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Eat (Review)

"This groundbreaking title deserves a wider audience"

by Nav Qateel

Novella McClure (Meggie Maddock) is a struggling actress trying to make it in LA. She hasn't had a part in several years. Novella is now in her early 30s, and she's losing roles to younger actresses. She adopted the name Novella McClure when she first got into acting because she thought it sounded cool.

Whenever Novella attends auditions, her younger nemesis Tracy (Dakota Pike), is always there to offer words of discouragement. Tracy seems to enjoy putting Novella down and she also thrives on the fact that she's 10 years her junior.

It's been three years since Novella worked on a paying gig, and she's already way behind on her rent. Novella's landlady has been extremely patient up to now but her patience has just run out. Novella arrives home after an extremely bad audition, to find an eviction notice on her apartment door.

It soon becomes apparent that whenever Novella comes under any form of stress, what begins innocently enough as a bit of excessive nail-biting, quickly advances into a severe case of self-mutilation. The first couple of times it involves Novella chewing her nails and cuticles, until she advances to eating small amounts of her own flesh. Eventually this worsens until she starts to eat larger bits of flesh, including her breasts, toes, arms, fingers and anything else that looks tasty. Whenever Novella faces any sort of stress, she immediately complains of feeling ravenously hungry, with the only food that can satiate this extreme form of hunger is to eat parts of her own body. The technical term for this is "Self-Cannibalism."

Eat
Written & Directed by Jimmy Weber
Cast Meggie Maddock, Ali Frances, Jeremy Make
Release Date 18 December 2014
Nav's Grade: A

Out of the blue, Novella gets offered a gig that pays $1700, and this just so happens to be enough to cover her rent, allowing her to pay it right up to date. She even has a few hundred left over. Recently, Novella has been under a lot of stress and she ate the skin off her toes, causing her to limp badly. At one point she collapsed and now she's under 24 hour suicide watch. The deal was that if no one was able to keep a constant watch on her, Novella would be kept in the loony bin. Luckily for her, Candice volunteers to stay with her and supervise.

The problem is, Candice isn't the most stable person in the world and she carries a gun everywhere she goes. The first night Candice is supposed to be watching Novella, the pair go out to a nightclub, where they allow two guys to buy them drinks all night. It turns out that the drinks are laced with drugs. The girls escape into the car park, with the men in pursuit, but before they get a chance to rape them, Candice uses her gun to castrate the pair.

Without getting into spoiler territory, Novella meets a shrink who she has a thing for, and he likes her, too. Things start looking up for Novella but can she keep it together long enough for the relationship to work? You'll just need to find out for yourself.

Eat is anything but a simple examination of woman's darker, stranger side, and it's one of those daring movies that's not afraid to venture outside the proverbial box. Meggie Maddock devours her lines and really makes the part of Novella her own. I was hugely impressed by rookie Ali Francis, who played Candice like an experienced pro. I find it hard to believe that this was Ali Francis' debut performance. Here is an actress I can see with a bright future in front of her, especially when you consider how naturally she performed the Candice character.

Because of the abundance of cannibalism contained within Jimmy Weber's Eat, only the die-hard gorehound will be watching this bloodthirsty piece of entertainment, which would be a real shame as this groundbreaking title deserves a wider audience.

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