March 14, 2013 (DVD)
Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen
Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen
Evalena Marie as the Pierced Girl
Michael Scott Allen as Darrell
Bree Elrod as M.G.
While shooting a low-budget horror movie in an abandoned mental hospital, members of a film crew stumble on the disturbing history of the facility. The former head of psychiatry treated his patients with unorthodox methods which included the force feeding of a murky black substance. Shortly after their discovery a bathtub fills with the same substance and a mysterious figure drowns a crew member in it. One by one everyone in the abandoned building loses their grip on reality.
A curious duo of circumstances characterize the beginning of Dark Feed. On the one hand, instead of feeding the audience (and characters) the disturbing history of the hospital bit by bit, we see (explained) photographic evidence of the most troubling parts within the first five minutes. Yet, the story yawningly drags for the next first forty. In other words, the (self-dubbed) Rasmussen Brothers have pulled off the utterly unique feat of combining two seemingly mutually exclusive mistakes – setting the tone for an awful film that no horror freak should see.
In many ways the very concept was doomed from the start. They tried to make a low-budget horror film with relatively unknown actors about the making of a low-budget horror film with relatively unknown actors. Such a theme may have worked with a slightly better cast and bigger budget, but this was never going to be a great movie.
All the same the ‘Raspberry’ Brothers managed to make it stink worse than a 5-day old corpse washed ashore at high tide. For example in the movie the film crew is shooting, a tech guy splatters fake blood over the lead actress as she plunges her knife into a box – thus simulating a killing. However, IN THE VERY NEXT SCENE – off-camera – while she is washing the fake blood away she is stabbed by a now-insane colleague and no blood is sprayed on him, even though he stabs her repeatedly and the blood sprays everywhere else. Thus the poor quality moviemaking around which Dark Feed revolves is ostensibly of higher quality than that put into Dark Feeditself. The original theme is duly modified and transformed from a horror movie about the making of a horror movie into – a horror movie about the making of a BETTER horror movie. The juxtaposition seemed tailored to spotlight the wretched filmmaking by this pair of twits.
The acting is awful and matches the stilted script perfectly. It is difficult to keep track of all the characters as they show-up randomly without much rhyme or reason, leaving us asking ‘Who’s that?’ half the time when someone is killed. Of course, poor character introductions or the lack of them are just symptoms of the broader plague of plot holes – burrowed throughout the story and contaminating every line of the script. For example, the audience never discovers the identity of the mysterious girl who shows up now and again dragging people under the black liquid. She is forgotten as the entire film crew loses their sanity and ends up chasing the only two who haven’t (a scene which makes no sense since many of the chasers have already been killed in previous scenes).
The Raspberries even found a way to screw up the gruesome acts of insanity: A girl sticking her hand into a blender… A man cutting out the lead actress’s silicon tits… Each scene sounds bloody and messy – complete with flesh and bone fragments flying all over the place. Yet Directors Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum decided not to show any gore-iffic scenes. Instead in the blender we get milk mixed with red dye and only see the silicon tits long after they’ve been removed. It’s almost as though the Raspberries purposefully shied the camera away from anything that could give people a reason to keep watching.
Bottom Line: There are no scares and virtually no gore – nothing for horror fans. But the Raspberry Brothers also ensured their mind-bendingly pathetic execution (literally leaving me baffled as to how such a terrible job was possible) has nothing to offer on even the most basic level. (I’m guessing they blackmailed John Carpenter to credit them for writing in The Ward.)