Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror satire MODEL HUNGER (2016) by director Debbie Rochon. To best describe the plot, I will turn to my edited version of the IMDb summary:
A former pin-up model cast aside by the exploitative modeling industry develops into a cannibalistic killer. The aging model’s lifestyle is jeopardized by a curious new neighbor who begins to suspect that not all is right in her neighborhood.
My initial expectations of this feature were that it was going to be a darkly humorous violent romp through many familiar horror tropes. Going in with that in mind, I was surprised to find that this movie was more socially conscious than it initially gave off. The film explores ideas of exploitation, female identity, our definition of beauty, body shaming, and self-image against the backdrop of a splatter feature.
The slayings themselves have a darkly comedic tone thanks to our killer’s running commentary. This is not to say that it all is bright and cheery as the victims are kept alive while they are sliced and diced. Since the gore itself is usually kept in frame, those with a weaker stomach might want to close their eyes while listening to the ranting of our killer.
Our killer, Ginny, is well portrayed by Lynn Lowry who captures the sad undertones of what could have just been another over the top character. There is certain tragedy in her portrayal that allows us to understand her even though we cannot agree with her methodology. While Ginny is the larger than life role, Debbie has a much more subtle sense of affliction which is perfectly captured by Tiffany Shepis. Both women deliver fantastic performances that rise above the campy nature of the proceedings.
All in all, this could have been a forgettable schlockfest, but the strong performances and themes elevated it above similar fare. Those who love the works of Herschell Gordon Lewis or the satiric bite of John Water’s SERIAL MOM should definitely check this out. The message of the piece is something that keeps becoming more and more relevant in modern society.
MODEL HUNGER will be available on DVD and Digital HD July 12
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