The original HG Lewis Blood Feast has earned a place in horror history due to its splatter and I appreciate the ground that it broke for horror films but honestly the film as a whole doesn’t hold up. Enter the 2016 remake helmed and co-written by Marcel Walz.
The 2016 version stars Robert Rusler, Caroline Williams and Sophie Monk as the Ramses family who run an American style diner in France. Fuad Ramses (Rusler) supports the family by working night shift security at a museum. When he happens upon a statue of the Egyptian goddess Ishtar (Sadie Katz) he is drawn into a new life of murder and human sacrifice in her honor which all leads up to the titular Blood Feast where his wife and daughter are exposed to the full depths of his insanity.
This film is powered by two aspects. The performances of Rusler, Williams, & Monk and the stellar makeup FX by Ryan Nicholson and his wife. Robert Rusler juggles the complicated aspects of Fuad with razor sharp precision. The mental illness and economic struggles that weigh on the character’s soul are expertly mixed with the bloodletting carnage that the character later partakes in. Caroline Williams and Sophie Monk bring a realness to the roles of his wife and daughter and the desperation that they have to deal with in regards to the failing restaurant and Fuad’s increasing instability. The supporting cast of character’s while not badly acted sadly don’t provide anything other than slaughter fodder. I understand the need to have characters who will be dispatched in the goriest of ways but I was hoping that the audience would be given a chance to relate to them outside of the generic genre body count material. With this film being a remake of the gateway splatter film the task of providing practical makeup FX fell to Ryan and Megan Nicholson who excel at living up to the film’s title. They provide more than enough to feast upon onscreen and it’s fantastic to see the commitment that was made in keeping the fx all practical with no CGI.
The tone of this remake and the original couldn’t be any more different. As I previously mentioned the original is a gory late night horror party viewing while this remake is played with dread and seriousness while mixing in commentary regarding those who struggle with mental illness and financial hardship. Check out the film if you are in the mood for a practical FX extravaganza and a powerhouse performance by Robert Rusler.
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