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Fresh Meat

Tribeca Film Festival 2013 Review

Tribeca Film; 91 minutes

Director: Danny Mulheron

Written by on May 11, 2013 

Fresh Meat takes several “-isms” and throws them into a hilarious blender. The film works as an uncompromisingly dark horror comedy with director Danny Mulheron keeping the insanity and energy throughout much of the first two acts dialed up. It’s a shame Tribeca Film is going to the VOD route — if there’s a film that was made for the Alamo Drafthouse this is it. (Although on second though, maybe you’ll want to skip dinner and go right for the bucket of beers.)

The film quickly introduces us to its players, Paulie Tan, who is on his way to jail for a very long long time (convicted of murder, kidnapping, and trafficking in illegal fruit), the sexy Gigi (Kate Elliott) who rivals Zoe Bell with an intensely physical performance a member of Tan’s clan. Then there is the Crane Family: Rina has returned home from a boarding school for the summer; she’s slowly in the process of coming out of the closet. Meanwhile we learn the patriarch Hemi (Temuera Morrison) is a college professor specializing in religion and the author of several unpublished books. Margaret (Nicola Kawana) broadcasts a cooking show it seems to no one, and if you remember Atom Egoyan’s Felicia’s Journey, having a mom as the host of a cooking show is just one sign you might be a serial killer. Then there’s Glenn (Kahn West) as the brainwashed brother.

Tan escapes thanks to Gigi and an inept group of thugs who nearly botch the operation; cased by the police, they take shelter with the Crane family — big mistake. The twists joyfully keep coming in one of the funniest and craziest films to grace the screens at Tribeca this year, which played in the festival’s midnight section.

Unfortunate for this group of thugs, while Rina was away at boarding school, the Cranes have recently embraced a rare extinct Samarian religion, taking up cannibalism. The new diet also required the family to turn their basement into a meat locker. And that’s just the set-up.

You know what you’re getting into before you rent this flick and Mulheron delivers the goods. Frantic, funny, bold and full of action, the last act resorts to the usual tropes of this kind of horror film, with a twist as Rina becomes attracted to Gigi. Here’s a home invasion comedy where we almost feel bad for the invaders, especially as Hemi tries to gain immortality in a sequence that recalls Nicholas Ray’s classic Bigger Than Life. There are no shortage of moments that require the kind of audience where someone will undoubtedly yell back at the screen “oh no you didn’t!”. VOD it with a group of friends and have a blast.

Fresh Meat screened at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and is available on demand.


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