Bitter Feast - a Horror Flick for Foodies
Bitter Feast: A Review
Director: Joe Maggio
With the rise of the internet almost anyone can start a blog nowadays (look at me) and declare their opinion to the world. But what happens when you actually have to deal with the consequences of your words? Bitter Feast, from writer-director Joe Maggio, is a film that explores this situation.
The film centers on an influential food blogger J.T. Franks (Joshua Leonard) who writes a scathing review of Chef Peter Grey’s restaurant Feast. Peter Grey’s TV and restaurant career, already on the decline, comes to a halt with this last review.
The chef decides to take his revenge by kidnapping Franks and holding him hostage in a remote cabin in the woods. There, he tortures the blogger with culinary creativity. For example, Grey as forcing him to prepare eggs over easy with bound hands and punishing him when the results are not perfect.
This interesting premise is executed fairly well. The writing itself is very interesting and relevant, although transitions can be a little rough. I found the climax to be rather abrupt, and actually preferred the alternate ending from the DVD special features as it gave me a better sense of closure. There were also some story arcs with Franks that could have been explored a little further. Bitter Feast is produced by Larry Fessenden, who also stars in the film as a private investigator looking into Franks’ disappearance. The full potential of his side story is also lacking.
However, the performances are strong, whether or not you sympathize with the characters. Peter Grey, played by James LeGros, has a wonderful wooden calm that persists even as he seems to fall into madness. Joshua Leonard gives an especially strong performance as the desperate blogger who is struggling to figure out how to escape his predicament.
This is definitely a horror flick for foodies. There are some beautiful shots of Chef Grey’s meal preparations, and who else but a foodie can appreciate the difficulty of making the perfect eggs even without bound hands? Iron Chef Mario Batali also has a brief appearance in the film. I wouldn’t exactly call him a co-star, but it’s definitely interesting to see Batali in a role that isn’t on the Food Network.
Overall, the film is worth a look if you’re a horror fan. It's an interesting exploration of the power of the internet and bloggers. This isn’t the most terrifying film, but there are some unsettling moments that will leave you on edge due to the excellent performances.
Interested? Take a look at the trailer I’ve embedded below. Bitter Feast is out on DVD, so check out BitterFeastFilm.com for more information.