Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feeders (1996)

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Yup....this is gonna be GOOD!
There have been many famous siblings throughout cinematic history.....The Baldwin Brothers, Emilio and Charlie, The Bridges Brothers, Joan and John Cusack, etc.   However, there is one family name in particular that really gets my blood pumping:  The Polonia Brothers.  Mark and John Polonia are the SOV masterminds who created the 1987 epic Splatter Farm and had been making no budget flicks right up until John's untimely death in 2008.

It's one of them thar flyin' saucers!
Back in 1996, The Brothers Polonia, collaborating with Cannibal Campout director Jon McBride, unleashed their Sci-Fi masterpiece, Feeders.  Shot for about $500, the wrote, directed and John and Jon starred in the tale of an invasion of aliens hungry for human flesh.  The story follows friends Derek (McBride) and Bennett (Polonia) as they embark on a road trip to The Ocean.  Yep, apparently they aren't going to the beach....they're headed straight to The Ocean.  Once there, it's Bennett intention to get down and busy with bikini clad beach babes.  Derek is more interested in photography and taking pictures of their trip.

Our Intrepid "Heroes"
The aliens waste no time and beam down about 5 minutes in.  Then there's about 15 minutes of footage of the aliens stalking a fisherman and such.  The POV shots from the alien's perspective is done in negative......which is a slightly annoying effect, but it does add a little bit of a creep factor to it.  The aliens themselves are absolutely hysterical!  There are two of them (well, two puppets....I'm not sure how many aliens are supposed to be running around...because they are all represented by the same two puppets!) and they are both equally craptastic.  They kinda look like muppet versions of the common descriptions of "Greys".  Even better...they have non-moving mouths....which is a bit ironic because they're FEEDERS.....just saying.
Alien Flesh Eaters!

Run for your lives!
 Passing through town and stopping at a gas station, Bennett puts the ol' charm on and talks one of the local girls into calling up her friend for a little double date action.  This scene is friggin hilarious to me because Bennett is such a horndog.  Derek goes into the store to buy more batteries and film and when he comes out, Bennett tells him about their pending double date.  Derek seems less than thrilled.  Apparently this isn't the first time ol' Bennett has been consorting with the locals.  I don't know why, but the scene cracks me the hell up.  So much so that I've decided to let you watch it yourself.  You're welcome.

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See?  That was some amazing acting there, wasn't it?  You should see the phone call scene between Donna and Michele (the boy's potential "dates").  It's one of the best "bad acting" scenes I've ever laid witness too!  Pure awesome-sauce!

Well, our boys are on their way to set up their campsite when they hit the fisherman from earlier with their car.  Being the Good Samaritans that they are, they check on him to make sure he's okay.  "What if he's still alive?"  Bennett asks.  What indeed.  The answer?  Bring him to the nearest doctor's office!  Not a hospital....not an emergency room....nope.....a doctors office.  Cause bringing him to the family physician is definitely gonna be the best place for him to get care!  Anyway, the guy is mumbling about "little men" as the boys manhandle him and shove him into the backseat of their convertible.....head first of course!

Girls????
Sadly, Mr. Fisherman doesn't make it.  Apparently this is no big deal because the doctor tells them that they have to fill out some paperwork....next thing ya know they're back on their way.....no worse for the wear.  They decide to set up camp and wait for the girls to arrive.  Oh yeah, that's actually not going to happen because they've been "eaten" by aliens.

Well once out in the woods, Bennett and Derek stumble across a decapitated head.  Skin's gone....eyes still in sockets....top of the skull is gone but the brain is apparently mostly intact.  It's hilarious!  One of the few gore effects in the film.  An alien springs up and attacks out heroes.  It spits acid at them and burns Derek's hand.  They boys run back to the car, but it's dead, so they start to run.

Really?  The Feeders didn't eat the eyes?  That's the best part!

They come across an isolated house where all the residents have already been murdered by the invading forces of flesh munching aliens.  The fellas check the house out for other extraterrestrial intruders and then huddle up and try to form a plan.   That's when the UFO settles over the house and the "climax" of the film takes place.  I won't tell you what happens, but I will tell you that it is nothing short of pure cinematic cheese of the highest degree.

At least she still has her hair!

I have to give The Polonia Bros. and Jon McBridge credit.  Not only did they make a fun SOV sci-fi/horror flick and do it Guerrilla style (for instance filming at that gas station without permission.....or Jon McBride running down a quiet suburban street at 5 in the morning yelling about aliens) but they also managed to get their film distributed through Blockbuster Video.  This largely had to do with the fact that Independence Day was a huge hit and Blockbuster wanted an alien invasion film to cash in on it's success and in turn found quite a bit of success in it's own right through rentals.

This movie has a certain something.  A certain charm.....a certain Je ne sais quoi.  There's a feeling a fun that permeates the film.  Even better, if you happen to have the Double Feature DVD (it includes Feeders II: Slay Bells...YES!) like I do, then you also get some great interviews with both brothers as well as McBride.  I loved the story that McBride tells about his excitement for the UFO interior scenes only to find that the set was simply some aluminum foil placed on the ground.  If you are an aspiring filmmaker, then you need to watch these interviews AND these films for inspiration.

"Holy shit, we got picked up by Blockbuster!!!"

I will be reviewing Feeders II:  Slay Bells a little closer to Christmas, because it is now one of my all time favorite Christmas themed movies!  Four words for ya:  Santa Kicking Alien Ass!!!  Until then, you need to track down this movie.  It may not be easy if you are looking to own it (and you SHOULD) because the DVD is now OOP, but you can rent them from Blockbuster Online and Netflix.  You can still find VHS and DVD copies on E-bay and Amazon, but sometimes they can get a bit pricey.  At any rate, if you love SOV cheese-fests then you need to do yourself a favor and watch FEEDERS!



2 comments:

  1. Nice aticle. I just have one correction. Polonia Bros Entertainment did not stop making films after Johns passing. Mark has produced 6 feature films since then, including 3 directed by him, and is getting ready to shoot another in a month. PBE is as prolific as ever.

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  2. You are absolutely correct! The next paragraph went on to state that Mark was still active making films....but apparently the Feeders ate that paragraph! Not sure what happened there....but thank you for bringing that up! :-)

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