Feeding The Masses (2004)

DVD Cover (Shock-O-Rama Cinema)
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Overall Rating 41%
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Ranked #10,290
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A darkly satiric horror film that takes an acid look at the current state of the news media while a mysterious plague is bringing the dead back to life. A small group of news reporters and their military escort set out to tell the truth about what's happening in the world, despite the government's efforts to take control of the media. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 28, 2005
Think back to Romero's classic Dawn Of The Dead film. Remember how, in the beginning of the film, we witness the chaos that is the news station? Now, imagine if Romero had never left the news station, and instead, focused on how the cameramen and on-air personalities handled and responded to the zombie crisis. That's the basis for "Feeding The Masses", and it actually works out a lot better than one would think. Torch (Billy Garberina), the star of the movie, is the cameraman for a Rhode Island news station, and he works with reporter Sherry (Rachel Morris) to bring the latest developments back to the station for the evening news. The problem arises when the government steps in and demands that this station "bend the truth" for the viewers at home... in other words, the public shouldn't know about how bad the zombie epidemic is, they shouldn't know that the Lazarus Virus is now airborne, and they certainly shouldn't know that the end of humanity is near. Instead, the government wants all news stations to say the same basic things; everything is under control, the zombies are dying off, and that everything will be back to normal in no time. While the other stations are bending over for the government, Torch decides to fight back and let the public know what's really going on... and with the help of video editor James (Michael Propster) and soldier escort Roger (Patrick Cohen), he intends to find a way to do just that.

The front cover of this movie features a quote from Screaming Stoner Video, which reads: "We hold FEEDING THE MASSES on a higher level than any of the three "of the Dead" films by George A. Romero." While everyone is entitled to their opinions, I can't help but get a good laugh out of that. I suppose that those Stoner cats enjoyed this one more than Romero's Holy Trilogy due to the drug usage, but c'mon. Now, don't get me wrong here... Feeding The Masses is a great film, full of social commentary and packed to the brim with zombie action. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to fans of zombie films. However, there is not a zombie film on the market today that is better than Romero's entries into the genre... bottom line.

With the cover comparison out of the way, I'd like to repeat myself - Feeding The Masses is a great film. It completely breaks free of all of the clichés that we've come to expect from a low-budget zombie flick, and it also delivers some truly on-the-mark commentary about the state of the government and mass media. Fans of the Romero "message with a mauling" style of film will certainly enjoy what director Richard Griffin has to say on the subject throughout this film, and fans of a good old-fashioned zombie gorefest certainly wouldn't walk away disappointed either. Both ends of the spectrum are delivered upon, but those looking for some cheesy fun from their horror may want to look elsewhere - the main focus of the film is the message, not the gore. That's exactly how a horror film should be, and it works out beautifully here.

The hardcore fans of zombie films will certainly be able to tell you that the acting abilities of the casts in most of the existing zombie films usually aren't anything to write home about. Fans of low-budget horror can tell you much the same about those films. Now, when you combine the two and put together a low-budget zombie film, you really shouldn't expect too much from the cast members involved. This movie shatters those expectations with some shockingly great performances. Sure, the main characters slip up in a scene or two, and some of the less-important characters could have done with a retake of their scenes... but for the grand majority of the film, the main three performers (Garberina, Morris, Cohen) play their parts to perfection. By the time the ending rolls around, you really feel for everyone involved. This is the true mark of a good performance... actors can cry fake tears and they can lose a hundred pounds for a starring role, but the truly talented can actually make you care about the characters that they are portraying. Each of the aforementioned three cast members do that here, and they do it damned nicely.

If you're looking for a zombie film that actually has a message to go along with the gut-munching much like the Romero masterpieces, then this would be a movie to check out when it streets on August 16th. You'll be treated to stinging social commentary, plenty of blood and gore, some nice-looking zombies, and you'll even witness a... uh... live zombie peep / snuff show. Yeah, that's a good description of what it was. This movie ranks in my personal top five zombie films of 2005 (and yes, it counts... it only played in festivals prior to '05), and I'd imagine that it would probably work its way into any zombie-lovers list as well. 8/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added August 9, 2005 at 4:50am
A waste of time...plain and simple. One of the worst direct-to-video horror releases I have ever seen. Even mentioning this film in the same sentence with anything by George Romero is a travesty. Even the "Night of the Living Dead" remake appealed to me more than this, and my perennial readers know how much I loathe that disaster. This was not worth the price of the caterers. Amazingly awful. 0/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added May 16, 2006 at 11:41pm
I completely disagree with that. I thought as far as a zombie movie goes, this is one of the better ones I've ever seen. The acting was great, the storyline was pretty decent, and how often do you get to see a cameraman tackle a zombie for weed? Genius. 8.5/10
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