|Index||4 reviews in total|
At first, the portrayal of a punk-rock group of not-so-bright young
people who seem to have no plan with their lives apart from sticking to
their vegetarian principles, seemed a little weak to me. However, it's
the feeling of uselessness that motivates the main character to do
stand up and do something. Unfortunately, the conflict between his
beliefs and his carnivoristic family, fueled by group-think and love
for his girlfriend, makes him lose all contact with reality.
After watching the DVD, the first thing that came to my mind was the tragedy we had in The Netherlands in 2002, during the elections, which were 'disturbed' by a member of a radical animal protection movement. The mental state of that man resembled in a way that of Neil, the main character.
The acting is fine, especially that of Guillermo Diaz (Neil), who -from time to time- clearly stands out above the other characters. The sets are simple but nicely chosen (especially the colorful Happy Coffeeshop), as is the time-line of the plot, guided by the narrator (Neil) and some well-placed flashbacks and flash-forwards. Let it be clear that the message in this drama (or thriller if you like) is very serious, despite some funny scenes.
For a low-budget film, with a script originally written by Mikey Jackson at age 19, this could really achieve some sort of cult-status, which made me rate this movie a 7 (out of 10).
Just watched this on DVD and I was really impressed. I've been Vegan for three years now and can relate to some of the issues explored in the film. I'm also from the beef capital of the United States and have a hatred for anything relating to the exploitation of animals. So I'm a tad biased with this review. Anyways the plot is about Neil (Guillermo Diaz) who is a vegetarian, is called upon by his father to join the family butcher shop. Neil refuses to work as a butcher and has a vision to change the world. The rest of the movie is a little exaggerated but it has a strong message. Quite funny with great performances all around. I remember Guillermo Diaz from Party Girl and the Dave Chappelle show. He does a great job in this and I hope to see him as a lead in more movies. Meat eaters will be turned off by the movie but I think that is the point. Love or hate Shooting Vegetarians, at least it's a reaction!! Lots of Punk music, great acting and Chicken Man!!! This film is a little rough around the edges but the pro Vegan message is too important to be missed. Fight the Power!!
Shooting Vegetarians is a surprisingly thought-provoking film that
should be watched by all viewers, from meat-eaters to vegetarians to
The young hero of our film is Neil, and he is a vegetarian. Our hero initially doesn't appear too concerned with why he's a vegetarian. On occasion, he preaches half-heartedly about the abuse cows endure when they're manufactured for food. Neil's half-heartedness may be contributed to the world's indifference to his convictions.
Either way, his convictions are put to the test when his father presents him with an ultimatum - Neil must work side-by-side with his father in the family's butcher shop, or face being evicted from home by his parents.
Like Moshe (Moses), Neil climbs to the mountain top of the skateboard ramp, faces the Chicken-Gd, channels the Chicken-Gd's wise words, and makes the choice to stand up for his beliefs.
The events that unfold are ambiguously reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Very dark, pessimistic, and altruistic, yet served up with a provocative moral - don't just say you're a vegetarian/vegan, make sure you mean it, and do the right things to protect animals.
Look for a fantastic, avant-garde acting frenzy exhibited by Élodie Bouchez (The Dreamlife Of Angels) as The Happy Coffee Shop Girl, as well as a cameo of actor Will Keenan as Karate Coffee. Keenan appears during the end credits as a karate man asking for a cappuccino at the organic café. You must watch the credits to see his cameo.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've watched this film over a dozen times now (it's definitely my
current favorite) and I still cannot quite determine whether it is pro-
or anti-vegetarianism. Also, I would ask that people watch it more than
once before reviewing it. There is more to this movie than one can take
in in one sitting.
First, why I think its pro-veggie: (1)The father is invariably presented as an evil schmuck who cares nothing for what his son wants and seeks only to control him. (2)the protagonist is a vegetarian who fights for his beliefs, and in doing so gets a large portion of the population to convert to vegetarianism (3)the opening scene (Have you ever sat and looked at a field of cows?), which was the basis and starting point for the movie to be built upon, suggests that the director feels this way. (4)the Happy Coffee Shop. Any movement that is affiliated with such a wonderful set and character can't be all bad.
Now, arguments against: (1)the vegetarian characters are all portrayed as naive hypocrites (and even called that by the Chicken Man) who have no goals or methods to achieve them. (2)when they do have a goal in mind, their methods are warped, poorly planned, and downright meshugge. See: Hijacking Plan in car scene, Niel's plan to change the world. (3)the 'Us and They' speech. The naive separating of one's group from the rest of humanity (especially by mustache growth and ability to tie a tie) is simply silly, and I believe that the director also feels this way, due to the way he named the theory. (4)oh, did I mention that the protagonist is a psychotic murderer in the name of veal, acting upon the wishes of an imaginary Chicken Man? Anyone who seriously thinks that Niel's methods are satisfactory should check in with a psyche at soonest convenience. A couple views in, I realized that one way to watch this movie is as a documentary of the descent of a deranged mind into the depths of killer psychosis.
Everyone is a caricature of their role, everyone is naive, hypocritical, and wrong in some way. From what I can tell, the movie is anti-kids-sticking-their-tongues -out-at-life-but-not-doing-anything-about-it, as well as anti-murdering-your-father-because-you-disagree-with-him.
All of this analysis aside, I love this movie dearly. It is unique, crazed, wild, endlessly detailed, and refuses to take itself seriously. I sincerely recommend that you watch it again, and share it with all your friends. A gem this weird deserves to be known.
Favorite lines in all of cinema: 'Gobble, gobble, gobble, only Hope shall remain.' And 'Is there something wrong with Niel? He just ran screaming through the parking lot.'
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