The hard-as-nails Biker Queen (Diane Ayala Goldner) saunters onto the barren highway familiar to viewers of the original FEAST and, after showing off a little of her pistol-shooting handiwork, she and her lesbian biker pals discover the bloodied Bartender (Clu Gulager) hiding beneath a car.

The Queen instantly attacks the Bartender, accusing him of killing off the people lying dead on the road beside them. But he is quick to tell her otherwise, explaining how something evil invaded his bar and killed off almost everyone in there.

A flashback to "16 hours earlier" then introduces us to midget wrestling double-team Thunder (Martin Klebba) and Lightning (Juan Longoria Garcia), redneck brothers who lived in a trailer beside the bar ... until an alien-induced bloodbath turned their lives upside down and left them also on the run.

All of these characters make it to the nearest town, a sleepy and similarly remote destination that at least promises an escape route of sorts - until it transpires that the hungry aliens already responsible for tearing their friends apart are now wreaking havoc there too.

Eventually the survivors of the original massacre reluctantly team up with a fiery group of town locals, including smarmy TV salesman Slasher (Carl Anthony Payne) and the psychotic Hobo (William Prael), to fight for survival against the common enemy.

Fortunately, the kick-ass Honey Pie (Jenny Wade) also returns from the first instalment for more of the action ...

That, essentially, is the plot. The remainder of this film is dedicated to one messy set-piece after another. Women get topless, bodies get mangled and men run around outdoors in rubber monster suits while cheap rock music booms over the soundtrack.

A sequel to the highly successful FEAST was almost inevitable. The original film was one that was bound to garner a fair amount of attention, even if only because it was co-produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as part of a competition they'd hosted.

But to suggest that FEAST only found an audience because of the tenuous link of some pretty-boy Hollywood types is unfair. True perhaps, but unfair. Because it did in fact pack a great deal of energy into its frankly barmy story, along with a liberal spattering of gore and some enjoyably trashy aesthetics. Not forgetting, of course, a Tarantino-esque approach to cool about it.

FEAST 2 offers much of the same, only upping the ante in terms of comedy, gore, monsters and tits. Which probably sounds ideal. But by accentuating the cheese factor with a smug wink, director John Gulager (son of cult hero Clu) has pushed the boat out too far and made a film of significantly less interest - or class - than it's model.

Gulager should be applauded for at least ladling on the style: FEAST 2 is dripping with cool visuals and inventive camerawork. It's also unwavering in terms of pace and editing, and never holds back on the grue.

But the film is too desperate to be perceived as cool. It never rests, forcing one self-consciously "funny" line of dialogue or corny monster gag after another down our throats. The tireless pace becomes tiring as we realise there is no plot and therefore little point to what is unfolding on the screen.

This is an exercise in superficiality: a film so determined to recapture the formula that made it's predecessor popular, that it is willing to strip away all other qualities and stick to the bare dynamics. But without the background to the characters and intriguing sub-plots that tempered the original FEAST, this sequel becomes a one-dimensional slog that it's impossible to engage with.

The real shame is that Gulager is a filmmaker with style and imagination. He just needs to break free of this creative cul-de-sac of a franchise (he went on to direct FEAST 3: THE HAPPY FINISH).

The film is presented in all its uncut gory glory, in a highly respectable anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer. Shot on digital, the film is understandably free from grain and graced with bright, vivid visuals throughout.

Audio is provided in English 2.0 and 5.1 mixes. Both are credible propositions, with the latter offering the more well rounded but perhaps imperfectly balanced mix of the two. The 2.0 track was flatter but, at least, more consistent.

A pretty basic animated main menu page leads into an animated scene-selection menu allowing access to FEAST 2 via 8 chapters.

Extras begin with the 12-minute featurette "Scared To Death Twice". This successfully crams plenty of film clips, behind-the-scenes footage and cast/crew interviews into it's deceptively brief running time. A lot of worthwhile footage is offered, but the sound bites from the cast are basic promo-kit crap.

"Meet The Gulagers" follows, a 5-minute bonus feature that includes more interview snippets from the same sessions as above. It covers the family connections between three of the cast members and the director, and their relationship on the shoot. It's a fun if throwaway addition to the disc.

The audio commentary track that featured on the Region 1 Dimension Extreme DVD release has not been carried across.

The disc is defaulted to open with trailers for THE WRESTLER, STORM WARNING and GOMORRAH.

Sometimes less can be more. No-one seems to have told John Gulager this. Instead, he's strived to outdo his original FEAST in every way possible and as a result he's largely let go of everything that made the first outing work.

Still, there are a few fun set-piece scenes and some great gore gags to be enjoyed. And FEAST 2 at least looks good on this UK DVD from Optimum.

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Optimum Home Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review