Criminals being pursuited by the cops crash into a family's garage. The family, the Crane's, have some dark secrets that were just revealed to their daughter as she came home from school. She just found out that her parents are cannibals - and they're now taken hostage by criminals.
For the first time in horror history New Zealand makes a bloody horror comedy, and that movie is "Fresh Meat"! Okay, not really, I'm sorry. That wasn't even funny. "Fresh Meat" is a new horror comedy from a country that forever got associated with splatter and horror comedies when Peter Jackson made "Bad Taste" and followed it up with "Braindead". You'd be stupid to ever expect something as grand, sincere and inventive in New Zealand horror comedies ever again, since not even "Black Sheep" managed to make me love it. Luckily, "Fresh Meat" is not trying to do that, no matter how silly it gets at times. This takes its influences from other places, for better or worse. It's a hostage/crime, horror/thriller and comedy blend of a movie that pretty much only wants to be entertaining above all.
Rina is a young woman who returns home after some time at an all-girl school. Her father is a professor at a school, her mother a celebrity chef icon, and her brother is a bit of a weakling. Hoping for a nice, relaxing time at home Rina happens to find a chopped off hand in the fridge. Calmly, she's given the explanation that they have gotten into an ancient religion where they eat people. Yes, her parents are cannibals. She tries to run away, but at the same moment a gang of criminals crash into their garage, and the family is taken hostage. What follows is a mix of typical Stockholm syndrome/criminal drama, hostage thrillers, slapstick violence and absurd comedy.
People turn on each other, anyone can die at any moment, and the movie shows few limits. That's one of the good things about it, that it's more interested in being fun than logical, have good characters, a clever script, and so on. It's also a weak spot, as some illogical things annoy rather than entertain. Such is the scene where a man gets his head blown off by a shotgun from behind, and the person in front isn't harmed. And the only thing the shotgun blow does is it cuts off the neck - straight. Yes, the head is intact. That's something that hurts the movie, because it's not even adding to the entertainment. It's just stupid! But then there are other scenes I can let go, and sometimes even unintentionally did while watching it.
You really have to give and take to even begin to like this movie, and in the end I didn't even enjoy the movie that much. I think most characters are annoying, minus the two girls (and the filmmakers pretty much intended for us to like them), there are many religious/cult-y aspects that are silly (in a bad way), it often tries to be bad ass and seems to have been especially sexualized to have men go "Woo!" at the screen. I don't mind the outcome of certain relationships in the movie, but sometimes you can tell if it was written by a guy or girl, don't you think?
"Fresh Meat" has its perks though. It's brainless and often in the right way, so I can't hate it. The effects aren't too terrible except when they have obvious CGI. And maybe most important is that it doesn't try to be anything that it isn't. It's 90 minutes of absurd, violent entertainment. I'm glad it doesn't put many boundaries on itself (don't mistake that for saying it's an extreme movie). Sadly it doesn't speak out as anything unique. The violence isn't very graphic (though bloody). The thrills are rare. So what it still has is the absurd comedy, but its comedy rarely spoke to me. "Fresh Meat" is a horror comedy seemingly made to charm and entertain teenagers.