Feeders 2: Slay Bells (1998)

Two years after Feeders became a certified direct to video hit (as Blockbuster’s number one Independent film rental of the year) the Polonia Brothers made a sequel of sorts.

This is a seriously strange film.

Feeders, for all the inevitable flaws of a film made for next to nothing, was more or less a straightforward aliens invade and kill everyone sort of film, with a final, end-up-in-hell, Twilight Zone-ish twist.  The sequel is a Christmas Film, Polonia style.

Seriously.  There are long sequences with the Polonia family doing routine Christmas-y stuff like wrapping presents, waiting for Santa,  and unwrapping gifts.  It’s as if they just edited in their Christmas home videos.  Which, with a $500 budget they might actually have done.

We get asthmatic aliens lurking, a few gory scenes as the creatures stalk and kill their prey, the world’s most pathetic dead cat gore effects (i.e., a cat picture and some red goop) and they give us a full seven minutes of flashbacks from the first film.

But then there is a curious change in tone when the aliens decide to attack Santa Claus.

And, yes, we are talking the real Santa, complete with flying sleigh.  That Santa.

Santa, in fact, plays a very large part in the last section of the film, where he Conquers the Martians – I mean, “Feeders” – before the final coda reveals which Fifties SF classic the Polonia Brothers were remaking.  If that’s the right word for it.

This, in fact, is a seriously strange mixture of whatever the heck they happened to have sitting around, from the paranoid opening with Polonia regular Jon McBride returning as Derek from the original; to the curious choice to have Mark play the lead, despite the fact that you can’t tell him apart from his twin John, who shows up in the flashbacks; to the worst alien puppets ever (although, unlike the far better original creatures, they do at least have a mouth this time, which you’d think was one of those necessities of a creature that goes around devouring people in messy ways); to the world’s worst Scrooge of a boss who somehow or other isn’t eaten (really!); to those down-home, heartwarming moments with the Polonia kids; to Santa’s toy raygun.

I have no idea what they were thinking.  I’m not really sure I want to know, either.

But the absolute worst of it is that I enjoyed it.

The Polonia brothers may make terrible films, but it is always an interesting sort of terrible, the sort of terrible that few filmmakers ever achieve, the sort of terrible that can only be reached by someone who wholeheartedly believes in what he is doing.  Their films should all come with a label that says “let’s see you do any better.”

And the last time I checked, I still haven’t.



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