Saturday, October 9, 2021

FRESH MEAT (2012) Movie Review

Scare-A-Thon Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 9
Total First Time Views: 6
Amount raised for ALBANY PARK THEATER PROJECT: $437.85

Fresh Meat (2012) d. Danny Mulheron (New Zealand) (95 min) (2nd viewing)

A enjoyable if uneven Kiwi horror/comedy mash-up of dysfunctional family values and second-tier career criminals, with a solid stripe of meat-munching right down the middle. Before coming home during school semester break, fresh-faced Rina (Hanna Tevita) is introduced in the girls shower room borrowing her stall-mate’s soap and all that this entails. Her cooking show TV-star mom (Nicola Kawana) and Maori-studies professor dad (Temeura Morrison) are unaware of their little girl’s Sapphic tendencies, but they’ve got bigger problems on their plate, er, bigger fish to fry, um, they like to have their neighbors for dinner... Oh, hell, they’re cannibals, a fact that Rina discovers just before a ragtag band of wackadoo crooks fresh from a jailbreak come banging on the door looking for a place to hold up until the heat dies down.

If you’ve ever had a burning desire to watch Star Wars’ Jango Fett go all medieval on someone’s ass, this is the flick for you; Morrison is clearly enjoying himself, devouring scenery and co-stars right and left, wrestling with insecurities over his bride’s success and a strong desire to be immortal (hence the cannibalism). But it is Tevita that holds the insanity together while serving as our moral center (that’s right, folks, the lesbian is the role model here – hello, progress); she’d rather not kill and/or eat anyone, but when pushed too far, she’s happy to dole out the whoop-ass or the crotch-bite. Kate Elliott also makes a strong impression as Gigi, the lone badass female within the merry band of bandits, fierce mascara lines and double-pump shotgun offsetting her knee high socks and tight hot-pink cut-offs.

Mulheron, who contributed screenwriting duties to Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles, directs with a flair for comic mayhem while Briar Grace Smith’s script machinations exist firmly in splatstick sitcom terrain. 

The well-marshaled energetic, sexy, juicy, bloody buzz sustains itself for the first 2/3 before spiraling into an overblown finale that sees blood against blood, flesh against flesh, and internal logic thrown to the winds. It's still fun in the end... with a decided sense that it could have been much more so.

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