Sunday, October 19, 2008
So if you’ve read my review of John Gulager’s Feast (in the Archive), you’ll know that I absolutely loved it, and was really looking forward to the DVD sequel, Sloppy Seconds.
And now that I’ve seen it… well… urm…
This one is initially propelled by the vendetta Biker Queen (Diane Ayala Goldner, a.k.a. Gulager’s missus) goes on upon finding the remains of her twin sister Harley Mama at the Bear Tavern.
She finds out from Bartender (Clu Gulager, a.k.a. Gulager Senior) that the guilty party responsible for Harley Mama’s unsightly condition is one Bozo, who lives in a nearby small town.
And when Biker Queen and her gals get to Smalltown (yes, it actually is called “Smalltown”), itching to blow Bozo’s a$$ wide open, they soon hook up with a group of its survivors, then must do all they can to stay alive, while the savage, horny beasties roam the streets.
And, oh yeah, Honey Pie (Jenny Wade) also happens to be in Smalltown as well…
If you’ve seen Feast, you’ll know that when I say Sloppy Seconds is even more improper and rude, you may doubt my word.
Well, it is. This one’s got dogs, and cats, and babies, and grandmas, and just when you think, Oh no, they wouldn’t… they do.
And it isn’t that heightened level of un-PC humour that rankles; I mean, I loved the original, so I knew what to expect.
No, it’s more the fact that Sloppy Seconds just isn’t as funny, nor as thrilling, as Feast was.
We get a bunch of new characters, among them, used car salesman Slasher (Carl Anthony Payne), his The Secret-fixated, cheating wife Secrets (Hanna Putnam), and midget… errr, little people wrestling brothers Thunder (Martin Klebba, whom you may remember from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Hancock) and Lightning (real-life luchador Juan Longoria Garcia).
Sure, they’re all quirky, but somehow, we don’t get the spark that was so evident in Feast; though we do get a number of moments in Sloppy Seconds, none of these fresh characters pop they way those in Feast did.
And yes, they brought back Honey Pie, but it just seemed to be for the sole reason of putting her through a hellish wringer for her desertion in the original.
There are certain elements in Sloppy Seconds that just seem hobbled and don’t quite work the way they should.
There’s a dissection that starts out well enough, but then devolves into a protracted scatological SNL skit on crack. There’re the rooftop sequences that are shot against green screen, making them terribly distracting. There’s even some gratuitous topless/stripping action that just seems tired and self-conscious.
Even the introductory bits for each character aren’t as wildly hilarious as Feast’s.
I’m honestly not sure what went wrong here.
Did the work scriptwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan do on the Saw franchise affect their work here? Did they spread themselves out too thinly?
Is the cast here just not as solid as Feast’s?
Did all concerned go just a tad overboard with pushing the PC envelope?
Maybe it was a little bit of all of the above.
All I know is that Sloppy Seconds wasn’t as wildly satisfying a ride as Feast was, which makes me a bit dubious now about the third chapter, The Happy Finish.
Presumably that one will pick up right at the cliffhanger where this one leaves off, but will it be more of the same?
Hopefully, it’ll get back the sense of humour and crackerjack pacing of the original. After all, it wasn’t the rudeness and the impropriety of Feast that made it such a winner, but rather, the cheeky inventiveness of it.
Just like the gorno schtick of the Saw franchise, there’s only so much horny monster grand guignol I can take before things get stale and boring.
Here’s hoping The Happy Finish slips back into the fluid-lubricated groove Feast had so much fun in, and turns out to be exactly that.
Parting shot: In keeping with the nepotism of the original, director Gulager’s brother Tom is here as Greg Swank, and the aforementioned Baby is played by yet another Gulager, Clu Mosha (John’s nephew).
Parting shot 2: Just so you know, one of the best (and most gonzo) bits of Sloppy Seconds sees the welcome return of Judah Friedlander as Beer Guy…
(Feast II: Sloppy Seconds DVD cover art and images courtesy of bloody-disgusting.com, fangoria.com, and shocktillyoudrop.com.)