For the third entry in the series PROJECT GREENLIGHT,
the emphasis shifted away from standard coming-of-age tales
neither of which set the box office ablaze. Instead, it was
decided to attempt a genre picture, namely a horror film.
HBO decided not to air the series so Bravo picked it up.
I happened to catch a couple of early episodes of the third
season when the script selected turned out to be
the director chosen was John Gulager.

I didn't get to see the entire series, but when I left off there
were worries about the selection of Gulager who appeared to be
out of his depth. Among the major issues, was his desire to cast
friends and family in major roles (since that what he had done with
his own films). Cooler heads prevailed, although he did manage
to land roles for his father, veteran actor Clu Gulager (who appears
as a grizzled bartender) and his wife, Diane Goldner (who has a
small part as a biker chick)

There is that adage that says that sometimes from out of
chaos emerges something good, and that seems to be the case
with the behind-the-scenes turmoil during the production of
What has ended up on screen is a pretty good horror flick that
is marred only by obvious budgetary restraints (most
notably, some choppy editing and camerawork during sequences
when the monsters are attacking).

FEAST has a fairly simple premise: a group of people are
hanging out in a rural bar when suddenly a man (Eric Dane) bursts
in proclaiming that the place is about to be attacked by monsters.
The remainder of the movie is a thrill ride where the denizens of this
place must band together to fight the onslaught.

Sure there are cliched elements to the screenplay by Marcus
Dunaston and Patrick Melton but there is also a snarky approach
that compensates for some of the banality. Each character is
introduced with a screen that indicates the character's name,
occupation and how likely they would be to survive until the final
credits. After a while, it becomes clear just how untrustworthy
those chirons were.

Among those in the bar are a pool hustler (Balthazar Getty) and
his wheelchair-bound brother (Josh Zuckerman), two waitress, a
wannabe actress (Jenny Wade) and a single mom (Krista Allen)
who is providing sexual favors to the owner (Duane Whitaker),
an elderly woman (Eileen Ryan), a self-help guru (Henry Rollins),        
a veteran of the Iraq war (Anthony 'Treach' Criss), the beer delivery
guy (Judah Friedlander) and a pool player (Jason Mewes). Not long
after the arrival of the mysterious man, the place comes under
attack and a small creature invades wreaking havoc before it is
caught and captured. Enter the strange man's wife, dubbed Heroine
(Navi Rawat) who tries to marshal the group together to fight off
the impending attack and to plan an escape.

The actors all do yeoman work and the film proved to be
surprising enjoyable. After a brief theatrical run,
FEAST will be
available on DVD on October 17th.

        Rating:               B -
        MPAA Rating:       R for pervasive strong creature
                                        violence and gore, language,
                                        some sexuality and drug content
        Running time:      95 mins.

               Viewed at the AMC Empire
©  2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.