One of my very favourite blogging events of the year has returned! The one and only Shitfest (Summer 2015 edition), masterminded by brainchild Eric of Isaacs Picture Conclusions, is all about celebrating and ripping shreds off bad films, and I love it. Here’s what I wrote about a (somewhat) humble film named The Starving Games.
Happy Shitfest everyone! This notoriously shitty film is one of those lame parody films, a trend which hopefully will end really soon. This is a parody of The Hunger Games (2012), which you would never be able to guess from the title. The Starving Games (2013) tells the story of Kantmiss Evershot (Maiara Walsh), who lives in District 12, a place where there is no food and everyone is totally starving. Blah blah blah, same storyline as The Hunger Games, she has to compete to fight other young people in a nation-wide game of murder in order to win some food for her town. In the mean time, she confronts hilarious circumstances such as take-offs of Avatar (2009) and The Expendables (2010) and seeing the members of shitty band LMFAO get blown up. Just great!
What exactly causes people to make films like The Starving Games (2013)? Genuine artistic expression through the medium of film, or a nasty cash-grabbing scam to try and make some easy money out of a young adult book-to-film-translation franchise that is actually one of the better ones to watch? What happens when someone rustles up 4.5 MILLION DOLLARS to make a film as shitty as this one?
I firmly believe that the directors and writers – naming and shaming Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer here – should be held accountable for financial terrorism. Here is a list of ten things I would spend 4.5 MILLION DOLLARS on, instead of making a bad film like this:
- I would buy a house and furnish it with some nice and comfortable chairs
- I would pay off my student debt and also the student debt of all of my friends
- I would pay off the mortgages of everyone in my family
- I would create an amazing playroom for my cats with all the mouse toys they could ever want
- I would use the money to buy food and supplies for the homeless people in my city, and also food and supplies for homeless shelters
- I would provide funding for much needed youth mental health services
- I would buy iPads for all the kids I work with
- A lifetime supply of bacon
- I would pay Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer to never make movies again.
The film is basically a play-by-play of the storyline from The Hunger Games, so in addition to being really not funny, it’s also super boring. If you’ve seen the original film, watching this is kind of like watching paint dry. Even the addition of parody elements doesn’t spice things up. Also, the film looks like it’s been shot on one of the original iPhones, the quality is that bad.
The humour is puerile and alternately relies on dick and poop jokes and lame pop culture references in an attempt to distract from the hideous storytelling. In particular, the film really seems to love references to Youtube videos such as the old double rainbow guy, the Annoying Orange, and Psy’s Gangnam Style. I just have so many questions for Friedberg and Seltzer about this. What was going through their heads in the writing room, when brainstorming this huge pile of shit? “I know what people find funny – that Gangnam Style dance, that will never get old”. Guess what mates, it’s super old. There is also a stupidly unfunny scene about Twitter which made me want to throw things at my television.
To add insult to injury, the film ends with an extended sequence of bloopers, and the bloopers aren’t funny either. Seriously. I did not laugh once.
The only good thing about this film is that the lead actress, Maiara Walsh, is actually not that bad at the whole acting thing. By that I mean she does a good Jennifer Lawrence impression. So it must be kind of upsetting for her to be in a film like this.
When I was watching The Starving Games, at one point, one of my cats took a huge poop in the litterbox and I had to go and scoop it out. Scooping that poop out of the litter tray was a more interesting and worthwhile experience than watching this film. I think that’s probably the best sentiment to end this review on. Don’t watch this!
Watch the trailer here! Or don’t.
P.S. I lied – I remembered that I did actually laugh once whilst watching this. The joke involved a giant cake in a forest. I’m blaming the fact that I have the worst flu ever and the image of a giant cake sitting in a forest somewhere was absurdly hilarious to me when watching this. You might actually need to have a massive flu or be on some seriously heavy medication to find this at all funny. If one or more of those criteria apply, go nuts!