Model Hunger is the first feature film from director and scream queen Debbie Rochon, who extensively understands what it means to perform in front of the camera, having accumulated nearly 200 horror film credits, and using screenwriter James Morgart’s script it clearly shows early on that pages drip blood. Debbie sits solely in the director’s chair, having learned from co-directing position with Scott W. Perry on the episode of Glossophobia: Fear of Speaking in Public for the series known as In Fear of. This movie, highly talked about for months on various websites and social media, now delivers a straightforward bloodshed and tantalizing gore filled chasm of cannibalistic desires for the gore-hounds and splatterpunks of the genre. Rochon, provides an impactful movie, with a exceptional cast of notable horror stars namely the star of it, Lynn Lowry and adversary Tiffany Shepis, and while the movie leans to Troma and Lloyd Kaufman stylization at times, as it was the birthplace for Debbie, she doesn’t use the manner throughout her production. Rather the entire movie brings the strengths of the supporting cast to the forefront and develops a stronger independent horror flick. The distribution for her film comes from Wild Eye Releasing and to the greedy hands of the horror fans.
The story doesn’t dawdle rather, plunging into the deep end of insanity with the introduction of the supposedly old woman who keeps to herself, Ginny (Lynn Lowry), a former adult model, criticized and ostracized for too many curves for the an increasing vanity stricken industry wanting size zeros and perfect bodies. However, this sweet lady, loves creating new delicious recipes all from the scrumptious innards of human flesh, that is correct, she‘s the neighborhood cannibal. Soon the terror ratchets up as older than teen cheerleaders at practice, must go door to door selling items for the booster project of their squad, and dangerous task in any society of today’s fearful world, but none have ever faced Ginny’s sickness. Once inside the young women Missy and Katie (Lisa Dee and Samantha Hoy respectively) quick befall the web of ickiness, and we the audience hear the voiceover of her discussion and their bodies as her favorite television show airs, starring Suzi Lorraine. The voiceover actually doesn’t stall the film; it allows a deeper understanding and feels a bit like an examination of Ed Gein’s mentality. Once inside no one lives in the same manner, they simply feed Ginny’s desires and perhaps a hint of Bathory displacement of lost youth and glamour. When one uses the term cannibalism, then horror fans know, understand and clamor for the gore, while others regress from the screen in disgust, so already the gore hounds salivates. Ginny enjoys torturing the girls in her dungeon of death, by sexually humiliating them, and carving off certain sexual genitalia and chewing on it with wonderful delight, complementing on tasting like clams. In enters Tiffany Shepis’ character Debbie suspicious of Ginny’s activities, fearful of the harm cooking in the home, she ventures inward and trespasses into a word horror and damnation, results that Rochon cooks up well worth the price of admission. Shepis, though truly gets the opportunity to present a stronger and more dynamic female character, in fact, this is a mere woman driven psychological horror movie, and welcoming that into fold of a normally male dominated fixated genre films.
Rochon’s movie provides many moments and suggestions about society’s shallow mindset concept of what constitutes as beauty and sexiness, and how the media stabs the youth of women with body shaming images. However, Mogart delivers on the gore and horror phenomenally well and yet misses the possibilities of expanding society guilt ridden exploits and emotional damage, though not to preach it but rather showing Ginny’s view to another curvy neighborhood teen. Her film fits the mold, of recently released movies on this topic entering more into the independent market, such as these two 2015 films Excess Flesh and then Axe to Grind, which coincidentally stars Debbie herself. Lowry conveys the sickening disgusts of sexually deviant and brainless women serve to her home of horrors, slicing them apart in her mind destroying their soft flesh and making them the abomination forevermore.
Now, some critics insist this movie surpasses Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, it does not, Hitchcock’s movie contains no gore, the suggestion yes, but uses visuals to conduct suspenseful thriller, as he even in death remains the Master of Suspense. Rochon, does well for her first film, but it centered in horror, provide gore and blood splattering lusts for the deprave material that Ginny hungers to consume and while she inspires many to follow her craft, one understands that there’s a great difference between Hitchcock and Rochon.
The movie serves a delicious and bloody course of flesh and beefy meals for horror fans to thoroughly munch on, and enjoy the body of life and youth, for this movie while uneven in tone and perhaps unsettling in structure, does achieve visual wonderment of gore. If you want to discover new storylines, and talents arising in the independent horror genre, look no further than Model Hunger.
This review originally published in Rogue Cinema ‘s August 2016 issue with a view count of 1,336.
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5/10