(Submitted by Mr. TyGr…Big thanks and hugs to our newest Ho-rror- reviewin’ Ho-mie!! 🙂 xoxo)
Full disclosure: This Reviewer is a huge fan of horror icon Debbie Rochon, making her directorial debut here, so the anticipation for this movie was palpable. It’s a shame that the expectations exceeded the effort- which has nothing to do with the end result that is quite satisfactory if not immediately synthesized.
Let me explain: on the initial viewing I had more questions than answers. So it’s a relief that a bonus feature is a commentary track by the director so light could be shed on the darkness, both literal and figurative, of my confusion.
Every project begins with the script. I could see how this one would attract the attention it did. A commendable effort by Writer James Morgart who tackles issues of gender bias and sexuality in society for women that are addressed in the form of the modern equivalent of a Greek chorus with a TV personality, played by Suzi Lorraine (Wrath of the Crows).
Suzy is the host of “Suzy’s Secret”, a lampoon of home shopping shows, where she berates the audience to cast off preconceived notions of body image, and for women to just enjoy that pizza and steak. But, this goes back to the aforementioned confusion: why is this woman obviously in a fat suit?
Here is where the tone of the film shifted from thriller to Troma-esque comedy (a nod to Rochon’s roots?) which took me out of the film. I thought, what a missed opportunity to have a ‘plus-size’ actress address real issues. Taking nothing away from Lorraine’s over the top performance, which is then over-shadowed by the outlandish antics of real-life bulky ‘babe’ Babette Bombshell.
So, what is Model Hunger? It is a skin magazine from the 60’s (seen in flashback) that ‘Ginny’ posed for that gave her initial fame but was based on her willingness to ‘put out’. Having it snatched away are the root of her psychosis (an inability to ~not~ kill everyone who vexes her).
Never thought I’d write this but, the role of Ginny is a tour de force performance given by genre legend Lynn Lowry (The Crazies) who carries the piece as a certifiably-crazed southern belle with a hankering for human flesh.
When two high school Cheerleaders have to go neighborhood soliciting to buy uniforms, they find themselves in Ginny’s house at first charmed then harmed. Ginny doesn’t confine her passive-aggressive personality and killings to her home.
She goes to an auto shop run by Colin (Brian Fortune, Game of Thrones) and his inept mechanic Verill (Goth Rocker, Voltaire). We HEAR Ginny’s thoughts and desires to kill, and she carries it out on Colin in one of the more arousing scenes where she tortures him, seductively slithering and slicing in lingerie.
On the way back from the mechanic she picks up a hitchhiker with dreams of being a starlet that sets her off and, you guessed it, she winds up in Ginny’s basement as a snack. And, a Jehovah’s Witness (Kaylee Williams, Pork Chop 2 & 3) knocks on the wrong door and becomes the final victim.
All the while, moving in next door to Ginny are Sal (Carmine Capobianco, Galactic Gigolo) and Debbie (Tiffany Shepis, Tales of Halloween) a troubled married couple. More questions: what necessitated them to move to this new place?; what jobs do they have?; why would she be married to him? (a shlubby hubby), and why would he be married to her? (a pill-popping hot mess) if they detest each other? She’s instantly suspicious of Ginny in that happens-only-in-the-movies way and becomes the reluctant heroine. Although, when you have Tiffany Shepis in your movie, you’ve got a pro who makes any role work. (“Word!!” -D.P.)
The climax is a trifecta of terror talent in a horror hierarchy (veteran Lowry, established Shepis, and new-comer Williams) in a scene that, let’s just say, gives new meaning to eating pussy.
With capable and mood-setting cinematography by Wolfgang Meyer, and an evocative and spot-on music score by Composer Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th), the director delivers a thought provoking and entertaining film. But, is it horror with humor or humorous horror? It took me a couple of viewings to ascertain. For the casual watcher it could get lost in translation.
It was intriguing to see how Rochon, an accomplished horror actress, would handle the oft thought of exploitation of women in the genre, but she handled it with a deft and sure hand making her debut a winner. This Reviewer looks forward to more from her, in front of and behind the camera, as well as from the talented ensemble of Model Hunger.
Ho-stess’s PS- A lil’ Debbie Rochon appreciation fer ya. 🙂
Ho-stess’s PPS– I freaking looooooooooove me some Voltaire, too!! (Though, sadly, his nude pics are proving a lil’ harder to find… 😉 xoxo)