Project Greenlight Script Review: ‘Feast’

Project Greenlight fans rejoice! The new series is going to follow the production of a film entitled Feast by first time screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston. The film will be directed by John Gulager as he “attempt(s) (and hopefully succeed) to make “Feast” a horror comedy in the vein of “Army of Darkness” or “From Dusk Til Dawn.”- Lyle Henretty. Read on for his full blown script review and keep your eyes peeled here for Brian “Buzz” Juergan’s thoughts on the script…

Feast script review:
By: Lyle Henretty
4/5 Skulls

The bosses over at “Project Greenlight” have demanded that the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck produced filmmaking reality show churn out a hit after the box office failures “The Battle of Shaker Heights” and “Stolen Summer,” so it’s off to genre-land we go. The newest season of “Greenlight” will chronicle first time screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston and director John Gulager while they attempt (and hopefully succeed) to make “Feast” a horror comedy in the vein of “Army of Darkness” or “From Dusk Til Dawn.”

The script has made its way into our clutches, and it’s clear that Melton and Dunston have succeeded in their part, making a rollicking flick that’s fun with lots of gore and laughs. The problem with writing a script review for something that relies heavily on special effects and gags, however, is that there may, ultimately, be little replicated from script to screen. So much of the humor in “Feast” will derive from the comic timing of the actors playing the parts (which, by casting rumors posted on this very website, seem to be coming along perfectly). The horror effects in “Feast” have the chance to be awesome, especially if CGI is forewent for some amazing, old-fashioned appliances. (Seriously, someone write in to Savini’s effects school and get some fresh young talent on this!)

After a brief, amusing prologue involving a hungry cave and some annoying peaceniks, “Feast begins right in the middle of some inexplicable circumstances. We are introduced to a bar and its denizens, who, “Snatch”-style are introduced by freezeframes, and we are also given their life expectancies (which are all lies, a great touch), and immediately thrust into the action. ***SPOILER*** A hero bursts into the bar (we know so, because he announces himself as “The Hero”) before he is summarily dispatched by one of the pack of roving beasts consuming the denizens outside the bar. ***END SPOILER***

The bar is surrounded by some sort of cat-like monstrosities, a seeming family of bloodthirsty animals that are wickedly fast and can dispatch several people in a matter of seconds (not to mention reproduce faster than rabbits). Enter Heroine, who knows little more about the beasts than the audience. She bands the bar together, including a motivational speaker, a young man in a wheelchair, his obnoxious older brother, an elderly couple, and the “Beer Man,” who was simply delivering the beer. The bar-tender and his ‘ole sawed off comes in handy as well.

The characters don’t have names, are simply “heroine,” “adulterer,” and “bartender,” which adds to the pacing of the story. Do we really care about characterization in a roller-coaster horror film? Imagine “From Dusk Til Dawn” if the movie started mid snake-dance, and you have an idea of what the screenwriters are looking for. If the gore is done with an over-the-top flair for camp and goo, the script will be well-served. Almost the entire movie takes place in the bar as the band of strangers are trapped “Night of the Living Dead” style inside, arguing the best way to get out, and fighting over the firearms in between nasty battle with their violent captors.

There is no NOLD social commentary here, though, and the bar is not a microcosm, but simply a bar full of entertaining caricatures who, while rife for dying brutally, are not as vapid or annoying as half the “victims” in recent horror history. Spunky waitress Tuffy suffers a rutal tragedy (one that I won’t give away, but I’ll be surprised if it makes it into the final flick), yet we can’t feel bad for her because even she admits she won’t feel bad until later. She’s got butt-kicking and wisecracking to do.

The script is brisk and bereft of filler, and really your enjoyment will depend (assuming the filmmakers do justice to the script) in how much you like dead-pan action-horror, without any real solid scares (jumps, sure, but no scares). The script relies heavily on gimmicks, but does so unapologetically, which somehow makes it okay. There is nothing new in “Feast” except the order and abundance of ideas borrowed from other films, but they are re-assembled here in an interesting way, and stand to make a pretty solid movie.