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Film Review: Appetites (2015)

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SYNOPSIS:

A weird young lady named Daisy lives in the middle of nowhere with her even weirder brother Bubba and they spend their days hunting down and killing young men and then eating them. Even though she is somewhat content she longs for someone to love and she gets her wish when a deranged killer calling himself John Doe comes into her life. Will they live happily ever after slaughtering innocent people or will they turn on each other?

REVIEW:

Review-It is quite obvious to me that the people behind Appetites are huge fans of Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects as this film is pretty much just a watered down version of it. It tries just a little too hard at times to be shocking and out there but it doesn’t quite work. I thought that the premise sounded somewhat promising but I have to admit that after everything was said and done I was pretty disappointed. While I wouldn’t say that it was the worst film that I’ve seen lately it was still pretty underwhelming and to be brutally honest I am sure that I am going to forget all about it in a week’s time (if not sooner). I just wasn’t that impressed with it for a number of reasons (such as bad acting, unlikable characters, poor writing, and scenes that went on way too long) and even though I really wanted to like it I just couldn’t.

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One of the biggest problems that I had with the film was the fact that it was just plain boring for the most part. Yes, there are a couple of decent death scenes but they are way too few and far between for my liking. I went into the film expecting it to be an awesome little flick about a homicidal couple going on a killing spree but that just wasn’t the case here. Instead we get way too much buildup and the film wastes a lot of time trying to develop the characters even though none of them are really that interesting if you ask me. There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of scenes with people just sitting around talking that go on for way, way too long and they get pretty annoying pretty quickly to the point that I had to resist the urge to skip ahead to the next scene.

It calls itself a horror film but nothing remotely scary happens during the entire film and instead it comes off like some lame drama (with a very forced and uninteresting love story) that you’ve probably already seen many times before. When I watch a horror film I want to see blood, guts, and some awesome and creative death scenes, not people just sitting around talking about things that I don’t really care about to begin with. I don’t know if some of these scenes were intentionally drawn out to pad out the film’s running time or what, but they just don’t work. Even when something is actually happening it still isn’t really that amazing and as a result I nearly fell asleep a handful of times while I was watching this film.

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I also wasn’t too big on the characters either. Daisy (Lauren Parkinson) tries her damndest to be a cross between Baby from The Devil’s Rejects and Harley Quinn from the Batman comics but she just can’t quite pull it off. She spends a great deal of time in the movie running around in this Xena-like outfit (while wearing war paint, no less) as she hunts down her some of her victims and she looks ridiculous in the process (what was up with her accent, by the way? It just sort of seems to come and go at random times). It’s obvious that Parkinson isn’t a bad actor but her performance here is less than idea and I blame the film’s poor writing more than anything. John Doe (Bret Roberts) is just more annoying than anything and isn’t the least bit intimidating even though he’s supposed to be some sort of bad ass serial killer. His reason for killing women is laughably bad and just plain stupid if you ask me, and I can’t help but wonder what the writers were thinking when they came up with it (I guess it sounded good in their minds). The character of Detective Frye (Chris Cleveland) is essentially useless and he doesn’t really do anything worth mentioning.

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He comes off as a rip-off of Sam Loomis from Halloween as he is obsessed with John Doe but he really doesn’t go out of his way to try to stop him at any point (plus his overall fate just seemed really rushed and half-assed to me). Bubba (Scott Barrows) is just sort of there and spends the entire movie grunting and making other weird noises (is it just me or does he look a little like Bastion Booger who wrestled for the WWF back in the day?) without doing anything that important or interesting. The rest of the characters (which includes a midget who has a Freak the Mighty moment at one point with Bubba toward the end) are pretty forgettable too. If you don’t blink you will see James Duval (one of my favorite actors of all time) eventually show up but his character is so pointless it doesn’t even really matter (I think he gets like three actual minutes of screen time). It’s obvious he just showed up to collect a paycheck as he just phones in his performance which is unfortunate because he is so much better than that in my opinion.

I also thought that John Doe’s singing got incredibly annoying very quickly. I’m not saying that Bret Roberts doesn’t have a decent voice or anything, but these scenes were just goofy as hell and seemed out of place. They just don’t work and were more corny (and annoying) than anything. There is a certain point where he sings and entire song for Pete’s sake and it had me reaching for the remote so I could fast-forward through it as it added absolutely nothing to the movie itself. I can respect the fact that Roberts wanted to showcase his musical talents, but this movie just wasn’t the place to do it.

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Overall I was pretty let down by Appetites. It wasn’t anything special and even though it wasn’t horrible I don’t think I have any desire to watch it again. Along with the many flaws I’ve already mentioned I also thought that the ending was pretty bad as everything just comes to a screeching halt (seriously, it just ends in mid-scene and I can’t help but wonder if they just ran out of film and called it a day or something). I have a lot of trouble recommending this film to anyone, but if you do check it out make sure to watch the end credits as there are actually some pretty funny outtakes (the thing with the midget trapped in the trunk is priceless).

One comment

  1. Darren Bevill

    Todd:

    Thanks for your honest review of APPETITES. As the original screenwriter, I can say that the movie was never intended to be anything like the DEVIL’S REJECTS. Unfortunately, due to a last minute rewrite of the script (one that gutted a lot of character development and subplots/story threads, particularly Detective Frye’s), the end result is — well, you’ve seen the end result. And, for the record, it was never written as a “musical”. I’ve been making the original script available to those who want to read it, as a contrast and compare. Also, I’m working on a graphic novelization which will be a more accurate portrayal of the story as originally conceived. I’m hoping one day that may lead to a better movie.

     

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