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HD DVD Reviews

HTF HD DVD Review: FEAST



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#1 of 5 Neil Middlemiss

Neil Middlemiss

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Posted June 09 2007 - 03:36 PM

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FEAST




Studio: Dimension Films
Year: 2006
US Rating: Unrated
Film Length: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/MPEG4AVC
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Plus, 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
Subtitles: Optional English and Spanish subtitles




US Release Date: June 12, 2007

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In a dusty, gritty, grimy dead-end bar somewhere in the lifeless plains of the southwest, bloody monstrous mayhem erupts, embroiling a disparate band of hopeful and hopeless remnants of humanity in a gruesome fight for their lives. Creatures, whose origins are unknown, are hoping to snack on this human buffet, breed and be done for the night.

That describes FEAST in a nutshell. Taking a tried and true horror movie set-up and having about as much fun with it as is humanly possible. FEAST is deliciously over-the-top.

The making of FEAST was chronicled in Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s now defunct TV show, Project Greenlight. In its 3rd season, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton won the opportunity to pen a horror story and John Gulager was selected as the winner, allowing him to direct his first feature film. What they have created with FEAST is by no means anything new, but the sense of care and fun they have with the premise is to be praised.

This creature feature is filled with recognizable character types, like the sleazy fat boss (Duane Whitaker), the smart mouthed and widely disliked troublemaker (Balthazar Getty), the prostitute mum (Krista Allen), the old hag (Eileen Ryan), a wise and rugged bar tender (Clu Gulager), a geeky loaf with bad glasses (Judah Friedlander) and a few other characters torn from the cloth of the monster movie library. Each is established quickly with ease, allowing the film to lose no time digging its heels into the bloody action and not letting up. You will also find the intriguing Henry Rollins as a low-rent motivational speaker and Jason Mewes briefly playing himself.

I have a great passion for horror movies and monster movies in particular and found that FEAST represents all that is to be enjoyed about monster movies. The action is fast but well crafted chaos, pulled together with a skilled hand into a frenetic pace that doesn’t at all feel like it comes from a first time director.

FEAST is a delightfully gory success.



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FEAST is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio., while there is a general grain throughout, it fits the style and flavor of the film, adding to the general sense of deadbeat bar life disillusion and 70/80’s monster flick throwback.
The picture also seems a little dark throughout, which may seem like common sense given the film is set in a bar, at night with the power cut and shadowy peril making up a good bulk of the tension, but it’s just a little too murky to be intentional.
Having said that, there are times when this transfer to HD really shines. I caught this film on standard DVD when it came out last year, and was impressed with how it looked (taking into consideration the low-budget and intentionally gritty look), but by comparison, FEAST on HD-DVD looks nice and sharp.

A little inconsistent, but a definite notch up from the SD-DVD version.



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FEAST has two great audio options, 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD. The frenzied action on screen gave ample opportunity for a dynamic surround sound and it pays off well. My subwoofer was called upon a lot during this flick too and I was happy to hear that. For me, an excess of subwoofer action is always more than welcome and FEAST did just that. This is a great sounding HD-DVD.


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The special features are MPEG2 with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.

Project Greenlight – Where Are They Now? Featurette – Conversations with the three finalists from the Project Greenlight TV show and the writer’s of FEAST, giving us an update on, well, where they are now.

Deleted Scenes – 4 deleted scenes and 1 alternate ending. There are couple of scenes here, mainly extra moments to existing scenes, that could very well have been included in this unrated version, especially the scene where Judah Friedlander is spewing about being dumped by his girlfriend. Good stuff.

Outtakes & Bloopers (3:00) – A reasonably enjoyable collection of flubs and actors goofing around amidst the shadows and blood on set.

The Blood & Guts of Gary Tunnicliffe (9:33) – Another fun extra feature covering the high quality of monster effects. Gary Tunnicliffe is an incredibly talented effects master, shown here to be able to create high quality and high cost effects on a budget next to nothing.

Horror Under The Spotlight: Making Feast (11:06) – Good fun featurette, covering the production under the pressures of a low budget and the project greenlight tv show cameras.

Commentary by the Filmmakers – This commentary with Director John Gulager, producers Mike Leahy and Joel Soisson, Writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton and Creature and Makeup effects designer Gary Tunnicliffe is filled with affectionate reminiscing about the production shoot and how the film ultimately came together. It’s an energetic commentary track that shows how the filmmakers enjoyed this film and the genre as much as the audience.


Final Thoughts
FEAST is fast paced, bloody fun and is filled wall to wall with a genuine love for the horror genre. With numerous nods of the hat to the bevy of monster flicks that have come before it, this sly little gore-fest is a major guilty pleasure. All the components that have helped produce some of the best monster movies through the years can be found here; a tight budget, great make-up effects, likeable characters and solid quick wit. Do yourself a favor, FEAST on this.


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Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
My DVD Collection

#2 of 5 Tim Glover

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Posted June 09 2007 - 03:38 PM

Nice review Neil. Sounds kind of cool....

#3 of 5 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted June 09 2007 - 03:41 PM

Thanks, I really like this flick. Yours is the quickest reply I have had to a review, I literally just hit submit thread, went to the portal page and saw that it had a reply! Gave me a smile, so thanks for that Posted Image
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
My DVD Collection

#4 of 5 Ed St. Clair

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Posted June 09 2007 - 03:46 PM

Thanks for the review.
If this release had the entire "Project Greenlight" season of this film, I would say it was a "must buy"!

Un-real this got TrueHD.
I mean, I think "everything" should be "lossless"; yet for "Dreamgirls" not to and "Feast" does...
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#5 of 5 ppltd

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Posted June 10 2007 - 11:10 AM

I don 't know how to say this better, this is one kick-ass movie. I enjoyed the Project Greenlight series on the making of this film, and for campy horror film lovers, this is right on the top. Neil, thanks for the fine review.
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