I don’t remember being impressed by the original Feast, but because I have a sick fascination with direct-to-video sequels, I decided to rent Feast II: Sloppy Seconds. This came right on the heels of Cabin Fever 2, which was not only a massive disappointment, but an unrelenting and mean-spirited gross-out/gore-fest without redeeming characters or plot.
So maybe I should have seen it coming: Feast II was also an unrelenting and mean-spirited gross-out/gore-fest without redeeming characters or plot. The opening scene features an angry biker woman shooting a dog. Not even a vicious dog. Just a dog. So the tone of the film from the very start is cruel. Heartless. Violence = fun. And hey, listen, I know it’s all fictional, not a real dog, not real people, etc., but this tone permeates the entire film, and so we wind up never forming an emotional attachment to any of the characters.
No, wait. I take that back. We wind up disliking every single one of the characters. Like Cabin Fever 2, which was only interested in one-upping the gore with each new scene, we see that the filmmakers are more interested in their own personal technical achievements (how to convincingly tear off limbs, that sort of thing) than in telling an interesting story or creating interesting characters. It’s blood on top of puke on top of acid-vomit on top of shit on top of pierced eyeballs on top of torn-off limbs on top of…you get the idea…gore for gore’s sake.
And Feast II, as I mentioned, is unrelenting in its cruelty. There’s no humanity, no character who seems even remotely sympathetic. And that’s a shame, because the John Gulager (director) that I remember from Project Greenlight seemed like he was a quirky but dedicated artist, someone who believed in the films he was creating. And it’s hardly possible to imagine anyone believing in Feast II.
The John Gulager I remember was the very reason that Project Greenlight was an interesting show; he brought humanity to the unlikeable veneer of Hollywood assembly-line film production. Now it’s the assembly-line film production that seems likable by comparison.