After watching a bloated Tom Sizemore run around tunnels being chased by a man in a rubber suit while making bad jokes, it’s hard to believe that he used to be in good movies like Heat, Saving Private Ryan, and Black Hawk Down. And that’s probably the biggest impression I got from Bottom Feeder, just another example of the latest “anyone can make a direct-to-video horror movie” trend. My, how far Sizemore has fallen.
The plot is minimal, which is par for the course in most horror films… A burn-scarred millionaire seeks a serum that will regenerate his flesh, so naturally, he tests the serum on the scientist to make sure it works. However, the serum only works properly if it’s taken with another anecdote. If not, it will turn you into a monster. And just think, I hate it when medicine makes you groggy. Don’t you hate when that happens?
So after the guinea pig scientist is injected with the serum (and how come all serums in movies are the glow in the dark variety and can only be injected with syringes resembling guns?) and locked in a tunnel, he begins to transform into said monster, and after eating some rats and a dog, he starts to transform into both.
Let the plastic suit wearing fun begin!
And that’s where Sizemore comes in. He plays Vic, a waste management worker who gets locked in the tunnels with the beast along with his crew. And to deal with the fear, he cracks bad jokes. And when he meets up with the surviving henchmen, he’s forced to work with the people responsible for the monster if wants to survive.
The gore quotient starts off slow, but picks up towards the end, and let’s face it, gore the only reason we’re watching Bottom Feeder, unless you’re a huge Tom Sizemore fan. And if that’s the case, seek help immediately. But the gore alone is no reason to recommend this film. The Prowler, it ain’t.
All the standard horror clichés are present in Bottom Feeder, but they’re presented so matter of factly, its as if the filmmakers had a horror movie cliché checklist and made it a point not to miss a single one.
But the one thing that stuck out to me amongst all the mediocrity is that the beast was actually a sympathetic scientist who’s wife had leukemia for crying out loud. Why not make the monster someone we can hate? Or just make it a monster? Anyway, not that it matters because the scientist’s dialogue is so cheesy, he almost deserves what he gets. If you thought Darth Vader’s “NOOOOOOOOooooooo” was bad in Episode III, wait until you hear the scientist’s take on the same scream.
Bottom Feeder’s script is serviceable, but tries to bee too funny and too serious at the same time. It also doesn’t know what it wants to be. At one point, I thought I was watching a Steven Seagal film when a knife fight between the monster and a henchmen erupted. And by the time the blood starts to fly, the characters don’t even begin to act scared, so why should we care?
Well, the answer is, we don’t care. At least I didn’t. Not when I’ve seen the same film made about a million times before, and much better.
Bottom Feeder is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks good. Since it’s shot on High Definition cameras, the image is sharp and free of any grain or distortion. Most of the film is dark, thus resulting in many scenes dominated by rich and deep blacks. It’s a pretty good picture all around. For some reason it reminded me of watching an episode of 24.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is surprisingly aggressive. The surrounds get a decent workout and the lows are surprisingly abundant. It’s nothing to write home about but for such a low budget film, the technical aspects of the film are solid.
- The Making of Bottom Feeder – Includes filmmakers discussing their mission to make the film a fun ride. Too bad they failed because it looks like they tried hard. Anyway, the featurette runs long at 30 minutes.
- Bottom Feeder Trailer
- Trailer Gallery – includes trailers for more direct-to-video horror films: The Mad – about killer hamburgers, I crap you not. Dead Mary – a Cabin Fever rip off. Living Death – Death Becomes Her rip off. And UKM: Ultimate Killing Machine – Universal Soldier rip off.
If you’re feeling temporarily retarded, then Bottom Feeder might be a fun ride. But even then you’d probably be too smart for it. Bottom Feeder tries to be funny but in the end, it comes off as incredibly cheesy. While the disc’s specs are solid, and the extra features are decent, it’s just a turd dressed in fancy wrapping paper.
Special Features List
- The Making of Bottom Feeder
- Bottom Feeder Trailer
- Trailer Gallery