Emily Catherine Young
Kevin E. Scott
Jeffrey D. Erb
Post Apocalyptic Cannibal Horror
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Tooth and Nail (2007)
3rd Feb 09
In the future society breaks down because we run out of gasoline so Vinnie Jones and Michael Madsen become cannibals and try to eat a group of survivors held up in an abandoned hospital.
This is one of those movies that start with a long, scene setting voiceover that explains the reason behind the social collapse over a montage of stock footage showing civil unrest all over the world. Nothing new there then, I hear you all cry, but itís still worth mentioning just because of the difference here; a difference not wasted on whichever character is supposed to be delivering the voiceover. There has been no famine, no plague, no nuclear apocalypse or anything like that. What happened this time is the world simply ran out of gas. Apparently scientists got it all wrong and what they assumed was 20 years of gas all of a sudden ran out, sending the world in to chaos. With a sudden stoppage of the gasoline supply and no alternative prepared world transport ground to a halt, the power stations stopped working because no trucks were delivering fuel, no food was being delivered and no posh mums could pick their over privileged kids from school in their 4x4s. Chaos, I tell you, chaos!
The movie starts proper with three survivors encountering a car wreck, a dead body, a lone female survivor and Vinnie Jones dressed like the feral kid from Mad Max II. Vinnie escapes and they take the girl back to their base at a nearby deserted hospital, where the survivors are part of a little commune led by this guy they all call ĎThe Professorí. He gives all new arrivals a speech about society rising from the ashes, before barking orders to all and sundry. Despite the corny speech the new girl decides to stay and all accept her, except a loner ironically called ĎSniperí, who promptly leaves, taking this funky bow and arrow with him.
Things take a turn for the worst, though, as it approaches evening. The new addition to the group had claimed she was simply traveling south when Vinnie and his cannibals attacked, but thatís not entirely true. Apparently they were actively chasing her, and now sheís held up with them in the hospital the cannibal gang has its sites set on all of them; coming at night, striking fast, but only taking what they need to feed. It seems meat stays fresh longer if itís alive until the last minute before you feed.
To say this is a hodge podge of ideas is an understatement. The cast, with the obvious exception of Vinnie Jones and Michael Madsen, are unknowns and for the most part and it shows. The Professor reminds you of a smartarse TV shrink and is instantly dislikable (in a good way). The new arrival is also good and the conversations between her and another member of the collective known as Dakota are very good, but theyíre also very dull, and Madsen and Jones literally only have 10 minutes screen time between them if that, making you wonder whether they shot all their scenes in one afternoon, cashed their pay cheques and hit the road. Not bad work if you can get it and donít mind appearing very briefly in a crappy B-movie thatís obviously going to over-promote your involvement to shift units. Cameron Mitchell must be turning in his grave.
The rest of the production doesnít fair much better. The concept is fair enough, if you can get over its derivative ridiculousness, but the delivery is painfully slow. Lots of sitting around in the hospital arguing over what to do next and getting nowhere, particularly in the hospital canteen, and lots of talk about supplies and what to do with them, although itís still very hard to judge exactly what they have food wise, how many bullets they have, etc, because you donít really see much evidence of them. Should they run? Should they hide? Should they make a stand? And before you know it itís night time again and the cannibals are back, looking for that one victim to take away and slow roast over an open fire.
Admittedly, when the cannibals arrive, things become a lot more entertaining, mainly because with the cannibals comes action and thankfully with action comes gore, and the gore itself is not bad at all. Madsen seems to have fun hacking a guy to pieces mid-movies, although by the look on his face I donít think heís too impressed with the cheesy dialogue heís been asked to say while doing it. Thankfully Vinnie Jones doesnít speak, so that goes in the filmís favour. The rest of the cannibals just look like big hairy bikers with sharp teeth and grunt a lot, which is both a welcome relief from the rest of the castís tedious acting and quite amusing at the same time. Iím sure you know what I mean.
And then before you know it, thereís a twist that you almost see coming, followed by another twist thatís quite ridiculous. How do you kill a gang of cannibals? Well, you wait until they all get totally drunk and thenÖ hey, I donít want to spoil it for you. I do want to know where she got that face paint from, though. No I donít, actually.