Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat


A tasty comedy.

New Zealand horror comedy, starring Temuera Morrison, about a dysfunctional gang of criminals who take a Maori family hostage and discover too late that they are cannibals. Written by Briar Grace-Smith, playwright and scribe of the excellent 2009 drama Strength of Water.

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Flicks Review

This decade’s answer to Bad Taste, Brain Dead and Black Sheep, Mulheron’s cheeky Bro-sploitation horror-comedy seems destined for Kiwi cultdom. New Zealand horror has developed something of a dour reputation in recent years with the likes of The Tattooist, The Ferryman and The Devil’s Rock stinking up the screen with their po-faced chills. However, this brings back the Peter Jackson feeling by sprinking a proposterous Polynesian pulp tale with more than a dash of dark humour.... More

It’s not for everyone, and certainly not the easily offended, but for comedy-horror fans this is a welcome feast of visceral excess where patu, pencils and poi are weapons and crockpots can be deadly.

Visually inventive, Fresh Meat also includes cringy but catchily-quotable one-liners and an on-form Temuera Morrison threatening to chew the scenery as well as the fleshy props. However, the real star of the show is newcomer Hannah Tevita, who provides the film’s moral centre as well as fantasies for the film’s target audience. Gleefully un-PC (the opening shower scene certainly sets out the film’s stall), this is a surprisingly fresh tale from what seemed to be an over-cooked Kiwi genre.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

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Fresh Meat is that rare beast that you never find elsewhere in New Zealand cinema: a film that unashamedly knows its purpose is to entertain, and thus spends 90 some minutes trying to blow our heads off doing that with a heady genre mix of action, horror, black comedy, pink hot pants and even lesbian school girls.

From the opening frames- seeing a young Maori girl 'discovering' herself (and a female friend) in the shower you realise you're not in for your normal NZL film (you know...... More plodding... artsy... bleak... BORING AS HELL). The filmmakers seem to have their tongues firmly in cheek and want us to have a great ride. And we really do.

The pacing is excellent: it's ferocious, and doesn't let up. It reminded me of a cross between Tarantino genre homages, Bound (the Waschowski brothers' lesbian crime romp), Wes Craven's Scream, and Once Were Warriors (but only if it was remade as a zombie film). It's a heist caper crossed with a black comedy crossed with a cannibal thriller, but to pin it down to any one genre feels limiting.

The performances generally all work. However, Kate Elliott is amazing as the tough-as-nails bi-sexual co-leader of the Tan Gang, Gigi. She's hard, sexy, and talented enough to bring a great deal of heart and depth to a role in which a lesser actress would be at risk of being upstaged by those (admittedly, amazing) pink hot pants. Watching her kick ass for 90 straight minutes is worth the price of admission alone.

Hanna Tevita is great also as Rina- the female protagonist at the heart of the film. Coming home from college, she discovers that her family are actually cannibals, yet before she has a moment to process this, she has to deal with a hostage drama in which she falls in love with her captor. Great stuff, and Tevita certainly provides the necessary eye candy.

But it's Temuera Morrison that (almost) steals this film. Poking fun at his previous hard ass characters, Morrison finds the right line between deadpan comedy and all-out psychopathic rage. The scene where he interrogates Rina's love struck vegan suitor by making him eat testicles at the dinner table is seriously good, and funny as hell. Good to see Tem nailing it.

Mulheron's grounding in comedy is on constant display. (The scene where the two girls are stuck in harnesses and try to 'eat' their way out is daftly brilliant.) Mulheron seems hell-bent on touching every overly PC nerve in our collective national consciousness (to have the words Maori and cannibalism in the same sentence is risque enough, let alone making a film about it!) and it's this sense of manic, provocative energy that sets the tone throughout.

Great to see a film that achieves exactly what it sets out to. It's an unashamedly fun popcorn movie which gave me a great night out at the cinema. Go and see this on the big screen with a beer and a big audience. Anyone who doesn't like this film should go home and watch the Piano on DVD and have a good cry instead.Hide

Wanted to give this film more stars but, seriously the story is ALL OVER the place. Its trying to be funny and overall doesn't know what it wants to be...

Main actress is stunning and is really good, as is Tem, but a few of the lines of dialogue are really under or over acted by most of the newer actors... but really its not the major problem with the film - its the choices the characters make i.e. the plot and direction! It's is all over the place, trying to be a comedy then forgetting to... More treat the audience with some respect and having sequences like: the brother and sister walking down some stairs and blatantly talking loud enough for anyone to hear within the room AND then expecting us to believe it was some whispered secret that the person behind them cant hear! AND don't get me stated on the armed defenders squad entering the house - all two of them and then the rest of the cops never enter for the next half hour! These are just 2 examples of the numerous unrealistic events and choices that seem to just get left to play out on screen, leaving even the most patient audience members (myself included) bewildered in disbelief...

Look, there was so much to like, it was shot beautifully and the slo-mo sequences where great - production values overall were stunning!, but the Tarantino/bad taste/family comedy/heist movie mix felt like a bad meal, that had all the right ingredients but maybe the wrong chef, or a under (or over) developed recipe... I really wanted this to work, but unfortunately it only really felt like a film at the very very end - as in the last 2 mins. Few and far-between funny moments through out, some great gore and lesbian moments... but character development (apart form the main character) was just all over the place and the unrealistic plot points just killed it! Literally!

You can lie to an audience once, and they'll put aside their disbelief to go on a ride... but not as many times as this film does... I really feel for the cast.

Sad as it could of been an international sensation...Hide

The Press Reviews

  • I can't sit here and say it turned out to be a great film... but it was an atrocious amount of fun... a very silly film and hysterically funny at times... Full Review

  • Even though it's amusingly tasteless, with its numerous shoot-outs, loads of drug taking, and everything from ear-eating to beheadings, Fresh Meat lacks, well, guts. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

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