Hungry? Care for a Blood Feast (1963) or will Evil Feed do? Fifty years apart but gross culinary horror films are still out there, films to get your teeth into with added humour and sauce. Or is it just in Bad Taste (1987)?
Video on demand is an increasingly popular means of film distribution which means that productions that might have had trouble finding an audience in the more physical worlds of cinemas and discs, are getting the opportunity to be seen more widely. And amongst the sort of VoD films you are unlikely to see at your multiplex come from a range of genres such as gross out comedies, gorno horror or even gross out gorno horror comedies, perhaps with some unexpected martial arts. Which is, fortuitously, where Evil Feed comes in.
With the help of waitress, assistant and lover Yuki (Alyson Bath), Steven (Terry Chen) now runs his father’s restaurant, The Long Pig, having killed his old man some years earlier as a result of a dispute over the ownership of the establishment. The Long Pig has an enthusiastic clientèle and cuisine quite literally to die for. This is because the dishes served to the customers have most definitely died in order to provide unique – and cannibalistic – gastronomic delights that are on offer only to exclusive gourmets. To add to the ambiance, The Long Pig also lays on a host of entertainment to enhance the experience – including televised live fights where the combatants battle to the death, and the loser inevitably ends up as dish of the day. A group of local martial arts fighters and friends are unaware of the horrors of The Long Pig’s business model and infiltrate the establishment when their dojo’s leader goes missing. Steven, meanwhile, is curious about a potential rival Dragonfly (Carrie Genzel), who also owns, it appears, a human-meat establishment. So rival businesses, with perhaps rival dishes and rival fighters in unknown environments. Who could possibly win?
Evil Feed has its roots in early grindhouse and gross-out drive-in movies as made famous by Herschell Gordon Lewis as well as low budget shockers such as the cannibal films from the late seventies and early eighties and the grand guignol of films such as Bloodsucking Freaks (1976). It’s video nasty meets grindhouse in a new format for the internet age – the Video Nasty has now become the Video on Demand Nasty? Evil Feed does depart from its forebears with its extensive use of violent fighting added into the equation; death match and cage fighting that is often extended in its use of violence with outcomes that are deliberately over-the-top (such as pulling the flesh off the loser’s face, wearing and eating it or using a secret weapon that ensures decapitation). Culinary arts mix with martial arts. It’s all decidedly tasteless (so to speak) but aims to add to the comedy elements of the film, if aggressive amusement suits your palate. This is basically fun entertainment, a variant on the cannibal producing premise that knows it’s a grindhouse movie with added sex references, nudity and penis gags to boot. The performances range from ham to cheese but as a B-movie it is well filmed, and provides the occasional chuckle amidst the chokes. Not recommended for the faint of heart, but if you like comic lowbrow shlock, you may find it suits your appetite.