What’s happening, Grue-Believers? I’m really excited to bring you a new horror film by the incredibly talented Canadian actor Debbie Rochon. With hundreds of films to her acting credit, including Troma’s The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie, The Theatre Bizarre and Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 2 just to name a few, Rochon is now sitting in the director’s chair for the edge of your seat modern horror thriller, Model Hunger.
Model Hunger‘s plot revolves around an older woman named Ginny Reilly (Lynn Lowry), a former pin up girl and actress who began to lose more and more work to women with a perceived ”ideal” body type. Over the years, this rejection led her to become a bitter, murderous and revenge driven woman, lashing out at the world and preying on the type of people that she thinks made her this way, even going so far as to eat the flesh of the ones she kills. Enter new neighbors Sal and Debbie (Carmine Capobianco and Tiffany Shepis). Debbie becomes suspicious of what she sees going on over at Ginny’s place at weird hours of the night. When she tells her husband that she thinks something fishy is going on next door, he chalks it up to her mental state and feels she is slipping further into her psychosis. As a child Debbie was a victim of abuse and suffers nightmares to this day because of it. Debbie becomes determined to uncover the truth about Ginny and expose what she is doing. Ginny has other plans and these two broken people collide in a blood drenched, gory showdown.
Rochon has put forth a great first effort in her directorial debut. The camera work is a little off kilter in some scenes, but probably by design, because it gives the audience the sense of being off balance and uncomfortable. In one scene in particular, the focus is on two cheerleaders leaving their practice. Then the focus changes. As the girls get into their car, they slide into the background of the shot, while in the new foreground we have a very shady looking man sipping from a flask, staring creepily at a young child playing by herself on a slide. Very unconventional and different but in a good way. It really keeps the viewer on their toes as if to say, ”Anything could happen here. No one is safe.” There are a few shots like this that I found refreshing and at the same time unnerving. Rochon definitely has an interesting voice with the camera.
Another stand out in this film is Lynn Lowry in the role of Ginny. During the course of the film’s ninety minutes, she goes from an old woman needs a cane, to a scantily clad dominatrix-type, to a stark raving lunatic. And she does it all seamlessly and seemingly without effort. In one scene she has tied down a male victim and before she begins the torturing and maiming, she goes into a screaming rant about the sexual selfishness of men that absolutely chilled me to the bone. YOU BELIEVE HER. Lowry gives a great performance that had me glued to the screen all the way to the unbelievable ending.
I am and always have been a HUGE fan of practical makeup effects, to the point that if I see a makeup or gag, I can tell you who did it. The effects in Model Hunger are a real treat for horror fans. With this being a lower budget indie film, I’ll admit I didn’t expect much. But the execution of the effectsin this film disturbed the living hell out of me. I will not soon forget them. I can’t bring myself to spoil them here, but you have been warned.
I was surprised by Model Hunger and enjoyed it very much. The film wears its low budget indie feel on its sleeve. But it doesn’t suffer from the typical failings of low budget fare. This does not feel like a low budget film. To me, the story is the bread and butter of low budget film making. You can forgive a lot of flaws as long as the story is good. And this story is good. Writer James Morgart has crafted a tale that digs in to the long term effects of abuse changing people in different ways and shaping their lives. Whether it’s verbal, physical or sexual, it’s one thing to survive it, but it’s another thing entirely to live with it. It’s not always a happy ending, and, to her credit, Rochon is not afraid to bring these things to light.
Model Hunger gets a strong recommendation and is most definitely worth a watch. Check it out on DVD and digital HD everywhere July 12, 2016.
Model Hunger (3.8 / 5)
Model Hunger is a Penny Spent Production.
Released by Wild Eye Releasing
Directed by Debbie Rochon, Written by James Morgart
Starring: Lynn Lowry, Tiffany Shepis, Carmine Capobianco
New York, NY – Wild Eye Releasing is honored to put legendary horror actress Debbie Rochon’s directorial debut Model Hunger on the menu this summer. After nearly 300 films, Rochon (Return to Nuke ‘Em High, Phobia, The Theater Bizarre) steps behind the camera to skewer audiences with her blood-curling take on an actress’ response to forced retirement. She brings with her composer Harry Manfredini (The Friday the 13th franchise) and a cast of genre favorites.
B-movie legends Lynn Lowry (Shivers, The Crazies, Cat People) and Tiffany Shepis (Tales of Halloween, The Violent Kind, Sharknado 2) headline as two women on a deadly collision course. Supported by Brian Fortune (“Game of Thrones”), Suzi Lorraine (Wrath of the Crows) Carmine Capobianco (Galactic Gigolo) and Voltaire (ABCs of Death 2), the feeding frenzy begins July 12 nationwide on DVD and Digital HD.