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Starting their first year of college, a young group of girls realize that to make anything of their college experience they quickly need to find a club to be part of. Not finding much ... See full summary »
Kenneth De Balzac,
I am gonna fuck your hairless arse all the way back to China.
He will. I've seen it. Butter is your friend.
You speak English?
I'm from Otaki.
No shit. We got a place here in New Zealand sounds just like that.
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No one was actually eaten in the making of this film. See more »
Fresh Meat is that rare beast that you never find elsewhere in New Zealand cinema: a film that unashamedly knows its purpose is to entertain, and thus spends 90 some minutes trying to blow our heads off doing that with a heady genre mix of action, horror, black comedy, pink hot pants and even lesbian school girls.
From the opening frames- seeing a young Maori girl 'discovering' herself (and a female friend) in the shower you realise you're not in for your normal NZL film (you know plodding artsy bleak BORING AS HELL). The filmmakers seem to have their tongues firmly in cheek and want us to have a great ride. And we really do.
The pacing is excellent: it's ferocious, and doesn't let up. It reminded me of a cross between Tarantino genre homages, Bound (the Waschowski brothers' lesbian crime romp), Wes Craven's Scream, and Once Were Warriors (but only if it was remade as a zombie film). It's a heist caper crossed with a black comedy crossed with a cannibal thriller, but to pin it down to any one genre feels limiting.
The performances generally all work. However, Kate Elliott is amazing as the tough-as-nails bi- sexual co-leader of the Tan Gang, Gigi. She's hard, sexy, and talented enough to bring a great deal of heart and depth to a role in which a lesser actress would be at risk of being upstaged by those (admittedly, amazing) pink hot pants. Watching her kick ass for 90 straight minutes is worth the price of admission alone.
Hanna Tevita is great also as Rina- the female protagonist at the heart of the film. Coming home from college, she discovers that her family are actually cannibals, yet before she has a moment to process this, she has to deal with a hostage drama in which she falls in love with her captor. Great stuff, and Tevita certainly provides the necessary eye candy.
But it's Temuera Morrison that (almost) steals this film. Poking fun at his previous hard ass characters, Morrison finds the right line between deadpan comedy and all-out psychopathic rage. The scene where he interrogates Rina's love struck vegan suitor by making him eat testicles at the dinner table is seriously good, and funny as hell. Good to see Tem nailing it.
Mulheron's grounding in comedy is on constant display. (The scene where the two girls are stuck in harnesses and try to 'eat' their way out is daftly brilliant.) Mulheron seems hell-bent on touching every overly PC nerve in our collective national consciousness (to have the words Maori and cannibalism in the same sentence is risqué enough, let alone making a film about it!) and it's this sense of manic, provocative energy that sets the tone throughout.
Great to see a film that achieves exactly what it sets out to. It's an unashamedly fun popcorn movie which gave me a great night out at the cinema. Go and see this on the big screen with a beer and a big audience. Anyone who doesn't like this film should go home and watch the Piano on DVD and have a good cry instead.
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