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08 March, 2008

DVD Review: FEAST

Title: FEAST

Year of Release—Film: 2006

Year of Release—DVD: 2006

DVD Label: Dimension




THE MOVIE

Fans of the cable series Project: Greenlight will remember this, the third film to be produced by the team fronted by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Directed by newcomer John Gulager, the son of veteran character actor Clu Gulager, from a script by Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton, FEAST was one of the most surprising, and overachieving, films of the past year.

If you watched Project: Greenlight at any point during the third season, then you in all probability came away with the impression that you were viewing a train wreck of epic proportions underway. That’s certainly the impression I had of FEAST. The producers couldn’t get enough funding; the director couldn’t cast his usual circle of friends and family; the screenwriters rapidly attained Prima Donna status. At several points, it looked as though the project would be dead before filming began.

This gave me an unaccustomed insight into the making of a Horror Film, as well as a great desire to see the finished product. I must admit that, when I finally did, I was pleasantly surprised.

In a seedy redneck bar in the southwest, a group of regulars began to gather for their nightly efforts to drown their sorrows. The “festivities” are interrupted when a man bursts in, telling them that they’ll soon be under attack, and he’s their one chance for survival. What happens next begins a night under siege for the patrons of the bar, as they battle for that survival.

This is one wild ride of a movie, combining a great sense of humor with a solid grasp of the Horror conventions, and a willingness to push the envelope, if only a little.



THE DISC

For what is essentially a low-budget indie feature, this gets the full treatment from Dimension. The print is crisp, clean and sharp, with good audio, subtitling, even an attractive package. Though the film didn’t receive the support it deserved for a theatrical run, it’s nice to see it getting a measure of respect now.



THE SPECIAL FEATURES

I must admit I was surprised by the quality of the Special Features on this disc, with commentary tracks, Making-of featurette, deletes scenes, and outtakes. Perhaps my favorite feature is a documentary on Creature Designer Gary Tunnicliffe. I’ve always been a sucker for both behind-the-scenes documentaries and the geniuses who create our favorite monsters, and a combination of the two will usually please me greatly.



IN CONCLUSION

Though I had expected a total disaster when I sat down to watch FEAST, my preconceptions were rapidly and completely blown away. This was one of the best films I watched last year, and it deserved a much wider theatrical release. But I’m pleased that we have it on DVD now, and I’ll be watching to see what’s next from Gulager. I still think he’s something of a train looking for a place to wreck, but he can turn out a great little Horror film. With a retail price around $20, it’s not exactly cheap, but it gets my hearty recommendation. Pick it up and judge for yourselves.

























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