Daisy is the all-American girl next door, with a hunger for true love and an appetite for murder. For years, it's just been her and her brother living out in the desert, hunting young men for sport - and dinner. While Daisy enjoys these games, she canít help but yearn for something more. So, when she meets the very handsome John Doe, and they fall madly in love, Daisy canít believe her good fortune. But it turns out John has some eccentric hobbies of his own, and now Daisy must find out if she will be his partner in crime - or his next victim.
In the film, APPETITES, after a hard upbringing, by their father, one that included captivity, and rape, siblings, Bubba and Daisy, have grown up with a hunger for killing that equals their hunger for human flesh. Living out in the secluded desert, Daisy leads the way as she and her mentally slowed brother, capture their victims and hunt them for food, utilizing several rigged traps, and other means of attack. It's their way of life, it's what they know. However, Daisy, who also works at a local bar, longs to find love, but has difficulty finding such, due to her childhood trauma. But eventually, fate steps in when Daisy catches the eye of a stranger named, John Doe. For John, a musician, Daisy seems to be his match, and after awhile, Daisy begins to share mutual feelings. The problem is, however that the two of then have more in common than they think. Because at it turns out, John is on the run, as he too, is a serial killer, and is being actively pursued by a Detective Frye at the present time, as Frye suspects Doe in the murder of his daughter, Veronica. After killing several women with similar characteristics(they all have tattoos), John has come into town to keep a low profile. However, his new relationship with Daisy, has put him out there. Eventually, the two lovers can no longer keep their respective secrets from each other, which cause each to panic. Soon the tension causes, their relationship to implode, as the two of them begin to realize that, neither of them are exactly whom they said they were in the beginning. From here, a classic game of oneupmanship ensues, as the killers' dangerous tendencies collide.
Well, this was definitely a strange one. As I went into APPETITES, a film directed by Cameron Casey, I must admit that I did expect just your average Slasher-thon type stuff. And while it is essentially a slasher film, it isn't the most typical one. It's a film that has a really weird vibe to it, that's for sure. So much so, that during most of its initial act, you don't even know what the hell it is that you're seeing. One most definitely must give APPETITES credit for attempting to be different, but when it comes to whether it was good or not, that's another thing.
As I said, APPETITES comes off as really strange, yes, it's a Slasher film in it's basics, yes. But not only that, it is one that infuses multiple other things as well. Like first there's the comedy aspect. Now, I know what you're saying. "But wait there are lots of Horror Comedies. That's nothing new". Yes this is true, as it tries to lighten things up, which are at times very grim, by playing things out with self aware comedy. But to add to this, also brought out, is the inclusion of various musical numbers sung by one of the film's serial killers, "John Doe", The musical numbers, which are really strange(and are mostly written and sung by Actor Bret Roberts himself), are really odd, not to mention that they are even more so, because most of them are sung as Doe is killing a victim. The musical stuff is really weird, and off beat. They initially come as sort of a shock to the viewer as beforehand, the film makes no indication that it is in the least bit, a musical. It's just really bizarre. The whole thing reminded me of the '70s Drive-In film, POOR PRETTY EDDIE or something. In that film, we had a guy who was kind of, Elvis obsessed, whom often dreamed himself as a singer, and so the film accompanied this with various vignettes of him being a star. That film was weird in it's own right - much like this one. But with that said, for as much as I was baffled by most of it, I just couldn't keep watching. No, it's not a very good film, but there was just something about all of the strangeness that kept me watching. I guess it might have been merely for the sake of seeing where the film would go next. As a whole, APPETITES is cheesy, campy, or what have you, as a lot of the film's Slasher action reminded me a little of the film called RUN BITCH RUN, except this film isn't as fun to watch play out, as the former. The effects are pretty good for the budget, however, when it came to the story, I felt that it just never went anywhere. In the end, we don't get that feeling of accomplishment, of having seen a complete story. The ending for me felt really sloppy, and tacked on in a rush. But, the same could be said for the film's entire last act for that matter. In the film, the reason for the relationship shakeup between Daisy and John, is that John sees that Daisy has a tattoo on her abdomen. And as said, John doesn't like tattooed women, as he thinks that a woman tattooing her body, is essentially ruining their purity. And while, I can totally believe that this might, and has, set a psychotic off before, the way in which the situation is handled here, is just really silly. The revelation, of course sees John turning the tables on Daisy and her brother Bubba, who are usually the aggressors. By this time, the film expects us to be fully invested in these characters, enough to care. But the truth is that I never felt that a connection had ever been made. My reaction for the film's conclusion was, "Oh, that's it?". Not a good sign.
But with all things considered, I really can't say that the acting in the film was all that bad. In fact, both Lauren Parkinson("Daisy") and Bret Roberts("John Doe") do quiet well. Especially Roberts(who I remember from the biker/supernatural Horror film, THE VIOLENT KIND, as it is he who carries most of the load. But for what it is that they had here, I have to say, not bad. The writing wasn't that great, and the film is plagued with the use of bad ADR, and other foley sounds, so they, here essentially do the best they can with what they were given In another acting note, indie film vet James Duvall, does make a brief appearance in the film, however his talent is essentially wasted, as he is basically here to be just another victim. Another notable appearance in the film(yes, as another victim), is tattooed Pornstar, Bonnie Rotten, whose appearance is the film, might be the most memorable thing about APPETITES.
APPETITES is a Horror film that attempts to implement a cocktail of things, in order to create something unique, And while it did succeed in being just that, unique, "unique" doesn't always translate into being a good film. And that is what we have here. The film is stylized, and also very sexualized in nature, yet the script offers no real form of direction, resulting in a really strange film, to say the least.
5/10 As I said, APPETITES features some pretty good practical effects for its budget. Things such as a beheading, an impalement(both by wooden stake and by arrow), a severed limb, a blade to the head and more.
4/10 Along with some suspenseful scoring cues, the film is filled with musical skits, all sung by Actor Bret Roberts, in character. The songs are meant to be lighthearted and funny, and indeed they are. Except that most of the musical spots just feel out of place. There's nothing like transitioning from a rather serious scene, than to cut to a segment that more resembles a music video, as a depressed guy has his back against a tree, and wails on his guitar as he sings a sappy song.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As I mentioned above APPETITES ended up being a much different film than I expected, as it is rooted much more in comedy, and music than anything else. Don't get me wrong, there has been times where all of these things, together in a film, have worked out quite well. However I just wasn't feeling it here. Here, the Director seems to have put much more time and effort into the musical and sexual exploits of the film, rather than focus on the film as a whole. However, I must admit, that the sexual stuff in the film is pretty good. So much so that I feel that Cameron Casey could possibly become an award winning Director of Adult entertainment, if he ever were to "switch sides". And that is not a knock of any kind, as I myself am avid enthusiast of the form of entertainment. But as for APPETITES, it's a nice attempt to be different, but unfortunately, with me, it just never fully connected.