It’s Thanksgiving and what does that mean? I’m not looking for the politically correct answer, you know the one, “Thanksgiving is about family and being thankful for what they have”. Thanksgiving is about eating, sometimes, at as many houses as we can fit into a day. It’s the one day of the year that we torture ourselves and say it’s okay because it’s the one day of the year that I do this. We don’t really have a good Thanksgiving movie, not yet (Eli, I’m counting on you), but there is a film that you can watch on this holiday. It’s not simply a film that will disturb you and it has everything to do with eating… that film is FEED.
The Fangoria called it “one of the sickest films I have ever seen”. That isn’t an untrue statement or clever marketing ploy. This film is absolutely disgusting depending on your tolerance level. The thing not disgusting for the sake of wanting to be disgusting, like those low budget toe tags or brain damage films, this film is disgusting and disturbing in a very real and non-gratuitous way.
The film centers on Philip Jackson, a cyber crimes investigator for Interpol who has just finished a case that nearly destroyed him. Not physically mind you, but mentally. It was a cannibalism case, but not an ordinary cannibalism case, the assailant and the victim are one and the same. Philip followed up a lead on a website for cannibalistic enthusiasts and found a man feeding himself willfully to another, his penis cooking on the stove. Yup, that’ll be enough to set me off on a drinking binge for weeks. Like the man says, some things you can’t just un-see.
Meanwhile, we have Michael Carter. A smart good looking guy with a very strange fetish, he likes to date and feed women well beyond morbidly obese. His girlfriend is bed ridden and pushing 600 pounds and counting. The thing is, she’s not his first girlfriend in this state and because of the nature of the relationship, she won’t be his last. He aids her in her weight gain, not just for her benefit, but the benefit of all those watching on the Internet. Yes, she is the subject of admiration online and maybe even something more sinister.
Through the Internet these two cross paths, dragging Philip deeper and deeper into a world that dwarfs everything else he’s ever experienced. It’s certainly not more bloody or grotesque than anything he’s dealt with, it’s just that this is so much more disturbing for so many different reasons that the mere implications become unbearable.
FEED deals with cannibalism, obsession, love, sex, and consumption. Perfection, acceptance, these things are subjective and the film’s layers explore that. This film is not just an exercise in grotesque exploitation nor is it simply a gross out horror film. It’s a film with something to say on every subject near and dear to us as human beings if we choose to hear it.
Feed is an excellent film that plays as horror, as drama, and satire. Beautifully shot and emotionally unsettling, it deserves more recognition than it currently has. Maybe, just maybe, it is a film that everybody knows, but chooses to own as a dark and guilty pleasure to protect their own obsessions.
Is it a good Thanksgiving film? That depends on your fortitude. But as far as horror films dedicated to the act of eating, there is no second course.
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