I let my “friends” pick a movie from the prompt and, well, they went for it.
BACKGROUND (CW: A LOT OF VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE)
Feast is a movie about a group of people at a bar getting attacked by a group of violent and disgusting monsters. It was notable for its humor, its tendency to subvert tropes, the creature designs, and for its heavy use of gore. Every character is introduced by a bio which typically includes a nickname rather than a real name, some fun fact, and a “life expectancy” that is usually a clever pun. Despite the relatively low production values and the lack of a plot, I have a soft spot for it. Plus, it has Judah Friedlander, Henry Rollins, Jason Mewes, and Sean Penn’s mom Eileen Ryan in it.
The second movie was a bit different. Taking place shortly after the monsters attack, a group of survivors are caught in a town that is now populated almost completely by the creatures. Rather than having to defend a single position, this film mostly deals with the various groups trying to survive until they can find a way to escape. Rather than the bios, each of the characters gets a short intro video. The personalities, gore, and sexuality are even bigger than in the first one, but the budget was definitely not. Surprisingly, or not since they apparently filmed both sequels back to back, Feast II ends on a massive cliffhanger, with several characters in literal mortal peril.
SUMMARY (CW: A LOT MORE SEXUAL VIOLENCE)
Feast III actually starts by replaying the last few minutes of Feast II, then re-introducing us to the characters using the same kind of humorous bios as in the first movie. When we rejoin the story, Honey Pie (Jenny Wade), one of the only characters from the first movies to make it into both sequels, has been injured and is covered in blood, but she starts to rally herself to be a hero. She is promptly beheaded and, just to drive it home, the monster eats her head whole then defecates it out. Nearby, little person luchador Lightning (Juan Longoria Garcia) survives Hobo’s (William Prael) attempt to kill him. Hobo, a local meth dealer, has secured himself inside of the local police station and refuses to help anyone. The remaining survivors are: the Biker Queen (Diane Ayala Goldner), her topless biker associates Tat Girl and Tit Girl (Chelsea Richards and Melissa Reed), car dealer Slasher (Carl Anthony Payne), his cheating wife Secrets (Hanna Putnam), her lover Greg (Tom Gulager), who now has a pole lodged in his head from an explosion, and the Bartender from the first film (Clu Gulager).
The survivors finally make their way into the local jail with the help of the newly arrived and heavily-armed Shitkicker (John Allen Nelson). Shitkicker informs them that the monsters appear to be everywhere and that no one is coming to save them. Greg proposes that they take a bunch of cars from Slasher’s lot. Shitkicker proposes an offensive, but is accidentally killed by Secrets. Slasher quickly abandons the group and tries to hide, but is confronted by a group of other survivors inside of a storage unit. They attack Slasher for his past misdeeds, but when Slasher backs up, a monster rapes him through a hole in the wall. It impregnates him and he immediately gives birth to a Slasher hybrid which kills all of the survivors in the hideout.
The bikers try to make their exit using Hobo’s bus, but it breaks down. The monsters swarm them, but the monsters are suddenly driven back at the command of a mysterious robed figure called “The Prophet.” (Josh Blue) The Prophet reveals that he can command the creatures to leave. He tries to lead them to the nearest big city by way of the sewers, but they are ambushed by a group of infected humans who have been driven mad by the monsters’ vomit, something never seen before. The infected kill Tat Girl and threaten the rest. They’re saved by “John-Claude Segal,” a martial-arts vigilante (Craig Henningsen). He tries to lead the survivors, but, as with all heroes, quickly gets his arm ripped off. While trying to cauterize it, Bartender blows the other arm off.
The survivors find “The Hive,” a giant rave populated by infected townspeople. Biker Queen is infected and Jean-Claude Segal dies fighting off the horde. The Prophet discovers it was his malfunctioning hearing aid that drove off the monsters and is killed. Secrets beats the Slasher hybrid to death with the pipe in Greg’s head, and Biker Queen leads the monsters away to save the rest. The Bartender tells Secrets and Lightning that they need to repopulate the Earth, only for a giant robot to kill Secrets and Lightning. A guitarist sings “the ballad of Feast” through the credits, refusing to explain anything.
The prompt for this day was “Horror Franchise Film.” I interpreted that as excluding the first film, because I don’t think any series really counts as a “franchise” at one. I decided to give two of the members of my bad movie group, with whom I have watched a countless number of horror films, a chance to pick this prompt. They selected this film, so I have come to suspect that my friends hate me.
Actually, I’ll be honest, this movie isn’t that bad once you get numb to the gore and the exploitation. It’s kind of predictable for much of it because the series had established a number of rules at this point that they tended to adhere to strongly. First, heroes are going to die, usually quickly, and always painfully. In the first film, this was kind of funny and a solid subversion, because the character introduced as “hero,” who promises to save the rest of the group, is decapitated immediately. Similarly, in this movie, the character “Shitkicker,” who is supposed to represent the more modern action hero for horror films, dies quickly by complete accident. Second, anyone can die, even the innocent. In the first film, this was cemented when a young child was killed after being found unharmed. In the second, it’s when a baby is used as a distraction by Greg so that he can survive. In this, it’s the developmentally-disabled Prophet. Since we had two movies to get used to this, it really wasn’t as exciting. However, some of the moments were still pretty entertaining when they actually happened, if only for the fact that we finally got to the punchline of the joke we had been waiting for. Perhaps the most ridiculous is the final shot of a giant robot crushing our survivors, which literally comes out of nowhere and makes absolutely no sense, but somehow still felt inevitable.
The blood and gore in this one is pretty huge, but it isn’t any higher than the last two. The sexuality was much higher, though. First, the biker girls are nude throughout the entire film, so you’re never short on breast shots. They barely even count as gratuitous since they’re nearly constant. Even exploitation films would say “maybe hold off a bit.” Second, the monsters and humans have genitals more prominently displayed in this one. In the first film, the monsters mostly wore primitive clothing or were found in darkness, whereas this film has them nude in plain sight. The amount of detail given to them is going to make you uncomfortable, similar to looking at the mouth of the xenomorph from Alien.
The film makes a point of introducing new things and never explaining them, like the infected humans or the giant robot and at the end even makes a point of singing that nothing will ever be satisfactorily explained. That’s always been part of the franchise, but this entry makes it especially obvious. While no one would probably care where the monsters came from if they were just attacking for a night, the longer that they’re on screen, the more we are looking to find out about them and the more obvious it is that no information is going to come out. We only vaguely find out that the rest of the country appears to be destroyed, so apparently there are a lot of these creatures and they came from nowhere, but we don’t really know any details. It’s kind of a joke the film is playing on us by keeping us in the dark.
Overall, this trilogy is pretty much dedicated to being as gross as possible and to avoid traditional horror tropes. Because of that, and the dark humor that persists throughout, these films are actually kind of unique. If you’re a fan of gore, then you’ll probably like these. If not… well, stay the hell away.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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