Hey folks, Harry here with Mr Northwest and his look at Dimension's FEAST. Well, it sounds like ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, but with monsters. Or 30 DAYS OF NIGHT - but not written as well apparently. Having said that - the following review has spoilers throughout, and while overall they say it isn't a very good film, it does mention some good scares and a rough sort of potential. Now, before you write this pic off realize... 1- this is just one review. 2- Dimension doesn't even have a scheduled release date for this film, which means they've got time to work on it, and hopefully make it better still. At least that's how it is supposed to work...
Mr. Northwest writing again. I recently attended the first audience screening of Dimension's latest horror flick; Feast. This film is directed by John Gulager, who was the directorial winner of Project Greenlight: Season 3. The writers for the film were Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton, also of Project Greenlight: Season 3. This was a rough cut of the film, however the effects appeared complete. The sound was the only real distraction and problem, but this of course will be worked on.
Before completely upbraiding this film I would like to say it was fairly cool that the writers were ballsy enough to create a film devoid of any real plot or purpose save for death and gore. Likewise I hand it to John Gulager for being ballsy enough to helm such an endeavor, and actually succeed in making people jump and laugh instead of groaning. For what this flick set out to do (kill virtually every cast member in horrendous ways utilizing monsters) it accomplished magnificently. This isn't to say the movie was actually good though.
The plot (if we can call it a plot) revolves around a bunch of late night losers and boozers in the Beer Trap bar. We are introduced to these unsavory characters (you feel no interest in any of them) with the new trendy freeze frame and written exposition on the characters. You've seen this in The Rundown and plenty of other recent films. Anyway this introduction is far too long and quite boring. When you're just about ready to leave the theatre out of boredom the story (I keep using words like plot and story, they really don't fit) picks up the pace with the introduction of a bloodied man; "the Hero." (None of the characters have actual names, which is probably a clue that the filmmakers didn't want to worry about characters at all, merely suspense and gore). To make a short story even shorter, there are monsters coming to kill everyone in the bar and everyone better get ready!
Probably the only redeeming factor of this movie is that "the Hero" immediately is killed in a rather humorous sequence, which was quite enjoyable. Basically the monsters attack and these people must hole themselves up in the bar throughout the night, being killed off one by one. There was really no limit to the amount of blood and gore in the film (it is maintaining an 'R' rating currently, but it seemed a little too much to be released as such). It succeeds in many frightening moments of suspense, i.e. loud noises, sudden appearance of monsters, and nasty gruesome deaths.
Secondly, the humor in the film was done quite well. The cast wasn't terrible, I was shocked! If nothing else, seeing the film for Judah Friedlander's "Beer Guy" is worthwhile. Henry Rollins also makes an appearance as the "Coach," a motivational speaker. He was excellent for what he was given to do in the movie. The rest of the cast also turned out nice performances, as nice as they can be in a film devoid of characters or plot.
Of course the most important aspect of a horror film about monsters is the monsters themselves. John Gulager did an excellent job of keeping them from the audience eye until the very end, which increased the mystery and thus the fear factor of these creatures. Plus, they were pretty cool in many of the sequences. Horribly nasty, fast as hell, and lots of claws, teeth, matted fur, slimy skin, and blood. There is a sequence where one of the monsters retches on the "beer guy" that was pretty horrendous.
All in all the film is brave, because it doesn't give a crap about the characters. The key to horror films is developing audience intimacy with the characters and then putting them into horrendous situations. This did none of that, it simply introduced them and started killing them just as quickly and gruesomely as possible.
While not a good movie, it was enormously successful as a jump in your seat thriller. It is also not a bad way to spend some time if you're looking for just a fun and ridiculous film. If looked at in this light, it is certainly one of the best "horror" films to come out in a long time. It was nonsensical, devoid of plot. But this is what makes it at least enjoyable; the movie was MADE to be nonsensical, and devoid of plot. It was made for the sake of making a complete blood and guts, no characters, just killing, monster movie. In this it succeeded brilliantly.