Two pretty but shallow cheerleaders, trying to collect money for a drive held by their squad, knock on the door of what seems to be a sweet, older southern lady named Ginny (Lynn Lowry). But, we soon see her twisted side as she kills them both. As the film progresses we learn that she once wanted to be a model, but due to the cruel and judging ways of the industry, she was cast aside. This led to her eventual mental breakdown. And, now she is psychotic; killing and eating an ever growing list of victims. Meanwhile, Debbie (Tiffany Shepis), a not very happy housewife, is extremely disillusioned with her life and her not great at all hubby, Sal (Carmine Capobianco). She begins to notice weird things involving Ginny, causing her to be, rightfully, suspicious of her. But, no one believes what Debbie suspects, that the seemingly sweet Ginny is anything but that.
Lynn Lowry, Suzi Lorraine, Tiffany Shepis, Mary Bogle, Babette Bombshell, Carmine Capobianco
Model Hunger is the directorial debut of scream queen legend Debbie Rochon, and it’s a highly entertaining one at that. The movie displays Rochon’s definite directorial prowess that she’s clearly harnessed over all of her in years working in the indie horror biz. It also shows how great she is at working with this talented cast.
In fact, it is the acting that is one of the film’s biggest draws. Everyone, even the bit parts like the two pretty girls who played the cheerleaders at the film’s beginning, are great in this film. I simply adore the casting for this film, and not just because Rochon hired a couple of her fellow scream queens. You see everyone feels perfectly cast in their role even when it might be considered against cast typing.
For example, you’ll find the lovely Suzi Lorraine playing Suzi, the host of an infomercial show called Suzi’s Secrets that is dedicated to selling sexy wear for larger women. Suzi herself is quite funny in a role you probably never thought you would see her in. In the role of Debbie the always beloved Tiffany Shepis gives a very likable and natural performance as the movie’s protagonist. She’s extremely believable and plays Debbie with a very nice mix of emotions.
Lynn Lowry is truly awesome as Ginny. She’s deliciously evil and mean in her role. At the same time she is funny and, at times, can come off as seemingly “sweet”. She seems to be having as much fun playing her as we are having watching her in this role. Her dialogue is simply priceless! Cruel, vile, and mean, it’s kind of funny in a blackly humorous sort of way. It kind of harkens back to the cruel, mean spirited, venom filled one-liners Freddy Krueger made in the very early entries in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
As the movie progresses and we get more internal dialogue from Ginny we can see the inspiration by movies like Maniac, but of course with a decidedly female take on it. And, this movie also manages to have a connection to another slasher classic in the form of Friday the 13th by having it’s musical composer, Harry Manfredini, score the music here. I really loved his score, which is a great mix of catchy and classical.
The message about female body types contained in this movie is a welcome one, and it’s handled very nicely. While integral to the plot, it somehow does not feel forced. Instead it adds to the movie while still managing to keep it an entertaining experience. In fact, the movie is a lot of fun from the very get-go. Aside from being socially conscientious, the script by James Morgart is very humorous and has a great mix of the funny and horrific.
The low-budget nature of the movie helps to give it a raw feel which is helpful in giving it a nice edge to it. It could be argued that perhaps the movie at times comes off a little too rough around the edges. As such, perhaps some will feel that it could have used a little more smoothing out at moments. Still, Rochon does a solid first time directing job and the good in this movie far outweighs the bad. It’s clear that she has learned much and been positively influenced by all of her years working in low budget horror.
For example, the camera work, particularly the sort of snake like movement of a couple of shots, takes gives it a nice stylistic feel in some moments. Also adding to the look of it, is some really nice editing that helps to give the movie some good tension, as well as jarring disorientation in certain scenes or moments. Another cool use of editing choices/shots come from cutting between gore scenes and food images making it sometimes hard to see which is which until the camera reveals more of the shot. I love it because it really connects the themes of violence and food perfectly for this movie.
With that in mind, the violence in this movie is nasty and cruel with some gut wrenching moments of torture. Much of the gore is not completely shown and instead it is left to your imagination. This works perfectly as your mind will think you are seeing more than you actually are, due to Rochon’s talented filmmaking abilities. There is one scene involving a girl’s private parts that while not being as graphic perhaps as it could have been (and, that is probably a good thing!), is regardless the film’s most definitely nastiest and most shocking moment.
Model Hunger (2016) Movie Trailer
Model Hunger is a solid directorial debut by the hardest working actress in the genre, Debbie Rochon. It’s shocking and mean-spirited, but also humorous and fun. The script, which is one of my favorites of this year so far, has some cool commentary on women’s views of their own bodies on top of having great dialogue, especially for the film’s villain. It’s all rounded off by some very strong performances, in particular by Shepis and Lowry. This one will definitely satiate your hunger for quality indie horror, and I, for one, hope that Rochon will continue to direct movies in the near future.
Excellent acting especially from Lynn Lowry and Tiffany Shepis and nicely edited with an excellent script that mixes violence and horror with jet black humor and social commentary on women's views of their bodies.
It may come off a little too rough around the edges for some, who may feel it needs some smoothing out.