DreadWorld Review: 'Model Hunger' (2016)

Model Hunger has staked its PR bones on the fact that it's horror icon and legendary scream queen Debbie Rochon's directorial debut. History lesson time for the newbies, Rochon is a veteran of over 200 independent horror films, who really hit her stride as an actress with Lloyd Kaufman and the good folks over at Troma after starring in the classic Tromeo and Juliet. Since then she's been one of the most active and recognizable faces in the independent horror genre. Her directorial debut reflects the sensibilities of someone who lives and breathes the genre, but also the pitfalls often stepped in by first time directors.

Fellow scream queens Tiffany Shepis (Sharknado 2) and Lynn Lowery (Shivers) join Rochon on the Model Hunger journey. Ginny (Lowery) is an angry ex pin-up model who feeds her insanity, literally, by preying on and eating various young girls who she happens to come across. Debbie (Shepis) and her husband move in next door and becomes immediately suspicious of the activities taking place at her neighbors house.

Model Hunger is littered with social commentary regarding the superficiality of the media and the impossible standards that we hold young women to. And by littered, I mean the message is taken out to the back alley and beaten to death. Therein lies the largest negative with Model Hunger, it's almost complete lack of subtlety and restraint. Everything from the message to Lowerys performance are "large" if you will forgive the pun.

Now, excess in horror films isn't always a bad thing and it's not all bad in Model Hunger. The film certainly does not hold back on the blood and gore which is certainly refreshing, When Rochon ramps up the violence in the third act it's truly something to behold.

The other highlight of the film is Shepis. Perhaps the only actor busier than Rochon, Tiffany's name is often exploited by film makers, calling her in for one day of work just so they can slap her name above the line on a DVD cover. Here, Rochon gives her a real meat and potatoes role and she takes the ball and runs with it. Watching Shepis being given a chance to act is more refreshing that when she's hired for stunt casting or eye candy purposes. Hopefully other directors take note of her performance.

Model Hunger is an uneven debut from Rochon. Some of her directing choices are inspired, particularly when Rochon is supported by excellent performances from her actors, while there are other parts of the film that are rough to watch. The first 5 minutes or so of the film stand out as an example of some particularly rough viewing. However, if you are looking for a film heavy on blood and gore that features a couple really good performances, check out the film.

** stars out of *****

That's it for me. As always, thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich." 

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