I hate sequels.
I know, I know, there’s a certain appeal to getting the team back together one more time. There’s that feeling we all have, of how much we loved this film and how we wish we could just keep experiencing it over and over again — only different.
Let’s face it: we’re all suckers.
Of course I’m not entirely certain how all that applies to the Kings of the bargain basement SOV (shot on video) movie, the Polonia Brothers, and their Feeders films.
I’ll admit I have a certain affection for the first film, as it captures the work of Mark and John Polonia at a point when their work was still inept (or should I say, more inept?) and silly, but at the same time they were making some of their most imaginative films, while Feeders 2 was a great guilty pleasure of a film because it was mindbendingly insane, in roughly the same way Santa Claus vs. the Martians is.
Only more so.
And as much as I’ve championed their often awful but still addictive films for years, I certainly never felt the need for a third film in the series.
But, as I’ve said, we’re all suckers, so I knew I was going to have to see it.
Another thing we need to note here is that a lot of people think their films just haven’t been as good since the death of John Polonia back in 2008. I’ll admit that I’m not entirely convinced of that, particularly as Mark just directed one of his best films of his entire career: Reel Monsters (2022).
But it is also true that Mark is now making a lot more films per year than ever before.
Now you can’t say the Polonia Brothers are strangers to sequels, either: not only did they make an earlier sequel to Feeders and to at least one other early film (The House that Screamed), but they’ve made quite a few lately and have gone so far as to make sequels to other people’s films, for example, Jurassic Shark 2: Aquapocalypse which reprises one of Brett Kelly’s films. I suspect is like Aliens and Terminator 2 in being better than the original, but Brett’s films are generally so bad I haven’t wanted to verify this.
I should also point out that Jon McBride, who was a key player in so many of their films throughout the Nothings does not actually appear in this film, and his old part is played by someone else. He was asked to appear, but never responded to their attempts to reach him. Which is sad and yet more than a little strange that someone who played such a critical part on the team has vanished almost completely.
And at this point, I’ve finally exhausted all my possible digressions and I’m stuck having to review Feeders 3.
Now if you’ve seen Plan 9 from Outer Space, then the opening scene should look familiar: a black and white introduction by horror host Mr. Lobo, which borrows lots of lines from the Amazing Criswell’s narration in the Ed Wood film. Remember that, it is going to be important later!
Well, not really. But at the halfway point, there is an intermission, which features appearances by horror hosts Marlena Midnight and Count Gore de Vol.
But that fits in with the very Meta nature of this film. The events of the last two films actually took place, only everyone believed that Jon McBride’s character killed them all as he was the only survivor.
And an out-of-towner. Don’t forget that.
But he’s safely locked away, so everyone’s safe, right?
Meanwhile, a young director is hard at work on a cheap exploitation film version, with a pair of actresses playing the two young men who came to town on what turned out to be the world’s worst vacation.
Hey, we all know guys wouldn’t be quite as marketable when we’re talking about the SOV (shot on video) market.
Particularly not when you are doing a hot tub scene.
But, just to complicate things, the director of the film within a film is the son of the guy who survived Feeders 2 (played once again by Mark Polonia)
Oddly, Anthony Polonia does not return as Mark’s son, so we have another curious absence. Oh, well.
Meanwhile, we have a (seemingly) unconnected thread with a new therapist at the asylum taking over Not-Jon McBride’s case, and interviewing him about what happened in the first film. Then there’s another unconnected thread with a scientist experimenting on the alien body recovered at the time of the original incident — which may not be quite as dead as he thinks, and yet another with a detective sent to take another look at the murders.
And then we have people randomly wandering around near where the aliens arrive so they can get eaten.
Not to mention the local news caster doing reports on the strange events which happened twenty-five years earlier. and on what’s going on in town.
We even get a nicely self-referential meta meta joke about the puppet aliens in the film within a film which don’t even have a mouth.
Now what could that possibly be referring to?
There’s even a brief cameo or two from one of the most controversial characters from the Feeders series, who appears at the last minute to save the day.
It’s really not that hard to explain why this film exists: after all, the first Feeders was one of the most important films in the Polonia Brothers culty career, the one that first got them a little mainstream attention when it became the number one film on Blockbuster’s Independent film list for the year. It was enough of a hit that they made a sequel two years later, and you can see why the urge to make a new film to mark the original’s Silver Anniversary would be strong.
But on the whole, I find myself wishing they’d resisted that urge. It’s not that Feeders 3 is bad, it’s more that it feels tired and scattershot, as if it knows that the only reason we’re here is because of the first two Feeders.
Which, you’ll admit, is a heavy burden for any film.
However, there is one moment, where it looks — just for an instant or two — like the film is about to wake up and be fun, when we finally get the promised appearance of Ken Van Sant, one of the best of Mark Polonia’s stock company of actors, and another regular, Jamie Morgan, as a tough and savvy couple trying to escape the alien invasion, in which Ken gets the best (and funniest) line in the film.
Now, if only the rest of the movie had been like that.
But it doesn’t last long. After all, it’s just a cameo scene, dropped in so two of Mark Polonia’s favorites can have a scene.
Now, if only they had starred in the film, and the rest of the movie had been like that…
Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. We’re stuck with the film they gave us.
Oh, well, it has moments. And, if you’re a fan, then you know you’re going to have to see it. It’s not bad, it just feels…