Film review: Fresh Meat

16:00, Oct 26 2012
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LOVE ME TENDER: Kate Elliot, left, and Temuera Morrison, right, in the rollicking and fun Kiwi horror comedy Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat (R16) (91 min)

Directed by Danny Mulheron, Starring Temuera Morrison, Nicola Kawana, Hannah Tevita and Kate Elliot.

I’ve never liked splatter movies so didn’t expect to like Fresh Meat, written by Briar Grace-Smith. But then you have to balance this dislike of blood against a love of a good laugh, and this time, the latter won. Hands down.

There must be something in the water up the coast, because Danny Mulheron’s Fresh Meat pretty much equals Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste when it comes to blood and gore. But  Fresh Meat  never views like a movie made (just) for splatter-lovers. Instead it is filled with mischievous references to many things that right-minded people hold dear.

Temuera Morrison plays the part of Hemi, a university professor – sorry, associate professor – who sees his lack of progress to the top job as overt racism. To top this off he’s married to Margaret (Nicola Kawana) a Nigella-style star cookbook writer. (She’s published. He isn’t.) Their daughter Rina’s just home from boarding school (deputy head girl) and their son’s on his way home from cricket when their middle class home in Churton Park is invaded by vicious prison-escapers on the run.

Only trouble is – Hemi and Margaret are cannibals. Hemi of course has a cultural reason for this. The teenage son’s cricket coach – tomorrow night’s roast – has also been a cub master, a junior boys’ swimming coach. Uh oh… Their daughter isn’t even a virgin, or heterosexual when it comes to that. The admiring Pakeha boy next door, complete with bone carving made from a whale (who’d died already, he’d said a karakia) is keener on Te Reo than the family themselves. One of the home invaders is Margaret’s greatest fan, thanks to her book on cooking with crockpots. And Kate Elliot, as gang-member Gigi, is  Pulp Fiction from her fringe to her toes.

Forget about the blood, the referential jokes come even thicker and faster than the gore, and they’re funny and very insightful. You’ll know if it’s for you or not, and if you’re like me, you’ll close your eyes quite often. But it’s rollicking good local fun and although there may well be those who are seriously offended, this viewer certainly wasn’t.


The Dominion Post