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FEED: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Cybercrime investigators Phillip (Patrick Thompson) and Nigel (Matt Le Nevez), working for their hard nosed boss Richard (Jack Thompson), discover a grotesque fetish website devoted to 'feeders & gainers' - the bizarre world of fat erotica, a sexual subculture where men who are turned on by obesity find and feed the female objects of their desire, to the limit. And beyond it. Phillip tracks down one such weirdo, Michael Carter (Alex O'Laughlin), to a house in Toledo, Ohio, where he finds Carter [over]feeding Deidre (Gabby Millgate) in a sinister underworld that could cost Phillip his life - or his sanity.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Obesity is one of the hot topics of the Western world, seen as a scourge and dangerous to health. But the flip side is that the role models for women are all thin. Too thin, say some. So what if there were men who were so turned on by fat women they would want to keep feeding them until they became immobile rolls of fat, weighing as much as 300 pounds. What if? It's no fantasy - I checked the net, and websites like the one imagined in the film are real all right. And Feed ...er... feeds on this idea for its shocking, disgusting - and riveting. For the sake of veracity, I assume, there is even an early reference to the true case of a man who answered an ad so he could be eaten.

So it's a valid enough aspect of the human condition for exploration and rather than question the validity of its subject matter, we must approach this bizarre film with an open mind. Is it a good psychological thriller on its own terms? Is the screenplay engaging, are the performances credible, is the craftwork up to scratch? Or, in a more Joe Punter tone, is it entertaining? Well, mostly. There are a few flaws in the screenplay which the directing doesn't smooth over, and some of the editing is perhaps a bit frenetic (but the score keeps up with it), while the premise keeps us glued to the bitter and rather drawn out end.

Patrick Thompson and Alex McLoughlin (who dreamt up the idea for the screenplay) are excellent antagonists, carving complex characters out of seemingly clichéd protagonists: a crazed baddie who kills his victims by the most bizarre means, versus a tough and determined cop who has a few guilty secrets of his own. How some of Phillip's (Patrick Thompson) secrets are known to Michael (Alex O'Loughlin) is not clear, and is one of the weak aspects of the script.

Veteran icon, Jack Thompson has a relatively small role as the boss of the cybercrime unit, but a somewhat larger role as executive producer of the film. But it's Gabby Millgate (memorable from Muriel's Wedding with the classic line: "You're terrible, Muriel.") who will be remembered from this, as Deidre the unimaginably obese subject of Michael's feeding fetish. She is restricted to bed and her movements are minimal. All Millgate has to work with are her eyes and her voice. It's a brilliant, bravura performance - and all in a terrific American accent.

Feed is flawed but it is a daring and unflinching work, gutsy (pardon the awful pun) and technically proficient. It also has few things to say that make you think about this bizarre subculture/fetish/aberration ... whatever it is, such as the other psychological drive for feeders: complete power over their 'sweethearts'.

Published March 30, 2006

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FEED: DVD (R)
(Aust, 2005)

CAST: Jack Thompson, Alex O'Loughlin, Gabby Millgate, David No, Patrick Thompson, David Field, Rose Ashton

PRODUCER: Melissa Beauford

DIRECTOR: Brett Leonard

SCRIPT: Kieran Galvin (idea by PatrickThompson, Alex O'Laughlin)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steve Arnold

EDITOR: Mark Bennett

MUSIC: Gregg Leonard, Geoff Michael

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jessamy Llewellyn

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: none

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Force Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: March 31, 2006







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