Fresh Meat is a curious film that follows four criminals who are on the run from the law and end up accidentally taking a family of cannibals hostage.
After Gigi, Paulie and Johnny spring convicted murderer Richie from his prison van (killing two cops in the process) they desperately scour suburbia for a place to lie low.
Unfortunately (for both parties) they end up at the home of celebrity chef Margaret Crane with her husband Hemi, daughter Rina and son Glenn in attendance.
The timing couldn’t be worse as Mum and Dad are just in the process of explaining their new found cannibalistic tendencies to Rina, who has been away at boarding school.
With the family taken at gunpoint it looks as of the gang of criminals has the upper hand, but the tables soon turn as Hemi and co manage to incapacitate them and prepare them for slaughter.
With Rina at odds with the family on the flesh eating front, things get further confused as she falls in love with Gigi, and soon she has to decide where her loyalties lie before she ends up dead, or worse – eaten.
Fresh Meat is an odd New Zealand export which tries to fall into the comedy horror genre with a small degree of success.
It’s quirky, clumsy and entertaining to an extent and although it doesn’t contain the worst story in the world, it’s the way that the story is told that lets the film down.
It’s as though the sequence of events was confused at some point, greatly reducing the impact of its key selling point, the random cannibalism.
Fresh Meat is disjointed. The quality of production is there and it contains a few interesting elements that are seemingly thrown together, but somehow these elements just don’t quite gel.
It’s a similar situation with the cast too, from the dynamic Star Wars clone Temuera Morrison who dominates as the deranged Hemi, to the utterly unconvincing Leand Macadaan playing the head criminal. Somewhere in the middle is the lead, Hannah Tevita (who bears a distracting resemblance to Mutya Buena) giving a so so performance as the girl confused by the situation and her sexuality.
Stylistically, it’s reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s early work, Bad Taste and takes influence from Quentin Tarantino and Guy Richie as far as characters, sound track and action sequences are concerned.
Fresh Meat gives helpings of sex, violence, horror and comedy, but falls a little short with each, leaving the viewer feeling a bit confused and unsatisfied.