Toronto After Dark 2013: Evil Feed Review
Evil Feed makes its intentions known with little hesitation. It’s silly, funny, bombastic and bloody without remorse. Capable of being a no-holds-barred non-stop blood bath of fun vulgarity, it loses much of its power to juvenile production value. The fight scenes are lackluster, the racist jokes unnecessary, and the sound engineering shoddy at best. With some stellar performances and fun kill scenes, it still manages to fall short of its epic potential.
The premise is simple, but exquisitely vulgar. Martial arts experts are slowly being kidnapped around the city, and forced to fight against almost unbeatable opponents. The loser is chopped up and served for dinner in a cannibalistic Chinese restaurant. Be careful when ordering the house special.
The premise is bold, bloody and unique. Pair a grotesque concept with MMA, and you should have a winning flick. Unfortunately, the fight sequences are lackluster, likely due to the inexperience of leads Laci J Mailey, Derek Gilroy, and Bishop Brigante. Stunt double to Wesley Snipes on Blade: Trinity, Alain Chanoine’s expertise saves the film’s credibility. His are the movie’s best sequences.
Terry Chen as the sadistic Steven and Johnson Phan as The Phammer add some excellent humour to the film. Phan elevates every fight scene he’s in, while Chen is a scene-stealer with some of the film’s best one-liners.
In spite of these few high notes, the film falls flat. The jokes are predominantly juvenile and racist. Save for Chanoine and Chen, the performances are boring and stilted, or, as in the case of Alyson Bath’s Yuki, overwrought and irritating.
The female leads are painfully written. Mailey’s Jenna has the front of a tough MMA broad who ultimately begs to be saved by whichever man is willing to do the job. Bath’s maniacal Yuki is incapable of keeping her emotions in check, and spends the entire film fighting over a man, fucking anyone in sight to make him jealous.
Carrie Genzel as the supposedly formidable Madame Dragonfly, Steven’s UK competition, is the worst of the lot. She’s supposed to be a feared and ruthless businesswoman. Instead, she’s a promiscuous leech who stoops to fight over a man when she’s on a business trip. The women in the film are reduced to ridiculous stereotypes. No amount of blood can salvage the poorly crafted characters.
Ludicrous horror has its place. Fill a film with gore, expertly executed fight sequences, and a barrage of over the top humour, and you’re guaranteed to have a winner. Evil Feed manages the gore and fight scenes, but skimps on the quality. It winds up packing a lack-luster and lazy punch, as opposed to going balls to the wall, as it should have.