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October 31, 2010

Movie Review: Feeding Frenzy (2010)

Through out the '80s and early '90s, Joe Dante's popular horror-comedy Gremlins had quite a bit of imitators. Some of these films actually turned out quite well (Critters, Ghoulies), but others were dreadful (Hobgoblins, Munchies, Beasties). Red Letter Media's Mike Stoklasa (Oranges: Revenge of The Eggplant) and Jay Bauman think it's time to bring the mini-killer creature flicks back with their own goofy and grisly entry Feeding Frenzy.

Rich Evans stars as Mr. Plinkett. Plinkett runs a hardware store in a sleepy mid-western town where he makes his employees, Jesse Camp (Ron Lipski) and Carl (played by co-director Mike Stoklasa) miserable. This guy doesn't give a shit about anyone or anything. Jesse is Plinkett's main bitch among his pee-ons... that is, until Jesse finds his nuts and becomes determined to find some dirt on Plinkett. Plenty of dirt (and blood) can be found on the store floors of this chunky wheelchair-bound Larry Flynt look-alike's establishment. What's downstairs in the crates of Mr. Plinkett's basement? This is a monster movie, so I'm sure you can guess.

Without giving too much away here, these little bastards are round with wide mouths that look like gaping vaginas. Situated in their mouths are some jagged razor-sharp teeth that would make Kirsten Dunst wince. Plinkett's "balls" also happen to love human flesh and their appearance really made me think of what could have been, had this been a Mad Ball toy in the '80s. I can see it now: Gaping-toothy-vagina Mad Ball! This would have been huge! I damn well would have bought one. Anyway, Jesse is pitted against a bunch of these creatures and the maniacal Mr. Plinkett.

Feeding Frenzy is pure unabashed schlock - it's also one of the best independent films I've seen this year. The story is pretty simple; nothing too spectacular. The jokes range from hilarious to painfully unfunny, but there are so many gags coming at you that it works out pretty well as a comedy. Splatter fans will also enjoy some of the very messy death scenes. One in particular that I liked involved a hooker (scream queen, Tina Krause) going down on a cane. At the end of the cane, there's a concealed blade that shoots out the back of the "working girls" cabesa revealing some gooey gray matter. Think the opening to Fulci's House By the Cemetery, only slightly gnarlier. These carnivorous Mad Balls also enjoy chowing down on guts. Some poor bastard gets a belly full of the little fuckers in a scene reminiscent of Peter Jackson's Dead Alive.

Bauman and Stoklasa do a fine job with some consistently energetic camera work. The presentation is very sharp for such a low-budget production - the night scenes in particular are very well shot. There is an abundance of extra features on Feeding Frenzy including commentary, behind-the-scenes and trailers. The behind-the-scenes are quite fun. These guys are a playful group that seem to love genre films, in particular, the creepy little creature-features of the '80s. My favorite extra was a trailer for a short film from director Jay Bauman called Pork in Space. Just watch it!

For such a minuscule budget, Red Letter Media does everything it can with the little money that was available for production. Add a stand-out hysterical performance by Rich Evans as Plinkett, and you have a potential cult classic. Be sure to go straight to Red Letter Media's website and buy Feeding Frenzy. It's only $12 and you can also support a quality Indie! Just simply go here and Feeding Frenzy is yours:

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