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Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds (2008)
19th Feb 09
Toothy monsters fuck cats, eat babies and shoot their load all over the joint. Bit like Ron Jeremy, but easier on the eye.
Review Feast was a rare straight to DVD treat spawned from reality-make-a-movie series “Project Green light” that deftly combined splatter, flippant humour and winning comic turns from an oddball ensemble. Its shiny disc success has led the same director to return to the well for Sloppy Seconds , which hasn’t been received nearly as well, perhaps because it has lost the tension and wit of the original and replaced it with a whole lot of mean-spirited, heartless unrated unpleasantness. Self-indulgent and messy (in every sense of the word), it’s far from being as likeable as its predecessor…but it’s also so determinedly tasteless that there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
The tone is set in the very first sequence with a dog shot repeatedly for no readily apparent reason. This movie has a “who gives a fuck?” attitude that, although never overcoming the shortage of appealing characters or an array of ill-advised CG effects, is refreshing in an age when so much American horror is bland and aimed at 13 year old mall-rats. And, in any case, any movie in which a naked chick gets her head ripped off during sex in the first couple of reels deserves some kind of kudos.
One of the most enjoyable elements of the original was the use of sarcastic on-screen captions to introduce its cast of bar-trapped monster food. This time out monochrome old film stock footage of the characters (spouting groovy kiss-off lines) accompanies the text. Returning from the original’s decimated cast are “Honey Pie”, a pretty, feisty blonde and director’s dad Clu Gulager, nursing what we all assumed was a very fatal throat wound and brought back to steal the show again with all the best lines. Gulager, a veteran of fab 80’s horrors like Hunter’s Blood , The Initiation and the weird homo-erotic Elm Street sequel, has turned out to be the secret weapon of this franchise.
The flick’s slim excuse for a plot involves the nasty creatures invading the neighbouring town of the bar that formed the backdrop of Feast , wreaking havoc in a trailer park, a jail and the town streets before the characters are forced to spend most of the film trapped on a roof in an echo of Tremors and the Dawn of the Dead remake (in an unfortunate touch, their presence on the roof is conveyed via distractingly bad blue-screen work and the decision to set the whole thing in daylight results in some misguided fully lit close ups of monsters best suited to the shadows). Among the new characters are a pair of hay-making Mexican midget wrestlers named Thunder & Lightning (“Not politically correct to kill a little person…let alone two!”), a dude named Hobo (signature line : “Who wants to get fingered?”) and some badass bikers.
Clearly a lot of people responded to Feast ’s outrageous monster-sex interlude and its general enthusiasm in doling out the grue, because Gulager’s sequel takes an anything-goes approach to the monster movie form that, at every turn, attempts to out-gross its predecessor. It succeeds - and then some - and achieves an infectiously childish, Troma-esque eagerness to shock and offend.
The movie displays Feast ’s sharp ear for tongue in cheek B movie dialogue (choice samples : “I’m a god dam guillotine looking for a head!” and “I’m a ne’er do well and I have a moustache!”). It also shares a fondness for iconic character moments : here, you may feel like applauding during a gore scene in which a tough girl in a leather bra with the words “Bad Ass” tattooed on her belly does something spectacular with a hammer in each of her hands.
Elsewhere, Gulager breezily crashes over the taste barrier. A sequence involving your average icky post-mortem monster flatulence culminates with everyone involved being showered in blood, guts, bile, shit and each other’s vomit (fleeting shades of a certain scene in Stand By Me !). Some kind of monster movie first is achieved by the subsequent, cheek-slapping sight of the same characters showered in monster cum spraying from the creature’s still-erect dick. (Would it be wrong to admit to getting a little turned on during this scene? Please send answers and advice to the usual email address, putting “Monster Ejaculate Also Makes Me Hard” in the subject line).
The film also goes over the top in less goofy, surprisingly disturbing ways. There’s something really, really uncomfortable about the sequence in which senior citizen Clu Gulager (astonishingly bad-assed) graphically beats up pretty young Honey Pie (“You fraulein twat!”). Although this scene - and others in the film - operates with cartoon logic in terms of the (lack of) mortal wounds sustained by Honey, it’s tough to see what reaction the flick was hoping for from the sight of Gulager bashing her head against an unflushed toilet bowl, elbowing her in the face, biting off her ear and hurling her out of a second story window. It’s like watching your Grandad beating the living shit out of your girlfriend.
At other times, however, Feast II ’s wanton destruction of our PC-dominated modern movie world is a whole lot of fun. We live in grim times, so is it really possible to hate a movie in which a man-in-a-suit monster fucks a cat on screen or a midget gets ripped in half for the sake of a cheap laugh? Thought not. What’s more Feast’s constantly-reinforced anyone-can-die ethos reaches its zenith here in what may end up being this year’s funniest moment of callous, outrageous violence. It involves a smiling, happy baby being thrown into the air, crunchily dropping onto the road below and then being munched on by one of said monsters. For this scene alone, Sloppy Seconds earns its right to life.
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