Dimension Films presents
"You know, this is just some leaky-barrel-radiation-toxic-dump-waste-enviro-crap that crawled out of the sewer. That's all this is."- Beer Guy (Judah Friedlander)
Stars: Balthazar Getty, Henry Rollins, Navi Rawat, Krista Allen
Other Stars: Judah Friedlander, Jenny Wade, Jason Mewes
Director: John Gulager
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, language, extreme gore)
Run Time: 01h:27m:00s
Release Date: 2006-10-17
DVD ReviewAll things considered, Feast turned out pretty well. I caught a bit of the Project Greenlight that spawned this one, and it seemed doomed to failure. Studio pressure to create a cheap, marketable horror film was extremely high, and everyone involved knew that a failure would doom both the resulting movie and the show as well. It was all too much pressure on first-time director John Gulager, and doubtless led to a few too many compromises. Still, in spite of all that, Gulager and first-time writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have created an efficient little thriller that takes way too long to get going, but goes for the balls once it does.
The plot, such as it is, is simplicity itself: weird, toothy monster things stage an all-out assault on a middle-of-nowhere bar full of quirky townies. It’s been done before, but the premise is less important than the execution. It's economical, by necessity and design, but in the early going a little too much so. I sure as hell wasn't looking for loads of character development, but establishing the cast a bit before ripping their heads off would have upped the tension. As it is, you're about halfway through before you can identify the characters well enough to give a crap if they live or die. Title cards over all of the characters pronounce their stock characteristics and life expectancies: it's clever, but gets old quickly. Same with some of the other jokes: they're hit or miss, and some stuff feels like it's trying too hard to be clever, and often as not undercuts what little affection we develop for the game cast. Everything leading into the action feels amateurish, but it doesn't take too long for things to get moving, and when they do there's lots of good stuff for horror fans.
The ultra-low budget special effects are surprisingly well done, making brilliant use of limited resources, and the gore is topnotch (bad news: a couple of underwear shots are the closest thing to T&A). Some of the camerawork on the action scenes leaves things confusing. Still, there are buckets of blood, entrails, vomit, brains, eyeballs, and even monster spunk (a lot, actually). The guys deserve credit for coming up with some really original nastiness—by the time they get around to the monster…um, let's call it a love scene with a legless biker, I was pretty well sold. As far as the scares, there's not much new: they're all of the "stuff jumps out of the dark" variety, and forgettable as far as that goes. On the whole, it's a solid B-movie: it doesn't feel particularly fresh, but plays better than many of the big-budget productions that have come out of Hollywood over the last few years.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B
|Aspect Ratio||2.35:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Not bad—there's some digital artifacting here and there, as well as some haloing. The flaws aren't pervasive, and don't really stand out unless you're looking. The earthy color palette is represented well, and things are clear even in the many dark shots.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: Lots of screaming, pounding, smashing: it's pretty aggressive, audio-wise, and the DD 5.1 soundtrack does a good job. The dialogue is clear, the metal soundtrack never overwhelms, and the rear channels are used effectively to create the claustrophobic ambiance.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
8 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director John Gulager, producers Mike Leahy and Joel Soisson, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, and effects supervisor Gary Tunnicliffe
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: A decent array, the highlight of which is the commentary track by the directer, producers, writers, and effects supervisor. It's pretty fun. Despite all of the people involved, it never gets out of hand. They all have a lot to say about the production, the difficulties, and about each other. It's a jokey, self-deprecating track with a group of people who sound like they're having fun, but still manage to provide some interesting background info.
Next is a smattering of deleted scenes. Some of these provide a little extra character development, but mostly it's fat that was rightly trimmed to keep the movie rolling. The alternate ending is here also; it doesn't really add much, but does clear up something that was slightly confusing in the feature.
Horror Under the Spotlight: The Making of Feast is a trim little doc that covers bits of the making, while most interestingly giving some insight into the process of making a movie while simultaneously making a reality show. Project Greenlight III would probably give you all the detail you need on the making of Feast, but that one's not available on DVD, so this is as good as it gets. The Blood and Guts of Gary Tunnicliffe is a brief but worthwhile bio/appreciation of the special effects and creature supervisor on the film. It was made with very little money and no digital effects, so the effects were absolutely crucial and this guy worked miracles.
A Small Feast of Outtakes is about three-minutes long, and rather cute. Finally, a Feast Soundtrack Promotion promises a smorgasbord of low-licensing fee metal.
Extras Grade: B
Final CommentsFeast doesn't break much new ground, but it's a fast, efficient gore-fest with some great low-budget special effects. It's no masterpiece, but it's a solid B-movie with spunk and a sense of style. And blood. Lots and lots of blood.
Ross Johnson 2006-10-17