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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20%
Just Average: 11.11%
Pretty Crappy: 6.67%
Sucks: 11.11%

2 reviews, 33 user ratings

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by David Cornelius

5 stars

For those unfamiliar with the title, “Feast” is the result of the latest “Project Greenlight” contest, in which some lucky aspiring filmmaker is chosen to make the movie of his/her dreams, provided that cameras get to document every minute of the movie’s creation and broadcast it to millions. The first two “Greenlight” movies were personal coming-of-age dramedies (the lifeless “Stolen Summer” and the fairly enjoyable “The Battle of Shaker Heights”), so to shake things up, the series producers (which include Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) chose to select a horror flick as their third go. Horror icon Wes Craven was then wheeled in to act as an extra producer.

That’s as much as I know about the film’s backstory; I have never seen an episode of “Greenlight,” so I can’t comment beyond the paragraph above as to how “Feast” ultimately came to be, or how contest winners Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton felt about having their screenplay handled by contest winning director John Gulager (son of Clu, who stars in the film), or how much the producers got in the way of this or that. All I can say is that I’ve seen the final product, and damn, if this isn’t one heck of a fun time at the spook show.

The premise is very simple: an assortment of colorful characters are enjoying an evening at a dingy bar in the middle of nowhere when a blood-soaked hero bursts through the door, holds up a monster’s head, and warns all that these sumbitches are coming. The rest, then, is what happens when a bunch of drunks, floozies, and weirdoes have to fend off a monster attack.

Which sounds a lot like “From Dusk Til Dawn,” and considering the frantic mix of tongue-in-cheek splatter, oddball comedy, and well-earned creature feature scares, it’s obvious that the Robert Rodriguez vampire extravaganza is the inspiration here. But - dare I say it? - “Feast” is an improvement. This is a ballsy, full-on effort, sharply written and skillfully made, presented with nothing but wild, vulgar fun in mind.

Gulager, who has worked a variety of behind-the-scenes crew jobs (including several stints as cinematographer) before winning the director’s seat, reveals here a keen eye for everything that makes a horror movie like this work. The pacing is breakneck, the comedy is meticulously delivered, the splatter thrown our way with the relish of a madman.

And yes, the shocks are actually shocking. When we’re given a jump-scare or other such surprise, it’s never the sort of cheap cop-out most new filmmakers supply as a way of covering up for their inability to actually scare us. Gulager’s knack for the timing of a horror movie is impeccable, knowing how to set up the thrills, when to back off on the tension, why different types of scares work at different times. Here is a director so adept at thrilling us that the frights - and the fun - shine through in every frame.

At his side is a screenplay that has the monster genre down pat, eager to play along with the formula yet with a cleverness that still allows the story to surprise us repeatedly. The key is in the character introductions, which include a bit of on-screen text revealing, among other things, each player’s projected life expectancy. It’s all so very self-aware, in a good way: here’s a movie ready to tell us that yes, the asshole won’t last long while the kind-hearted heroine will, while grey-area harass characters aren’t so easy to judge. (Best of the bunch: a wheelchair-bound nice guy has good odds, as the movie asks us, “They wouldn’t kill a cripple, would they?”) Ah, but the movie just might be lying to us, because it’s smart enough to understand the clichés and to know exactly when to break from them. (Although when we’re promised one character will receive a “horrifying death in 70 minutes,” it’s a pact between movie and audience that the movie’s willing to keep. “Feast” knows what we want, after all.)

It’s also so self-aware that it gives us Jason Mewes as, well, Jason Mewes. Mewes, known to pretty much everyone in the “Feast” target audience as “Jay” in Kevin Smith’s comedies, appears in a minor, nameless role in the film’s early scenes, and the filmmakers realize that since a majority of the audience is bound to shout out “hey, it’s Jason Mewes!,” why not just say he’s playing himself and get it over with? It’s just one more way for the filmmakers to shoot a wink our way.

The comedy holds throughout the entire picture, thanks to a care-free attitude that runs rampant, a running gag that has every good plan go bad in the worst ways, and another that has Beer Guy (Judah Friedlander) suffering what may be the slowest death ever put on screen. The cast - which also includes Balthazar Getty, Krista Allen, Duane Whitaker, Josh Zuckerman, and Henry Rollins, hilariously playing against type as a motivational speaker - is obviously savoring every ounce of over-the-top chaos.

That “Feast” can so carefully balance well-played horror and comedy throughout its entire running time is a sure indicator that it is bound to become a classic of some sort, most likely of the cult variety. This is a goofy, scary, quotable thrill ride that demands multiple viewings; its endless entertainment value makes it the perfect party flick. This is the monster movie at full speed, a gross-out extravaganza that finally allows “Greenlight” to do what it promised: proudly introduce us to a handful of genuine talents.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13197&reviewer=392
originally posted: 10/17/06 17:41:11
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Chicago Film Festival For more in the 2005 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell entertaing 4 stars
1/31/13 jcar a orginal, freaky, and entertaining horror flick with plenty of gore and laughs. 3 stars
10/09/12 Golden J. Williams Jr. Don't mess with the Monster Family, they're hungry, horny and Jr is ready to cum!! 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles LOVED 5 stars
6/02/10 Justin This movie lacked a good Baby tossing. Other than that it was very good. 4 stars
12/25/09 Chad Dillon Cooper This movie has attitude. Love it, love it love it 4 stars
10/08/09 mr.mike Rips off Quentin and Romero...very nicely. 4 stars
6/10/09 NathanExplosion Just TRY to watch this stoned..... 4 stars
6/12/07 Charles Tatum One funny line, then 80 minutes of blood and little imagination (and no scares) 1 stars
5/04/07 TyrantisTerror Hilarious, witty, and gripping. 5 stars
5/02/07 David Pollastrini some good gore otherwise kind of dull 2 stars
2/23/07 Brian Mckay Evil Dead meets Dog Soldiers meets a Guy Richie movie.Fun, but over the top and weak ending 4 stars
2/05/07 William Goss A lot of fun, even as the first-reel buzz wears off and seams begin to show. 4 stars
1/19/07 malcolm a fucking blast. if you're not a horror-head you'll miss a lot of inside jokes. 4 stars
1/17/07 del "Feast" makes stupid people vote "Awesome," apparently...kinda like Nascar and wrestling. 1 stars
12/26/06 Agent Sands entertaining for awhile as a gorefest, but for me it's just good for one watch. 3 stars
11/13/06 candy says: Many "amazing" movies make stupid people feel smart, Feast makes smart people feel stupid. 5 stars
11/11/06 the man it was amazing for the first 10 mins then it realy sucked 2 stars
11/10/06 Jamethon You all should have your movie-watching licenses revoked...this is pure GARBAGE!! 1 stars
11/06/06 Nasty nas What a load of shit!! qUITE SURELY 1 stars
10/29/06 Gibmucs Wont win any awards but does entertain... a bit. 3 stars
10/24/06 Mike Bad guys looked lame, comedy not that funny. This is way OVERRATED. 2 stars
10/24/06 Drew G A pretty fun gore fest, though not too frightening 3 stars
10/23/06 michael classic horror flix 4 stars
10/23/06 Pritchett Quite possibly the worst piece of shit I've ever sat through...utter, festering garbage. 1 stars
10/22/06 HypnoToad Must see? I couldn't see a thing. 3 stars
10/18/06 JOSHUA this is a great horror comedy and hope for a sequel with a bigger budget and more gore! 5 stars
10/17/06 Metalhead A GREAT throwback horror film!! THIS is what should be in theaters!! 5 stars
10/14/06 Starker Great horror flick - MUST SEE 5 stars
9/16/06 The Bishop Finally, some originality in the horror realm! 5 stars
11/05/05 Gab C frickin awesome 5 stars
10/16/05 Blutarsky Dude, you need to take "Below" off your list there. 5 stars
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  22-Sep-2006 (R)
  DVD: 17-Oct-2006



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