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DVD Review: Feast

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The aftermath of the TV show Project Greenlight, Feast is a wickedly funny creature feature, with all the blood and gore you can handle… or in some cases, not handle. Everything here is done in one of two ways: completely over the top or in excess. It's sharply written, pokes fun at its own genre, and ensures its audience is always entertained.

Obviously, Feast is not a big budget mainstream epic. It is confined to a small bar where the characters are trapped for the full running time. At 90-minutes, it doesn't even waste time on giving the characters dialogue to set themselves up. Actually, none of them even have names, slapped with generic monikers like the Hero, Grandma, and the Coach. This is done through on-screen text, giving the basics along with their life expectancy.

The creatures spare no one, not even the kid who is sucked down whole. Instead of attempting to even explain where the monsters came from, Feast begins when the hero busts down the door with one of their decapitated heads in his hand with the simple announcement that "they're coming." The only information given to the audience is that they're hungry, have a ton of teeth, like doing things doggy style and in turn breed in a matter of minutes. All of that ends up on screen.

Problems creep up with the low budget, though it's still higher than many direct-to-video flicks coming in a little over $3 million. Quick cuts away from the critters are frequent and disappointing. When they do get more than a glance on camera, they look fine. Instead, the gore takes center stage, multiple times covering some poor girl who always seems to end up in the way of a gushing wound.

Given the location, there are a limited number of characters too. With two picked off in a matter minutes, the movie then slows to a crawl while the survivors develop a plan. A few attacks follow, but the action dies off drastically after a misleading opening. The finale more than makes up for it though.

For first time director John Gulager, generally an actor or cinematographer, he shows some fine skill in presenting the genre at its quirky best. The inexperienced writers help him along with a rousing script filled with priceless dialogue, and a cameo by Jason Mewes of Clerks fame. For fans of the horror genre, or comedy lovers with a strong stomach, Feast is too fun to miss.

Compression proves problematic for the film's DVD transfer. Grain is also extensive throughout, though actually beneficial to the mood and tone. Colors are rightfully muted and nearly monotone, showing up on screen appropriately murky. Still, you can see all the detail when the unbelievable amount of blood spills on screen.

For a low budget effort, Feast sounds great. It effectively uses each channel to convey the movement of the creatures as they circle the small bar. Positional audio is used for subtlety too, like glasses clanking together or background noise. Mixes like this greatly enhance smaller films, and Feast is a perfect example, aside from a lack of deep bass.

While Project Greelight followed the making of the film, no content from the show is here. That series will see a full DVD release as Season 3 sometime in the future. There's no lack of extras though on this disc.

A six-person commentary is loaded, possibly to the point of calling it overcrowded. Writers, producers, special effects crew, and the director all have points to make, and they'll do it quickly as possible to fit within the constraining run time. Five deleted scenes were all wise cuts, though the alternate ending has some potential to work.

Horror Under the Spotlight is a standard making of, made slightly interesting thanks to the film's production under the spotlight of a TV show. Blood and Guts is self explanatory, focusing on the wonderful effects, and providing some minor tips on how to make things work if you ever plan on trying something like this. Three minutes of outtakes and an extensive amount of trailers finish off the feature set.

Project Greenlight, which aired on Bravo, has not been seen since the last episode of season 3. That aired May 12, 2005. There seem to be no plans to start the series up again, so Feast may be the way the show sends itself off.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://the-moviebuff.blogspot.com/ The MovieBuff

    I loved the movie. I thought it was funny, exciting and gory all at the same time ;-) Not many movies can give you that.