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  Feed Round, Round
Year: 2005
Director: Brett Leonard
Stars: Alex O'Loughlin, Patrick Thompson, Gabby Millgate, Jack Thompson, Matthew Le Nevez, David Field, Rose Ashton, Sherly Sulaiman, Marika Aubrey
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Michael Carter (Alex O'Loughlin) seems like an ordinary fellow, but he has a secret. She's called Deirdre (Gabby Millgate), and she is enormously overweight, the reason for this being that Michael is a "Feeder" and she is a "Gainer". What this means is that she is fed as much as possible to grow as fat as possible, and all for Michael's gratification, but he has a further motive... Meanwhile, across the world in Germany, Australian cop Phillip Jackson (Patrick Thompson) is just about to solve a case, bursting in on a scene in his quarry's house that seriously disturbs him where one man is feeding another man his own flesh. This doesn't quite tip Phillip over the edge, but when he returns to Sydney and begins to investigate Michael, he embarks on a downward spiral into madness...

The first thing you see in Feed is a sober caption informing us that although this story is fictional, it is based on a true situation, the situation that sees a cycle of dependency between the gainer and feeder. But as far as any psychological accuracy goes, this film is pretty much your standard troubled cop meets clever psychopath - sorry, sociopath - with a gimmick. It was scripted by Kieran Galvin and its most notable aspect is the convincing fat suit that Millgate has to wear to render her morbidly obese, well, that and the way it strives to make you feel disgusted about having your dinner.

Another thing that distinguishes Feed is its reliance on the Internet as a plot device. Yes, it's a thriller that features its characters sitting in front of computer screens for a lot of the time, and I can't help but think the Internet doesn't exactly make for gripping cinema. It depends on the sites being looked at I suppose, and here Phillip is intent on tracking down deviants by seeking out their seedy websites where they display their fetishes for all to see. Naturally this leads him to the feeders' sites where pictures of fat women predominate, yet there's something more sinister going on with one particular site.

That would be Michael's site, then, where bets are being taken. Bets on what? Bets on how long the fat women will last before they die! Of overeating, that is, and Phillip becomes obsessed with the idea of stopping this before it's too late. He also has to contend with his own unhealthy relationship, the one with his, frankly, slutty girlfriend who admits that she's slept with five people while he's been away in Germany, but it's okay as she's still come back to him. This blurring of the lines between Phillip and Michael's dark sides is presumably meant to play the old "Ah, who's the real psycho, the cop or the criminal?" card, but just makes for another cliché.

Feed turns an unpleasant but fringe aspect of society into a horror movie banality, but it has an undeniable novelty value that prevents tedium setting in. What challenges this is the usual stuff, such as a villain who makes a philosophy of his evildoing and is quite happy to explain it at length, never mind that no one's interested. Phillip travels to Toledo to track Michael down, which results in him being outwitted by Michael at every turn, and more revolting sequences, the most memorable being Deirdre being force-fed liquid fat. As this is all done with her consent, this could have posed a few uncomfortable questions about consent and abuse, but these are largely dismissed for a silly twist ending. The whole film's a bit silly, and could have been a parody if it wasn't all so humourless. Music by Gregg Leonard and Geoff Michael.

[The DVD includes behind the scenes footage, interviews, deleted scenes, a trailer, an audio commentary from the director and more.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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