Feast – DVD Review

DVD available at Amazon.com

John Gulager

Navi Rawat….Heroine
Krista Allen….Tuffy
Balthazar Getty….Bozo
Judah Friedlander….Boss Man
Duane Whitaker….Jonah
Clu Gulager….Bartender
Henry Rollins….Coach
Jason Mewes….Himself

Dimension Films presents Feast. Screenplay by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. Running time: 87 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: Sept 22, 2006. DVD release: Oct. 17, 2006.

A man walks into a bar, holds up a nightmarish beast’s head and tells everyone that if they want to live, they’ll do what he says because there’s more on the way. Not exactly the best “man walks into a bar” joke, but a promising set up for a low budget horror flick.

Feast was the product of the third season of Project Greenlight. The reality show features Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore picking a “non-Hollywood” script and an aspiring director to make a low budget indie film. After crashing and burning with two coming-of-age films, the trio teamed up with Wes Craven to back a horror flick thinking that it would scare up box office action.

Unfortunately, they won’t be raking in any Grudge bucks off this film since it’s nearly gone straight to video. It’s a shame, because it might have had a chance to spook folks at the drive-in this pumpkin season. The film has plenty of action and scares crammed inside a small space.

Feast doesn’t give us much time to breathe before the hero shows up at a remote roadhouse in the desert holding the head of creature. All the various characters inside the bar have to snap out of their mundane barfly lives and figure out ways to fight off the the gruesome man eating beasts. And there’s plenty of man eating on the screen. But what chance should a monster have against Henry Rollins, Trench (from Naughty By Nature) and Judah Friedlander? These people are doomed. At least there’s a couple of tough women in the bunch who look alluring when covered in blood and spitting out orders.

To make matters worse for the humans, the phone lines are down so they can’t call the cops for help. Their only chance of survival is to use every weapon in the roadhouse against the mysterious menace. Luckily, the rough and tumble bar has plenty of guns, bats and even a bear trap. It’s almost a fair fight.

The film looks better than most of the cheese that ends up as SciFi Channel original movies. I do have a few problems with Feast. When the characters are introduced, a funny caption appears that sums up their lives and life expectancy. While this might seem funny, it creates the sensation that you’re watching the introduction to a videogame. Are we supposed to click a button to choose a character? There’s not that many amazing characters to select. This isn’t quite the cast of Alien. The characters often come off as human shaped dog biscuits eager to be devoured by the monsters. The only memorable performance comes from Friedlander who proves his comic wit can’t be obscured by puss and maggots. He’s shines while decomposing.

The ultimate star of the film is the creature effects. Gary Tunnicliffe and his crew created live action effects that will make you retch. Have you ever seen a severed beast’s penis bouncing around on the floor? There’s no lame CGI attacking these poor souls. It’s all fur and latex fury unleashed. When the real face of the monster is exposed, it’s a devouring machine. Tunnicliffe knows how to create a fright without relaying on a bunch of code programmers.

Besides showing off survival skills, Feast answers the question of what would Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob fame) look like if his face was torn off. This is a good selection if you’re hankering for a low budget gross out scare-fest for Halloween weekend.

The DVD:

The Video:
The picture is 2.35:1 anamorphic.

The Audio:
The soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 5.1. The subtitles are in English and Spanish.

Special Features:
The commentary track features director John Gulager, producers Mike Leahy & Joel Soisson, writers Marcus Dunstan & Partrick Melton and creature and makeup effects designer Gary Tunnicliffe. Everyone is in the same room, but there’s a lot of dead space. They really needed a moderator tossing out questions.

Blood On The Cutting Room Floor (a.k.a. Deleted Scenes) 7:39 – Here’s five scenes that didn’t make the final cut. The alternate ending shows the original demise of the mama creature.

Horror Under The Spotlight: Making Feast 11:08 – This is a letdown since we don’t get a condensed version of the Project Greenlight series. Director John Gulager talks about having to direct his father Clu Gulager, a veteran character actor.

The Blood And Guts of Gary Tunnicliffe 9:33 – A tribute to the true star of this film. He breaks down the monster suits and the effects. It’s amazing what he did on such a tight budget.

A small Feast of Outtakes 3:01 – A batch of blooper moments involving blood getting sprayed unexpectedly.

Feast Soundtrack Promotion 0:32 – just an advertisement.

The Inside Pulse:
Much better than the tripe that ends up on SciFi. And there’s not as much dead time in the film since we get right to the big ugly creatures eating the folks in the roadhouse. It’s good and gross. Too bad it went straight to video (if you don’t count a rather lame weekend theatrical release). Rent it for Halloween fun.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Feast
(OUT OF 10)