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June 4, 2013

Movie Review: Bad Meat (2011)

You know, I saw that this movie was available on Netflix streaming a while ago and I almost watched it but decided on something else instead. Lucky for me the guys at CHC sent it in the last care package. And by lucky I mean it’s quite obvious to me now that the gods have me on their shit list.

Bad Meat is about one of those boot-camp reform places for wayward teens. And by the looks of the lot in this flick, they wouldn’t know which way wayward was if Jacques Cousteau and National Geographic teamed up to make these morons a map complete with a survival kit containing a compass, flashlight, food rations for a week, and then marked the trail with day-glow paint. The Hitler wanna-be in charge of these little scamps is Doug Kendrew (Mark Pellegrino). Because the parents of these rebels basically wrote off their kids as unredeemable, Kendrew can, and does, whatever the hell he wants to them.

That includes his crack team of supervisors: some reject from the Mr. Universe pageant, another reject from some police academy or army washout, and an Amazonian hell bitch who swaggers and oozes nympho pheromones. Why anyone would think this rag tag motley crew is capable of anything other than amoral and illegal behavior, let alone reforming a bunch of snot nosed brats, is beyond my comprehension.

After their first day of chopping wood, they group retires to the canteen for food. Of course, only the ‘counselors’ get the decent fare of beef stew. The kids only get a potato. Damn, even Oliver Twist got gruel. But you know what? That’s all right because within the coming hours, we find out that the stew is chock full of bad meat (get it?) and the employees of Camp Hardway are in for a rude awakening.

The next morning when the kids aren’t woken up by being peed on, they figure something might be amiss. They bust out of their rooms but can’t find anyone. The jeep is also gone (the cook quit and took it – sorry about not being able to get through 40 miles of woods to reach the highway, kids!) so they can’t escape. And that’s really too bad because not only have the counselors been throwing up more than could ever be possible outside of a smart-ass puppet movie, they now just want to eat the teenagers.

Will any of them survive? I should probably mention that the film starts off with a lone hospital bed and in it, someone wrapped from head to toe in bandages. This person is the only survivor from Camp Hardway. It’s impossible to tell who exactly it is but he/she, despite the blood seeping from every surface through the bandages and obvious suffering, wants to be able to tell what happened. Cue the hospital tech guy who wheels in a computer and keyboard. And little by little, this poor bastard hen pecks his/her way through the terrible events.

At this point in my reviewing career at CHC, I do expect to get 98% shitty films with a few gems thrown in from time to time. So when a movie sucks, I’m not surprised anymore. What did surprise me was the lackluster acting, despite a few ‘names’ or faces I recognized in other projects that I enjoyed. Mark Pellegrino was probably the best of the whole cast and even his scenes were flat. Except for the one where he’s begging one of the teens for help after he’s been throwing up for 12 hours. I actually got chills from that.

I’m not sure if this movie was supposed to be funny. I think they may have been trying to meld together drama and comedy but it pretty much felt like it all missed the target. Sort of like hitting a shitload of golf balls off the practice green but instead of improving accuracy they just ended up hitting the poor sap that has to go out there and collect all the balls as he runs willy nilly to avoid injury.

I also have a problem with SOME gratuitous actions. I understand that by killing an animal the filmmakers are just trying to establish the absolute asshattery of the bad guy(s). But clubbing a dog with a shovel a dozen times, after it’s dead, is more than I can handle. Personally I hate seeing any animals killed for ‘the story’. Adults, kids, midgets, French maids, the pool guy, Timmy the mentally retarded kid down the street? Go for it. Just leave the puppies alone, okay?

The other overkill situation was the vomiting. Okay. I get it. They’re sick. I don’t need to see them horking up everything for 20 minutes. And then still barfing up strings of slimy green spittle the next day. Or watch them roll around in the LAKES of putrescence as they stumble to their feet. Maybe that was supposed to be the funny part but that just makes me gag and turn away from the screen.

As the film is supposed to be told from the survivor’s point of view, it's difficult to believe this one person saw everything that happened from everyone else’s point of view. No one claimed continuity as being one of the draws of this film. Or believability for that matter. And because of the ‘reveal’ at the end, I was left with less of “oh, I see” and more of “what the fuck is this shit?”

Terrible film. Don’t see it, unless you like to watch other people throw up. A LOT.

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