Come on in, the water's simply edible...
FEED (2006) Dir. Brett Leonard, Australia, 101 mins
Well, it seems almost fitting to go from a film all about cannibalism to this particular piece all about the art and consequences of overeating. We're off to visit our Antipodean cousins out in Australia for the first time for this twisted thriller, a movie I'd been aware of for a number of years and somehow never gotten around to watching. I was hungry to see this one, so let's Feed...
The story is a classic broken cop vs psychopathic criminal tale, with Australian Cybercrime investigator Philip Jackson trying to overcome the awful things he saw on his latest case in Germany (check back to my review of Cannibal for a good idea of what caused so much trauma). With things hugely difficult with his girlfriend, he buries himself in work and in particular a website devoted to 'feeders' and 'gainers', the sexual practice of men overfeeding women and then workshipping them. He believes there's more to the website than meets the eye, and by golly he's right – beneath the front page is a further section offering betting on maximum weight, when the women involved will die and more. He's sickened by this and, against the orders of his superior, decides to investigate the case outside of the system.
So, with the bit between his teeth, Philip is off to the US to try and track down enigmatic and charismatic psycho Michael Carter – played by Alex O'Loughlin, who rather steals the show. There's something Tom Hiddlestone-esque in the cold and calculated way that Carter talks and approaches his deviant games. As the two go head to head, each looking to gain the advantage on the other, the wellbeing and life of Carter's latest victim hangs in the balance...
It's hard to say this movie was an absolute home-run – the jaded cop routine is a bit overdone here, to the point where it begins to feel ridiculous in places. The opening scene is purely there for shock value and doesn't really have any place in the movie at all. Some of the behaviours and actions from side characters are pretty hard to believe in the context of events here, and for me O'Loughlin out-acts his counterpart in their one-to-one scenes, which leaves the tension there a bit underwhelming. The backstory to Carter was perhaps a little overplayed as well. With that said, it's an interesting concept for sure, something I haven't seen as yet, and there are some well and truly gross scenes that will make at least something of an impact on the viewer.
Overall it's a dish worth checking out, but no Michelin stars here....
RATING: 6/10. There was enough substance here to keep me interested, but if it were a meal I'd have been after a snack half hour after finishing. With the root concept, this one could have been a real winner, but it's held back by some unnecessary back detail, some average acting and a few issues with pacing. So it's a slightly middle of the road 6/10 for Feed.