There isn’t much else I would like to see on screen than a 13th precinct like film that features a company of S.A.S bad asses up against a team of snarky vampires. The idea itself is pretty cool, and everyone is going to get the chance to see it in Eat Locals, the premier film of this year’s Fright Fest, directed by veteran actor Jason Flemming.
Eat Locals is about a group of vampires who meet up to talk shop, and end up being besieged by a platoon of zealot special forces types. The vampires must learn to put aside their differences in order to break free before dawn. They aren’t going down without a fight and the bodies (inducing one atmosphere bound chicken) pile up. Eat Locals has all the elements necessary to make a great horror experience. The cast of the film stars a number of veteran and well recognized actors such as Tony Curran, Vincent Regan, Dexter Fletcher, Mackenzie Crook, and Robert Portal. With a 1.6 million pound budget, how could this not be awesome?
Eat Locals is the first time that veteran actor, Jason Flemming, has been given the director’s chair. From a technical standpoint, he did a great job. He has all the classic gears and moving parts that make up good film-making including skillful editing, thoughtful use of lighting, interesting scene composition, and dynamic set blocking. I love the fact that it wasn’t a found footage film (I hate those), the location was awesome, the atmosphere was dark, and the actors are all on point. Despite all of its strong points, the film ended up not delivering on the hype. The reason for this is that Eat Locals tried to walk that fine line between horror and comedy (which I would never have tried to tackle on my first film) and the result is kind of a schizophrenic effort that doesn’t hit the mark on either. Perhaps the blame can be placed at the writer’s feet, Danny King. The writing in the film is pretty bland, most of the jokes are cringe, and the plot devices are wonky. King had written a successful film with Dexter Fletcher, and the other cast members of Eat Locals are all good friends of Flemming. There must have been an element of ‘group think’ when completing this project, and maybe Flemming didn’t have the necessary conflicts of opinion that leads to great storytelling. Perhaps the weight of the money got involved and the production company tainted the creative process, which happens way too often in the film biz. After all, 1.6 million pounds is a lot of money to throw at a first time director, and investors don’t like taking risks.
Aside from its flaws, Eat Locals is not a bad movie. At any rate, I think that Flemming did a great job in his directorial debut, and I believe that he should continue to develop his style and hone his craft. If you happen to be at Fright Fest this year, go check it out. Eat Locals can found on digital download come October 30th. Be sure to watch all the credits at the end, and try to guess who granted nevermore-horror an interview for my next article!
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.