Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds
The once proud genre of horror films has over the last decade or so has become diluted. It was once a great deal of fun to sit and watch as the story brought out one scare after another. Now it seems that these movies are glorifying outright torture. The ingredients to flicks like this are simple. Get a few hundred gallons of stage blood, several pounds of phony guts and a few nubile young women willing to disrobe on screen. Since none of these requirements are difficult or overly expensive, the horror film has become the go-to genre for burgeoning new independent filmmakers. The quality of the flick often plummets when the movie is a sequel to a previous horror flick. With the rise of DVD releases and sales, it doesn’t take much for the distributor to make a profit. When I heard that I was to review yet another horror sequel my reaction was like that of many fans of this type of film; I cringed and moaned. That is until I discovered the title; ‘Feast II: Sloppy Seconds.’ The original movie ‘Feast’ was a very well crafted and funny horror film. Sure you laugh at a lot of horror flicks, but in this case, you laugh with not at the movie. Since I enjoyed the original and many of the cast and crew returned for this installment, I had more than a glimmer of hope as I placed the disc in my DVD player. I was delighted with the results.
The film is funny and a near perfect spoof of everything that is currently wrong with most of the genre. Adding to some of the characters from the first movie is a cast of characters including an all-female biker gang and a couple of little people wrestlers. Now how can you go wrong with that kind of twisted view of the film? Another factor that gives a ray of hope for this film is the distributor, Dimension Extreme. They are a subsidiary of the Weinstein Company and Genius Production. For a long time, they have been at the forefront of bringing independent movies to DVD. Now with this division, they have opened their catalog to include some of the better horror movies that are out there.
At the helm of this movie is one of the upcoming young directors, John Gulager. He was a winner in the TV series ‘Project Greenlight’ which helped to provide funding to a worthy film; the movie he won with was the first ‘Feast.’ Here Gulager manages the extremely difficult task of providing a parody of bad horror flicks and expressing his style. One thing that helps is his method of embracing the over the top nature of the film. He might be too young to remember them, but there are the look and feel of those old EC horror comics like ‘Tales of the Crypt’ and ‘Vault of Horror.’ What made us defy our parents and read them by flashlight under the covers at night is the sheer entertainment these comics provided. Gulager has captured this perfectly. He is a new independent filmmaker, yet he doesn’t seem to feel obligated to use every trick learned in film school. He is a fan of the genre and directs from that perspective. The trouble with so many sequels is rehashing the plot of the first film. Gulager gets right into the action as quickly as possible. He introduces the new characters and allows a little recap there, but after that, this film is on its own. There are many elements of the slash and dash flick here but done with the tongue so firmly planted in the cheek that you will find yourself laughing as well as getting in a few actual scares. This breaks up the pacing the movie nicely alternating between slapstick comedy and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. This film cost about $2 million down from the over $3 million of the original. You would never know just how much they had to count their pennies; this film is better polished than most Indy horror flicks.
The writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have worked extensively with each other and Gulager. This is one of the things that this film has going for it, a team that knows each other. Melton and Dunstan worked on the original ‘Feast’ and more recently on the fourth and fifth installment of the ‘Saw’ franchise. If you are going to make fun of the torture flicks you might as well get people who helped create the sub-genre in the first place. The story here is a classic in the genre. A band of survivors must put aside their differences and pull together to make it out alive. Horrible bloodthirsty are looking for a meal, and this ragtag collection of misfits is on the menu.
The trick to the story is how the writers use the characters. There are enough backstories for each to pull in the audience and make us care about them. On the surface, they are the usual bunch that populates any town that is endangered of becoming monster chow. Then they start to talk, and you learn little pieces of how they got to this point. There is an internal consistency to the story. It picks up moments after the conclusion of the first tale. Since many of the original cast were available for this movie is as natural a sequel as possible. The third film of the series is in the works so it would be proper to consider this movie the middle act of a trilogy.
The film opens with the last shot of ‘Feast,’ a car is pulling away. A woman, the Biker Queen (Diane Goldner) is seen pulling up to a bar out in the desert. She realizes something is not right as a German Shepard runs past with a human hand in his mouth. She picks up her shotgun and pumps a few rounds into the dog killing it. Biker Queen currently is the leader of an all-female biker gang. Make no mistake about it these ladies could take on any pack of men on the planet. She finds a survivor, the bartender of this now destroyed the establishment. He is played by well-known character actor Clu Gulager who happens to be the dad of the director. Biker Queen is the twin sister of one of the previous night’s carnage, Harley Mom. Next, we get to meet two brothers, Thunder (Martin Klebba) and Lightening (Juan Longoria García). Several hours before the main action they are in a seedy motel room where Lightening is busy torturing and raping a woman. They are both luchadors working in broken down arenas. Most of the characters who survived are back such as the loveable Honey Pie (Jenny Wade). Even during the initial introductions, the audience is teased with little glimpses of what the monsters are up to. They are tired of fighting a small group; that was appetizers. Now they want the main course, and the little town is just the thing.
This is an entertaining movie that is presented unrated for the DVD. There is plenty of perversity, blood, and action to make the die-hard horror fan feel right at home. Gulager is certain to become a new master of horror with these films. He made something truly worth watching. His style is unique and brisk with a real eye for details. The DVD has a commentary track with him, the writers and several of the actors, including his dad. They sound like a group of people who get along well and have fun doing these films. This kind of camaraderie leaps off the screen to the delight of the viewers.
Posted 10/03/08 Posted 05/01/2019