandma (Eileen Ryan, Sean Penn’s mom), pool hustler (Balthazar Getty) and his wheelchair bound, younger brother (Josh Zuckerman).

The action begins when suddenly the aforementioned wannabee hero (Dane) comes barging into the place exclaiming that a hideous monster is on the way, but he is going to save their lives. Dane is given as much screen time as a TV ad, because shortly after coming through the door, the monster shows up, reaches into the window, grabs and beheads the poor guy, making him the first victim, or should I say appetizer, for the carnivorous monsters.

Actually, this may be one horror film that has you rooting for the monsters, or maybe sympathizing with them. After the hero’s wife arrives we find out what set the monsters off on a killing spree. While traveling with her husband through the desert, the heroine’s car accidentally hit and killed one of the creatures. Unfortunate for her and everyone else who happens to be at the bar, it turns out the dead creature was part of a family, and now the mom, pop and kid, are in hot pursuit, hungry for revenge.

Of course there is plenty of expected gore, meaning blood, guts, and mutilations to please the most ardent horror fan that loves that sort of stuff. But, give it up to director John Gulager for crafting a perfect blend of suspense, action, and comedy, within a limited budget of just one million dollars. From start to finish the pace never let’s up. There are even a few surprises.

If I have one complaint it is something that bothers me with many recent horror films. You can never get a good look at the monsters because all the camera shots directed at it are executed in such a way as to be too quick or blurry. I guess the filmmakers don’t want audiences to see too much because they couldn’t afford CGI. Nevertheless, we get the idea that this is one ugly, mean and frightening monster.

What I do love is the fact that other than the shotgun wielding bartender, it is a tough woman played straight and serious by Navi Rawat who comes to the plate and kicks ass. Right on!

Some of the dialogue is hysterical, especially when the smart-ass fat guy (Friedlander) asks the hot blonde to look at the condition of his bloodied face and ripped out eye. Unaware that disgusting maggots are crawling from the socket he asks, “Is it getting any better”. How can you not laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation?

I won’t mention any other spoilers. Just take it from me, Feast is surprisingly fun and slick and should fill the appetite of those hungry for a good comedy/horror flick. If you want to catch it on the big screen, heed my advice and go soon before it disappears from the theatre. Feast opens nationwide, with late night showings in theatres beginning Friday, September 22, followed by the DVD launch set for October 17, 2006.