When I think of comfort films, my ultimate movie would be a hybrid of the works of John Hughes and John Waters. Funny, full of heart, with a sick sense of humor, not afraid of pushing the boundaries. Thankfully, I was given a glimpse into that world with Sickening Pictures and Windtorn Pictures’ short film EAT IT UP.
In a mash up of Shermer, Illinois and the weird Baltimore, we get a small town over run with gangs. These gangs aren’t shooting anything off but their mouths, and the only rumble going down is when they are about to compete. In the world of EAT IT UP, gangs are roving bands of competitive eaters, each member with their own specialty style.
Laid out nicely by a great narration via the restaurateur (Dustin Mills) of our show down locale, we are introduced to the two baddest bunches of gourmands, the all girl Von Schweetz and the cut clad Horsemen of the Esophagus. Squaring off in the borderlands of a turf war, the long time rivals aim for a winner take all battle for the ages.
Led by Boss Hog (Wes Allen), the Horsemen have a prospect member, Greasy Gary (Josh Miller), ready to make a name for himself by defeating the leader of the Von Schweetz, Suzi Creamcheese (BJ Colangelo).
With witty, food-related dialogue, the world is built quickly, and we know all we need to know about these gourmet gladiators. This allows for a quick jump into the action but still leaves the audience wanting more. While a lot of shorts get the job done, and you don’t need anything else, EAT IT UP left craving seconds. I want more from this world, either with more shorts or even a feature.
As a fan of Zach Shildwachter and BJ Colangelo’s work in the past, I was excited to see their first foray outside the world of horror. And I fell in love with it! Despite a few sections of over active camera work, this has been their most cohesive piece, from soundtrack to writing to acting.
Allison Egan does a great job of tapping into her inner Rizzo as the tough as week old doughnuts Judy Jawbreaker. And Matt Goodfriend is hilarious in the slightly demented gopher known as Wheezie. Josh Miller ups the ante by being as disgusting and loathsome as possible as Greasy Gary.
In a perfect world, we’ll be getting a feature length version of EAT IT UP involving eating competitions that put STAND BY ME to shame, and involve a pair of star crossed eaters on different sides of the table. Until then, you can catch the EAT IT UP short at a film festival near you.
Feel free to check out the other works of Zach Shildwachter at his Vimeo page.