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ANIMAL SOUP
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Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: David V.G. Davies & James A. Kirkby

Starring:
Sofia Disgrace
David Pilskin
Scorpio Vixen
James A. Kirkby

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A group of four campers set out into the British countryside for a hike in the woods. Unfortunately for them, they come across some grisly-looking cannibals, including a Charles Manson lookalike named Mad Tom who sports a bra and soiled pants. Sh*t, vomit, blood and more hit the fan (and everything else) soon after.

Is it good movie?
Over in the land of the UK, there's a little magazine called Gorezone (the equivalent to Fangoria in the US). They have a little someone named Emily Booth as their poster girl. Ms. Booth has starred in such films as EVENT HORIZON, EVIL ALIENS and GRINDHOUSE (specifically, in Edgar Wright's faux trailer for DON'T). She also has a monthly gig with Gorezone called Movie Massacre, a pack-in DVD with the magazine where she presents a film for your viewing pleasure. This month, Emily presents ANIMAL SOUP, an homage to the 70s exploitation films, specifically the ones involving pure shock value with little plot.

Emily Booth doesn't even star in the film, yet her sporadic interstitials throughout the film are probably the most entertaining. Sure, she hams it up, but her being easy on the eyes is way more than what I can say for some of the unlucky bastards who starred in the film. And yes, I'm sure those folks aren't even supposed to be ugly. They're really just ugly by association. Ignoring the gore, another plus would be Davies' ability to set up shots, execute scenes and edit them. And if that sounds like a generic compliment regarding a filmmaker, it's because that's all I can say.

As for the film, well how do I put this? It's like Davies and Kirkby watched CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and a bunch of Troma films back to back while high, thought that he could do a great exploitation film on next to nothing, then proceeded to f*ck the entire thing up by making ANIMAL SOUP. Really, where's the entertainment value in a guy screaming the length of a deli truck as a badly applied latex nipple is clumsily cut off and eaten by a guy doing the worst imitation Leatherface I've even seen? Or some girl taking a dump, wiping with newspaper (?!) and then have another dude grab a hunk of her crap and eat it? I won't even get into the other stuff, which isn't so shocking as it is horribly executed. The saving grace is that the film is censored in the rougher spots with big 'CENSORED' bars covering up the naughty bits, thereby breaking up the assault on my eyes.

I've never been this frustrated with a film before. I tried to understand it, but really the stupidity of it all was too much for me to comprehend. Had the film done more character building and a better narrative, it would've been slightly less painful. But it didn't, so now I'm left a little more dead inside.

Video / Audio
Video: Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the film replicates the 70s look in the darker scenes but it looks too clean for that in spots. Colour is good, as is detail. Grain creeps in during the lower-lit scenes, but it adds to the overall look.

Audio: The Dolby Digital 2.0 track provided is adequate, though you probably didn't expect the film to blow you away in the audio department.

The Extras
The only extras included are trailers for 9, BORDERLAND and ANIMAL SOUP, a teaser trailer for ANIMAL SOUP, and a promo trailer for Gorezone's Weekend of Horror 2009.

Last Call
Put it this way: I didn't pay for this disc, yet I still feel ripped off. ANIMAL SOUP straddles Troma absurdity while trying to shock, but ends up screwing the pooch and pissing you off more than entertaining. Lousy acting, even lousier gore and next to no plot leave me asking just what people like David V. G. Davies and James Kirkby qualify as an entertaining horror film.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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