Monday 31 October 2011



I like my films the way I like my meat: well done. And sadly this UK-Canadian dish (supported by UK Film Council lottery funding, according the end credits) isn't well done at all: it's tough to chew and hard to swallow. Which is a pity since the basic setup of it - teens in isolated location relentlessly attacked by drooling monsters - is perfectly workable: the rehabilitation/discipline camp for wayward teens setting has been used before, in the so-so Driftwood, for example; it's just the execution that doesn't work properly.

Six young rebels, troublemakers, petty criminals and oiks are placed in the care of a group of fascist perverts in a camp somewhere in the middle of a wasteland of swamps and woods. Initially they're bullied and abused by the staff because the staff are cackling sadists, but a delivery of Bad Meat turns the staff into drooling undead cannibals, while retaining their fascist pervert cackling sadist personalities. By chance the young inmates didn't eat the meat because they were only given raw potatoes. - but can they stop their tiresome bickering and work as a team, find out what's going on, and stay alive?

Why on Earth this went on as the FrightFest allnighter opening I have no idea, because in addition to not being very good, it's patently unfinished. The editing process has reduced the film to a complete mess while whole sequences missing, leaving gaping continuity holes and the fates of some of the characters unexplained. One of the teens is actually killed off in one of those scenes and we only find this out later in a brief line of dialogue - these sequences were shot, according to the writer in a post-screening Q+A, but dropped from what is presumably the final cut! It's all told in flashback by one of the characters, heavily bandaged in a hospital bed, typing the story into a word processor - but whichever character it is, he/she is describing scenes he/she wasn't even in.

Presumably one of those deleted scenes would answer the vital question of why nobody even mentioned telephoning for help - there's no reason why the line would have been cut and it's inconceivable the camp doesn't have a landline or internet connection. One might also ask why the parents have placed their children in the care of people who are plainly and unashamedly Nazis - the maniac in charge even has a framed Nazi uniform hanging on his office wall!

What you do get, in the place of logic and a coherent storyline, is puking. There's a lot of grossout throwing up and vomiting, including a moment, memorable for precisely the wrong reasons, of two lovers heaving over each other at the same time, and another scene in which someone gets their stomach repeatedly pumped after they've eaten some of the meat. Certainly this, and a gratuitous urination scene, are revolting and horrible but for a horror film Bad Meat is more goulash than ghoulish. Undercooked meat is bad for you and ultimately this particular cut isn't fit for human consumption.


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