There is an exuberant energy to Eat Me! that is lacking in many films with larger budgets and greater reputations. Sometimes this can be attributed to lower funding encouraging a level of commitment and effort from filmmakers that leads to performances from all involved exceeding what are bound to be limited expectations. Occasionally it can be down to raw talent rising above restricted and modest beginnings, leading to a noticeable and memorable production. Katie Carmanís film contains a mix of both of these.
Following a group of friends in the midst of an outbreak of a mysterious disease that transforms victims into bloodthirsty zombie-like creatures, Eat Me! has a refreshingly naive quality that reflects the confusion of the characters. With little understanding of exactly what is going on and embarking on a strange mission to find a boat (there is a reason but itís not important), the friends find themselves in various scenarios that while threatening are curiously, and entertainingly darkly comedic.
The infected people they meet are generally plodding, easily defeated human shells but the incompetence in which they deal with each situation is realistically stupid and innocently understandable. How would you know how to kill a ďzombieĒ? The performances from all involved are generally passable, in that you do believe in the characters while still chuckling occasionally at the awkward and stunted delivery of some very dubious lines.
The direction is at times random and unpredictable but so full of that exuberance and passion that these traits become strengths rather than weaknesses. There is a resistance to use too much nausea inducing shaky-cam which is very much to Carmanís credit and her style generates a genuine feeling that everything on screen is really happening. For the most part the enjoyable ridiculousness keeps any irritations at bay but occasionally some issues do surface.
There is a randomness to much of the action as if there were plenty of good set piece ideas but with little thought then given to how to structure a narrative to encompass them all. The other main problem is as mentioned above; the dialogue. The cast get away with it for the majority of the film but when things are not quite right they come across as glaringly inappropriate and unconvincing.
Eat Me! is a film made by people who want to make films, who possess the drive and motivation just to go out and get started and that must be admired. Slightly rough around the edges and in need of a little polish this is still a film that will entertain right up until the strangely abrupt ending.