Magazine article Screen International

Bad Meat

Magazine article Screen International

Bad Meat

Article excerpt

Dir: Lulu Jarmen. Canada-UK. 2011. 92mins

Bad Meat sets out to be a gross horror picture, trading in all manner of bodily fluid, but emerges as simply a mess. Evidently a troubled production, it lost its originally-set director Rob Schmidt (Wrong Turn) during pre-production, and screenwriter Paul Gerstenberger admitted in a Q&A after the world premiere at London's FrightFest Halloween All-Nighter that he'd no idea who wrote the incoherent frame story, while the absence of death scenes for several major characters suggests severe pruning in the edit with a possible extended cut on DVD down the line.

Mostly, it's a series of strung-together gag reflex scenes.

It might have been distantly inspired by the misanthropic contagion horror of Cabin Fever, but its sleazy approach is closer to the pus-filled Troma films of the 1980s and its general plot joins in with a run of films about young offenders being terrorised during rehabilitation programmes (Wilderness, See No Evil, Wild Country, Inbred etc).Mummified in banadages and of indeterminate identity (and even sex), the sole survivor of a massacre at the Hardway Camp for troubled teenagers lies in a hospital bed, bloodily typing away at a computer keyboard for no apparent reason. In flashbacks, a group of mostly unsympathetic stereotype kids (a claustrophobic, a pyromaniac, a gangbanger wannabe, a goth who likes cutting up dogs, a possible lesbian) arrive at Camp Hardway in the woods to be re-educated.

However, the 'counsellors' are all bizarro sadists - the director is a Hitler-obsessed martinet (Mark Pellegrino) - who tyrannise the kids. …

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