R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Brett Leonard
scr Kieran Galvin
with Alex O'Loughlin, Patrick Thompson, Gabby Millgate, Jack Thompson, Matthew Le Nevez, Rose Ashton, Sherly Sulaiman, Marika Aubrey, David Field, Adam Hunt, Yure Covich, Connor Thompson
release UK 17.Feb.06
05/Australia 1h38

Are you hungry? O'Loughlin and Millgate

p.thompson o'loughlin j.thompson


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Feed A cop thriller set in the world of feeders and gainers, this film gleefully frightens and grosses out its audience every way imaginable. Thankfully, a blackly comical tone keeps it from being overwhelming.

We open in Toledo, Ohio, with the charming Michael (O'Lachlan), singing along with Cherish as he buys bags of burgers to feed to Deirdre (Millgate), who celebrates hitting 600 pounds. Meanwhile, Australian cyber-crime investigator Phillip (Patrick Thompson) has just finished a ghastly cannibalism case in Hamburg (of course!). Back in Sydney, he finds Michael's website and realises something's not right in Toledo. So off he goes to pursue the case, which gets far grislier than he could have imagined.

It seems that only Aussies could successfully combine a creepy fetish scene with a police investigation thriller and infuse it with character shadings and a thoroughly warped sense of humour. On a visceral level, the film keeps us fairly queasy all the way through, with brief interludes in which the fit cast members strip off to show us their beautifully toned bodies in contrast to the monstrous, extremely convincing fat suit Millgate and others wear.

Disturbing touches are clearly designed to freak us out and keep us on edge. And screenwriter Galvin works in just enough character depth. Even though it's fairly simplistic, flashbacks and other scenes make both Michael and Phillip much more than merely cat and mouse. Both are haunted by their pasts as well as bad decisions they continue to make. Amid the carnage, O'Lachlan and especially Thompson create fascinating characters that are morally complex. As Michael asks, "Who's the real sociopath?"

Leonard gives the film a lush, over-coloured style that combines with webcam-style footage to make the whole thing feel like an internet nightmare. The fact that it was filmed in Sydney actually helps; nothing looks quite right. Michael's neighbourhood feels like an evil parallel-universe version of Desperate Housewives' Wisteria Lane. And the themes are intriguingly developed as well--codependence, consumerism, the ripple effects of bad parenting, even the difficulty of really trusting someone. Surprising stuff to find in a gruesome, gripping thriller.

cert 18 themes, language, violence, grisliness, sexuality, nudity 2.Dec.05

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Feed Steve, Brooklyn, NY: 5/5 "Excellent movie about feeding. If anything, it could have had more of the true insight into the entire feederism world. That was a bit disappointing, but other than that, it at least brought this wonderful, magical world of fat love into the forefront." (23.Jan.06)

Renee, New Jersey: 1.5/5 "Personally, I found this movie more than a little unprofessionally produced. With its poor script, low grade acting and horrendous use of rubber fat suits, I found this film to be just another bad example of shock cinema. While I was intrigued by the general premise of the movie I felt that it was just plain sensationalized Jerry Springer type bulls**t. The only advice I can give regarding this film is, donít waste your money, donít waste your time and above all donít take it seriously. Feed is an inaccurate and oftentimes ridiculous portrayal of the world of fat erotica. I canít help but think what this film could have been had it been cast differently and taken out of the hands of the inapt clowns who produced it." (21.Feb.06)

© 2005 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall