Review: MODEL HUNGER

MODEL HUNGER KEY ARTRecently, the dark side of the modeling industry was explored in the genre bending NEON DEMON, a florescent gem from director Nicolas Winding Refn where our desires lead to a bloody consumption. While MODEL HUNGER shares similar tropes, it’s actually a completely different movie that dares to have all shapes and sizes on the screen.

Lynn Lowry plays Ginny, a former model who takes advantage of her hard of hearing neighbor and tortures young models and eventually eats them. The torture scenes are actually pretty funny and at times gruesome. Ginny lives alone, has a lot to say, and I loved hearing her snide remarks about her hatred for women who prefer salmon over steak. Lowry completely steals the show in MODEL HUNGER and brings a dark humor to the tone that makes the movie fun to watch.

Her discreetness is threatened when she gets a new neighbor named Debbie played by Tiffany Shepis, a depressed recluse who notices strange occurrences next door. It’s clear that Debbie despises her husband who has something to say about larger women, but lacks the courage to seek something better. We gets glimpses of a traumatic childhood via brief flashbacks, especially when we learn Debbie was not allowed to have a Brooke Shields haircut. Luckily, those are kept to a minimum as the present situation is far more interesting. The movie builds up to an eventual stand off between the two ladies and it’s worth the wait.
The most fascinating aspect of MODEL HUNGER is a home shopping TV show called “Suzi’s Secrets.” It’s hosted by Suzi Lorraine in a fat suit where she sells sexy products for women that like to “finish what’s on their plate.” The film is littered with scenes from the show and it is some of the most bizarre programming. Of course it’s Ginny’s favorite show and it seems to have a hypnotic effect on its viewers. Much of the show utilizes a large man dressed in drag eating constantly while wearing lingerie. “Suzi’s Secrets” feels like something Anna Nicole would be selling and I would totally be buying.
There’s some interesting themes going on in MODEL HUNGER that only a low budget B-movie could tackle and it goes for it. While the subject of the treatment toward plus size women in society is explored, there exploitative element that I enjoyed, mainly in the infomercial sequences. It can easily be interpreted as humorous and sexuality at the same time. Director Debbie Rochon knows this and we get to see all different reactions. Some are disgusted, some can’t help but laugh, and others use it as masturbatory¬†material. I feel like most people who pick up the DVD due to the parties involved are going to be more of an open minded crowd and Rochon picks up on that.

The gore factor is pretty high here and it was a delight to watch. Some gross out gags came as a surprise with some “no they didn’t!” moments. From what I could tell, no CGI was used, leaving practical effects fans satisfied. I for one definitely appreciated it and increased the quality of the viewing experience that much more.

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