Director – Ryan Nicholson (Gutterballs, Live Feed)
Starring – Beth Cantor (A Safe Place, The Switch), Christopher Patrick Donoghue (Wave, It’s Confidential), and Nathan Durec (Star Vehicle, Hitman 101)
Release Date – 2011
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “20 students. 20 hours. 20 horrible ways to die”
After taking some time to watch a few movies from Wild Eye Releasing I decided it was time to have an Unearthed Films/Plotdigger Films double header. I’ve been wanting to check out Gutterballs for several years now and Unearthed’s release on blu presented the perfect opportunity to check it out. After I gave that one a go I wanted to follow it up with another slasher from the late Ryan Nicholson, Famine. This 2011 horror comedy is another one of his films that many horror fans had been requesting me to review. I want to thank MVD and Unearthed for sending this one over for me to check out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film begins with a prank on a teacher going horrible wrong and he is maimed with acid. Those responsible think they got away with it but after a few years they decide to rekindle their old tradition of hosting a 24 hour famine at the school. That’s when things take a grisly turn when faculty and students alike start dying one by one at the hands of someone maniac wearing the school’s mascot uniform. **Spoiler Alert**
The hardcore fans of Nicholson that I know always talk about Famine being his best work. Many proclaim Gutterballs their favorite but admit Famine is a far greater film. Within the first five minutes it was evident that they were correct. Famine was such a better movie in almost every aspect.
The acting in this one is leagues better than the previous film. The cast is more comfortable in front of the camera and their chemistry works on screen. The dialogue is a vast improvement over the other film as well. You could actually listen to the interactions and not feel embarrassed for the cast. Gutterballs is known for it’s excessive use of “fuck.” Don’t get me wrong, I say it multiple times a day and my employees are probably sick of it but I don’t string out sentences with it to the point they absolutely don’t make sense. Here, we get dialogue that actually fits the story and doesn’t make you want turn the film off.
The story for this one is classic slasher. We follow a group as they are stalked and killed one by one by a masked slasher after they wronged someone. You can’t go wrong with this traditional formula and it works. I really liked how the story unfolded and the humor worked very well. I actually found myself laughing at this one.
Finally, this film has some very impressive and bloody kills. Nicholson was known for his amazing kills and practical effects and this one only confirms what most of us already know. The kills are highly entertaining and the practical effects are damn near flawless. You truly have to see them to appreciate them. Overall, Famine was more my speed. It’s a traditional slasher with Nicholson’s flair and it works very well. The blu looks great as well and will need to be added to your collection.