Reviewed by: Rees Savidis
Alex O Loughlin
What's it about
Veteran cyber-porn detective, Phillip Jackson (Patrick Thompson) descends deep into the fetishistic world of “feeders” and “gainers”; men who love to force-feed fat chicks and the fat chicks who love to be force-fed, as he tracks down a mysterious man who may very well be feeding missing woman to death.
Is it good movie?
I sat down to eat my dinner while watching Feed; I was told that it bordered on the impossible, that it couldn’t be done. Well piss on that. Final score: Feed 0 - Me 1.
I’d love to sit here and tell you all that Feed is a great film, I’d love to say we finally have a successor to Seven – hell, even a companion piece to 8MM would do fine by me. Unfortunately, I just can’t do that; Feed isn’t either of those things. What Feed is however is an incredibly good idea of a film carelessly led down the all-too-travelled path of missed opportunity (read: a deplorable missed opportunity).
This is such a great film on paper that turns out marred, and all-but ruined, by some truly asinine and novice decision making on behalf of Director Brett (Virtuosity, Lawnmower Man) Leonard; Feed’s downfall rest solely on his shoulders. Leonard’s directing choices are so utterly dated and showy, that it’s hard to believe a seasoned filmmaker such as him could be responsible for such a tired and deflating experience. Flash-cuts, over-exposure, multiple frame rates, blistering rock soundtrack…c’mon man, you made better films when all that bullshit was actually relevant...twelve years ago. Why change now? Normally this kind of thing wouldn’t get so far up under my skin, but it really twists me up when I see such a fresh, cool and unique film idea recklessly cast from the exact same mold as a Nine Inch Nails video and completely devoid of any originality the subject matter might otherwise suggest. Shame, shame, shame.
To be fair, Feed is not a total train-wreck; the news isn’t as completely dour as the last paragraph might have led you to believe. There’s still a great deal of mean-spirited topical horror to be had, especially if things like watching a 600LB behemoth of a woman get slathered in chili while some dude wraps his pecker up in a grilled-cheese sandwich and jerks-off as she tries to lick the spicy mix of beans and beef off her own tits is your idea of sick and disgusting (personally, I want to take a shower just for writing that description). Add to that some pretty solid performances, wanton nudity, convincingly nifty fat-suit FX and top-notch production design and baby…you got a stew goin’ on!
Video / Audio
VIDEO: Feed is presented in a very crisp and blemish-free 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen,
AUDIO: Unlike Baskin-Robbins, Feed only comes in two flavors: Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. Either will suffice in providing a fairly sickening listening experience (the slopping of greasy cheeseburgers on distended flesh never sounded so…gross), although I did find the dialog to be mixed quite low. “What? I can’t hear you…the fat chick’s eating again!”
Given the steam Feed has built-up over the last year on the festival circuit and garnering some pretty favorable early reviews in the process, I was more than a little surprised to find that the extras on the DVD absolutely stink.
Here’s the list:
Final Day Interview with Director Brett Leonard: Director Leonard laments about filming Feed under some pretty guerilla conditions as well as living with the film - literally, the bedroom set was in his own house. He comes off as a man with very little patience, a fair amount of narcissism and, to be quite honest, a little too arrogant for my taste. Don’t forget Mr. Leonard; Feed is a long way down the ladder from the success of Virtuosity. Faced!
Interviews with Alex O’Loughlin, Jack Thompson and Producer Melissa Beauford: This is a fairly standard EPK style interview piece that finds the actors (O’Loughlin and Thompson) and Producer Beauford chatting about their experience making the film. The usual type of sunshine is blown and everyone was happy to get this “difficult” and “important” film made. Right, and the paychecks ain’t bad either I gather.
Feed in Philadelphia: The North American Premier featurette: This is a decent little featurette that has some of the cast and crew of Feed fielding questions from an audience after a showing of the film. I preferred the Actors and Producer in this segment over the straight, one-on-one stuff from the “interview” segment as they come off as real people here and they seem like they’re trying to sell the film to you.
Behind-the-scenes footage: This little segment is comprised mostly of effects related stuff (the fat-suit is really cool) and people mugging for the camera. Seems like filler to me and rather pointless, though again, the fat-suit is really cool.
Infomercial: Useless…utterly useless. This worthless addition finds Actor Patrick Thompson asking the viewers if they’d rather look like a 600 LB land-yacht or a slight, tight and nubile sex-machine. Then he says something to the affect of “Feed…you’ll never eat again!” implying of course, that the film is soooo disgusting and of putting that you may never eat again. This might have been funny for about fifteen seconds, but the sumbitch goes on for eleven minutes!
The rest of the DVD is rounded out with a handful of deleted scenes, an alternate ending (where the hero is shot and killed - end spoiler) and trailers for Evilenko, a Danger After Dark box-set and of course, Feed it self.
One thing that struck me as odd is the lack of a Director’s commentary - especially given Director Brett Leonard’s affinity for himself.
Feed is a good film. And while my disdain for Director Brett Leonard may make you think otherwise, and despite my feelings that his involvement with it was directly responsible for its ultimate failure to be a great film (which it could easily have been in more capable hands), I’d still say give it a go. Film is a subjective medium…some of you might actually dig the hell out of it.