31 Days of Gore: Feast (2005)

It’s October. Time to talk horror. This year I’m reviewing a different horror movie each day of the month.

I don’t know why I followed the development of Feast on Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Project Greenlight, but never actually watched the movie until now. In case you’re unfamiliar with Project Greenlight, it was a reality TV show in which the contest-winners got to make a movie in the Hollywood system. The first two movies produced by Project Greenlight sucked so the producers decided to go for broke and make the third a horror film.

Feast would be great if the shots were a little longer and the director didn’t try to be so damn cute. There’s a lot of exhausting wink-wink, nudge-nudge bullshit in the beginning of the movie, in which the filmmakers flat-out warn you they’re going to give you the unexpected. Unfortunately, when you’re expecting the unexpected, and you get the unexpected, then you were expecting it all along, weren’t you? If the film had lured us into believing it was a by-the-numbers horror film (You’re Next comes to mind), the unexpected stuff would have been much sweeter, not to mention a lot less self-congratulatory.

Never mind all that. Everything else about this movie is great.

Here’s the setup: there’s a bar in the middle of nowhere. There’s a ton of potential victims in said bar. It’s just an average night until a blood-drenched man with a shotgun bursts through the door and warns the patrons they had better fortify the bar on the double.

It’s not long before monsters arrive, draped in roadkill coats and cattle-skull masks. They’re gnarly-lookin’ beasts who’d just as soon yank your body through the slats in the window. In a misguided act of desperation, the characters attempt to stand their ground by dangling the monsters’ dead baby from a stick. This, as it turns out, only angers the monsters further. Henry Rollins’ character, who’s described as “a poor man’s Tony Robbins,” later admits: “Yeah, that was a bad idea.”

Most of these actors you’ll either know by name or recognize from other movies. Not only is this the second movie I’ve written about in a row which features Clu Gulager, it was directed by his son, John Gulager. After a success like Feast, John might be relegated to horror productions for the rest of his life. I hope he’s comfortable with that, because it’s clear he was born to make films like this and I’m interested in what else he has up his sleeves.

Feast is a helluva ride. It was obviously inspired by only the best kinds of movies I wanted to feature in 31 Days of Gore. I’m glad I’ve finally seen it. I’m not sure I’m ready for the sequel, though, because it’s a pretty exhausting movie.

Come back at midnight Central Time for the next movie.

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