DIRECTED BY: Brett Leonard
FEATURING: Alex O’Loughlin, Patrick Thompson, Gabby Millgate, Jack Thompson
PLOT: A psychopathic opportunist known as a “Feeder” enables bedridden, morbidly obese women to grow even more grossly overweight, to the point of immobility. As their caretaker, he keeps them alive, but gradually feeds them to death. All the while, he films them for a pornographic website and runs a deadpool based on their life expectancy. An Australian detective hacks the website and tracks the webhost to Ohio.
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: I found Feed to be one of the most interesting horror movies that I have seen in awhile. It is not great art, but it is entertaining if one is not offended by the grotesque. Many find it too disturbing and repulsive to watch, and it is delightfully weird. Of course, I am a very sick girl in need of psychiatric help. (That’s OK—I have plenty of medicine).
COMMENTS: Feed mixes mystery and suspense with a horrifying topic. It is about a detective trying to unravel the enigma of a disturbingly perverse Internet fetish network. An Australian police investigator named Patrick Thompson (Jackson) travels to Ohio to find the source of what appears to be a clandestine Internet site for enthusiasts with a fetish for morbidly obese women, referred to as “gainers.” They are steadily fed a high calorie diet by the site administrator, Michael Carter (O’Loughlin) known in the industry as a “feeder.” The cop suspects that the bedridden women, some weighing over 500 pounds, are being held captive.
The investigator tracks down and confronts the feeder at his residence, but cannot find the clandestine set where the victims are confined. He does discover in the course of his investigation that women featured on the site end up as missing persons. He eventually discerns that Carter is literally feeding the women to death and feels compelled to locate the transmission site at any cost, regardless of U.S. law. The grotesque nature of the case, which leads the cop to analyze his own psycho-sexual dysfunctions, causes him to begin losing his sanity. In pursuing the feeder, he begins breaking the law himself with no regard for the consequences.
The feeder is a sexually tormented psychopath who is always a step ahead of his nemesis. He taunts the investigator while carrying out a far more devious and twisted scheme than the Aussie cop could ever suspect, including fattening up his own sister for the site. As the cop becomes entangled in this world of perversion, both he and the feeder start displaying inconsistent character traits. Their personalities disintegrate as they clash violently and a no-holds barred, high stakes cat and mouse pursuit ensues.
Feed is a graphic, fictitious film inspired by actual contemporary fetishes, and it ends as perversely as it does unpredictably. It delves into such dark unpleasantries as homosexuality, cannibalism, and incest, with graphic depictions of sex and extremely morbid nudity.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“…genuinely perverse throughout, packed with nudity and deviant sex . . . the whole affair has the queasy air of a freak show, though to be fair, Leonard clearly employs the material as a direct challenge to the viewer’s own prejudices and as a tool for exploring notions of societal acceptance and hypocrisy, and of the fine line between abuse and consent.” -James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood