Tribeca Film Festival Midnight Movies: Mr. Jones And Fresh Meat
A zany horror-comedy out of New Zealand, Fresh Meat centers on the growing pains of the Crane family, an upper-middle class Maori family that rediscovers their roots in a pretty untraditional way. Blossoming Rina (Hanna Tevita) returns from her all-girls boarding school to discover her father Hemi (Once Were Warriors' Temuera Morrison), a frustrated academic, has led the family to embrace an ancient religion that involves ritualistic cannibalism. And just as Rina is forced to face this horrific new brand of home cooking, their home is invaded by a pack of armed and dangerous fugitives.
There are splashes of campy gore and gonzo humor inspired by B-movie horror and exploitation flicks, but at its core Fresh Meat is about Rina coming into her own, rejecting her family's "traditions" and embracing a newfound love for Gigi, a badass/dental hygienist who seems a custom fit for Rina's Sapphic fantasies. Fresh Meat has fun ogling its leading ladies, but while imbuing them with the power to wallop their domineering male authority figures (father, brother, boyfriend). There's a sociopolitical message about race, sex, and imperialism buried in here somewhere, but it's largely lost amid the comedy's willful silliness and outlandish action. Nonetheless, Fresh Meat is fiercely funny and brazenly bonkers.
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