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Movie Review: Feed April 19, 2008

Posted by ashiah in old.
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If anyone remembers the famous gluttony scene in Se7en, Feed is two hours of that. Since Feed is based on true events, the movie could write itself. Unfortunately, the film is all over the place and never directly confronts the several societal topics floating about. Instead, the film relies heavily on grossing people out, and this boils down to lots of scenes of fat people sitting around being fat.

Americans are fat.

Fat people are gross.

This about sums up Feed. Of course there are explorations of topics such as fetishes, the Internet and society’s take on beauty, but all that stuff is secondary because fat people are gross. Watch them eat. Gross.

Ever since some pervert realized the Internet could mean big things for porn, a plethora of new, kinky fetishes emerged. If Pervert A had an obsession with funky, yellow toenails, he could meet Perverts B-Z who also had obsessions with funky, yellow toenails. But as the Internet grows, so do the fetishes. The infamous “feed” fetish are people who purposely feed overweight women (or men, supposedly) to get them dangerously fat. Most of the women (the “gainers”) are bed ridden and are reliant on their “feeders,” the men who feed them. Go on, do a search on Google. It’s as real as apple pie.

If anyone remembers the famous gluttony scene in Se7en, Feed is two hours of that. Since Feed is based on true events, the movie could write itself. Unfortunately, the film is all over the place and never directly confronts the several societal topics floating about. Instead, the film relies heavily on grossing people out, and this boils down to lots of scenes of fat people sitting around being fat.

Michael (Alex O’Loughlin) is a suave, hard ass cop who tracks down Internet pervs with style. Oh, except he’s unattractive, overweight and couldn’t kick his own ass. He also has a girlfriend whose sole purpose is to lie around, be naked and be abused. After stumbling into a feeders fetish site, he flies to the United States to track the owner. After being in the country for a day, he finds the pervert’s family and meets the pervert (Patrick Thompson) later that afternoon. At this point, the film has only been on for 45 minutes and there’s nothing else to explore, but the film keeps going.


O’Loughlin knows how to show a woman out to dinner.

After a confrontation with Le Pervert, Michael heads back to his hotel where Mr. Pervert shows up again, this time with hamburgers. Yum! The pervert leaves again for some unexplainable reason and the film is back to where it started. Michael tracks him down again and it’s all quite repetitive.As if it wasn’t obvious enough, Feed is a huge critical eye on American culture. All the psychos, fatties and perverts are conveniently American, while the protagonist (by the way, this is an Australian film) flies all over the world because no perverts exist in his own country. In one scene, Michael tells an American woman he’s from Australia. The woman replies with, “Australia? Is that, like, near Japan or something?” Stereotypes are a pain, but this time it’s probably not far off the mark.The biggest failure of Feed is it doesn’t know how to balance the many themes present. Society’s beauty standards, overweight people in America, fetishes, the Internet, uncommon relationships; all of these topics are brushed over so the viewers can see a fat woman vomit on herself. Obviously the director was not oblivious to these themes because there were several traces of them. Occasionally, characters sprouted philosophical rants about consumption and survival, but these scenes were meaningless and empty. It just seems the director spends more time trying to make the film look like a music video than trying to make any effort to tie this thing together.

For example, the film gives a glimpse into Michael’s troubled relationship with his girlfriend, but says nothing in these scenes. The two have lots of violent sex and then one day the girlfriend leaves. Trying to analyze their relationship is impossible, especially since the director doesn’t seem to care. The deleted scenes on the DVD gave more insight into their relationship, but those scenes were left on the cutting block in exchange for more pointless sex scenes.

Since Feed is a B-horror movie, most viewers will only care for the gross out factor and ignore the mistakes. Who says violence must be brainless? If a film can combine thoughtful, intelligent analysis with disturbing imagery, it’s brilliant. Why applaud a film that only gets half the formula right?

Extras: The deleted scenes give more insight into Micahel’s complicated relationship with his girlfriend. In the film, the decomposing relationship is blamed on the girlfriend, but in these scenes it shows it was Michael’s fault. There’s also interviews, an interesting alternate ending and behind the scenes footage of the infamous fat suit.

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