@Ventspleen2014 takes a peak into the sick world of John Gulager and co and finds out whether the Feast trilogy is a sumptuous banquet or a dogs dinner…
Feast was released in 2005 and is a result of Project Greenlight’s third season. The project runs a competition with the winner having their project made into a legitimate film. Written by writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton and directed by John Gulager it was produced and distributed through Live Planet (Producer credits go to Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Wes Craven) Feast spawned two sequels and each film follows on directly from the end of the previous outing.
Feast focuses on a seemingly unprovoked attack by hideous, blood thirsty monsters on an unsuspecting group of drinkers. They are soon trapped in the building and must fight together or risk certain death. Nothing special so far and one may be forgiven in thinking that the premise is almost formulaic. What makes the Feast films exceptional is the flagrant disregard for form or rules and for the vicious and gore drenched humour that runs through all three films. Witness one of the creatures breaking in and “humping” a deer’s head or (part 3) copulating with a cat and worse and you’ll see what I mean. The death scenes bludgeon the viewer round the head so regularly and viciously you feel positively punch drunk by the time the credits roll. Here are creatures with inhuman strength and who also can procreate in seconds, literally. The writers are also very aware of the importance of characterisation and waste no time in familiarising their audience with the victims. The small fact window that pops up on the screen as an introduction to each character is simply inspired as is the estimation of their chance of surviving. Feast is truly a fantastic horror film but it also has moments of dark humour.
As the body count increases the remaining survivors must resort to increasingly desperate measures to keep the monsters out or to break free themselves. Here is the further genius with Feast. As in life we find onscreen a diverse selection of characters. Some will naturally lead, some will follow and some are self seeking bastards who would feed their own grandmothers to the ravenous Bug Blatter Beast of Traal. My personal favourite is Honey Pie and you would be forgiven in passing over her as just eye candy. She has a vindictive and calculating streak and is certainly not to be trusted. For the sequel Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds (love the title) the action is moved to a near by town so the body count is much higher and the action is less enclosed but far more frenetic. Again, the writers show scant disregard for established ruling and your guess is as good as mine as to who the hero is. A slight warning here, the second film features a gruesome and disturbing baby death scene that lived long in my memory.
The worry with film making contests is that the winning film feels contrived and lacks a certain standard. Feast is quite simply a barn storming horror film which ranks up with some of the greats. With the third film completing the story (for the time being as a fourth film is rumoured) and is the weirdest and most head scratching of the three films. Watch out for the marvellous Balthazar Getty as Bozo! Every time I watch Feast its a joy. Its not rocket science but the plot is simple yet superbly executed. In deciding to focus on the characterisation and individual reaction to the situation, Feast mines territory and asks questions of the human condition. Without wishing to sound trite one has to ask who are the real monsters here? The creatures? Well as it turns out they’re are just pissed off one of them became roadkill. The humans? Very little loyalty and, trust me, you’ll never look at a catapult in the same way again. Ever wondered how far you can fling a rotting half dead elderly lady? Look no further!
We watch Feast tonight at 8pm and Feast 2 and 3 on Sunday from 8pm
Follow David Martin on Twitter at @Ventspleen2014
Photos courtesy of hkmfilmnews.com, kisscasper.com,