by Del Harvey
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From TLA Releasing comes director Brett Leonard’s latest, a gruesome Aussie thriller of gigantic proportions.
Feed is one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. It addresses some concepts that are pretty much taboo to most filmmakers, and there are reasons why a lot of directors would not tackle this topic, but Brett Leonard (Lawnmower Man) has really outdone himself with this film. Grim, grotesque, and totally mesmerizing in that “watching a horrible car wreck” sort of way.
One of the topics this film touches upon is this nation’s often unhealthy obsession with the slim and slinky version of beauty. At the same time, it shows us what desire can really lead to, and the seven deadly sins of David Fincher’s Se7en are nearly put to shame in the process.
We have a cyber-cop of sorts named Phillip (Patrick Thompson) who comes across an odd site one day named “Feeders & Gainers,” and the fetish here is truly off the beaten track. It’s about fat erotica, a strange subculture where fat-admiring men seek out obese women. This just happens to fit the profile of a serial killer who is meeting these women through the internet, then feeding them to death, and then publishing the gory details on a website.
Director Leonard does a great job of keeping us guessing about the villain, young Michael Carter (Alex O’Loughlin), who also delivers a very gripping monologue about halfway through the film, right after capturing his tracker Phillip and drugging him. He raises a number of interesting points about the strangely perverse issue of beauty and fat and obsession. A very inspired bit of acting.
Which is what helps to hold this whole gore-fest together. Because, deep down, Feed is revolting, utterly and viscerally and completely. But the actors keep us enthralled, keep us glued to the screen, wanting to know who will win the cat-and-mouse game, who will overcome their own twisted desires, who will win out in the end.
Meanwhile, the film is full of highly saturated and desaturated visuals to enhance all the mayhem and madness parading by onscreen. The music features a lot of ’50s and ’60s songs, and the cinematography is really quite stunning for a low budget thriller.
The horror in this film is probably unlike any you’ve ever seen before, mostly because of the topic involved and the way in which Leonard decides to portray the most gruesome scenes. If you can stomach it, Feed is a real treat for the true horror fan.
Del Harvey is a writer and film teacher living in the Chicago. He’s going on a diet after seeing this film.
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