TADFF 2013 Day 7: ‘Found’ and ‘Evil Feed’

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Written and directed by Scott Schirmer

USA, 2013

In Found, Marty (Gavin Brown), a horror movie-loving, graphic novel-writing suburban kid, discovers the severed heads his brother (Ethan Philbeck) keeps bringing home. Nonplussed at first, Marty soon has his life spiral into the kind of horror film he so dearly loves.

Watching Found can be quite the confusing experience. On the one hand, there’s themes of identity and maturity, with Marty experiencing bullying, sexual awakening, and familial conflict. There’s also a small commentary about the nature of horror movies and how they can desensitize younger audiences (Marty keeps his brother’s severed heads a secret, much like he does his mother’s old love letters from an ex and his father’s rude magazines).

But those qualities are all but made moot by the film’s jarringly inconsistent tone. The acting is stilted and stiff, making for an oddly incongruent tenor to the spirit of a film that borders of self-parody (this would be miles more enjoyable if it was). It’s hard to fully appreciate the gravity of the subject matter when the lackluster dialogue and delivery mostly nulls the effect (i.e. the film’s many slurs, which attempt to add an edge to the storytelling, come off as dulled and weak). Imagine a 12-year-old kid trying to deliver a solemn speech about bullying after he or she has sucked some helium out of a balloon. This is what Found is essentially like.

Evil Feed

Evil Feed

Written by Aaron Au, Kimani Ray Smith, and Jana Mitsoula

Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

Canada, 2013

Cannibals and Kung Fu seem like an odd pairing, but that’s exactly what Evil Feed tries to do. In the film, a group of martial arts fighters try to infiltrate an underground Chinese restaurant called the Long Pig, which, run by a crazy dude named Steven (Terry Chen), forces people to fight each other and cooks up the losers for dinner, the signature dish being the “Dicky roll.”

With a gluttony of wild fight sequences, bloody sex scenes, and gory instances of shock horror, the film is a nihilistic and wildly high-octane genre mash-up mess (perhaps it’s fitting, then, that Steven is decked out in a bowler hat, covered in heavy eyeliner, and brandishing a cane, much like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange).

The film is tasteless and crude, the story doesn’t quite engage, and it’s probably too over-the-top without any emotional anchor for its own good (a mess is a mess is a mess), but it doesn’t matter in the end, because the film isn’t even remotely trying to be gourmet. It’s often fun, funny, and always facetious. If you are what you eat, Evil Feed must’ve gorged itself on an all-you-can-eat buffet.

— Justin Li

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