28 February 2008 | mstomaso
Nothing New, but Good for What it is
First - let's clarify a few things which people seem to be confused about.
* Feast's budget was about $3,000,000.00, not $1 million.
* I am not sure whether the word "independent" should be used for a film which required (I assume) voluntary (donations?) 'production' efforts from Harvey Weinstein, Wes Craven, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. "Project Green-Light" or not. It's really too bad that their hourly rates don't show up in the reported budgets for projects such as this - would help to clarify a lot of misunderstandings regarding the nature of allegedly independent, supposedly low-budget releases.
* The cast is far from a group of of nobodies. Look them up right here on IMDb. For a supposed low-budget film, Feast relies very heavily on name-recognition and star power.
John Gulager does a very nice job of telling a claustrophobic, absurd, but fun tale of terror and gore in "Feast". It's an old story, but,in this case, it's told very well.
A bar full of archetypal jerks, losers and heroes are startled by a would-be hero's (Eric Dane) violent, blood-soaked entry into the bar with a gun and an attitude. The hero announces that the bar is just about to be attacked by four angry monsters with razor-sharp claws and teeth. The audience is almost immediately introduced to the film's audience participation game. Here are the (unstated, but easily understood) challenges:
* Understand that what is going to happen in this film is obvious and that we've seen it all before.
* The game is to figure out who gets it next
* If you're really good - try guessing how they are going to get it too.
The casting, editing and directing make this film worth watching. The script is fine for what it is, but that isn't saying a whole lot. And the acting is uniformly good - again, for what it is. Watching Henry Rollins ironically playing a self-help con artist with obvious problems of his own, Clu Gallagher comically reprising the roll of the ancient bartender and erstwhile retired gunfighter in a very unlikely isolated desert context, Balthazar Getty as the "Town Jackass", and Navi Rawat as the tough chick mom on a mission is well... just a lot of fun.
The special effects are heavily digitized and there are a number of very noticeable 'digital moments'. I know I am supposed to say that the special effects were brilliant for the cost of the film, but I do not trust the reported budget - I suspect that a lot of very expensive people were employed on a voluntary basis for this film, and it is obvious that their time was not accounted for in the reported budget.
Highly recommended for horror comedy fans and fans of the cast members. Not recommended for those who have difficulties with extremely disgusting gore, and not recommended for those who do not recognize at least one or two of the major cast members.