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Ten “weight challenged” men are contestants on a competitive weight-loss reality TV show, called “By the Pound,” where the winner will receive $1 million. When the contestants start disappearing, the men begin to suspect foul play.
Is that hair piece a turkey leg?? Why, yes. Yes, it is. The opening sequence, featuring blonde bombshell, Bree Olsen, would have been an entertaining horror/comedy short – if it were expanded just a little and independent from this movie. It has a few serious moments between sisters, Hailey and Holly, and their friend, that explored body image and body shaming. Olsen gives us a sample of actual acting talent before being the subject of, what I think is the best kill scene in the movie. However, as an intro scene to this movie, it makes no sense at all.
The audience really gets a sense of what this movie is about once the opening credits start on an animated sequence of what happens at the camp. The song being played with this scene sounds just off, probably because the tempo is much slower than the style suggests, though, the music does improve throughout the film.
Once the movie gets going, the audience is treated to a ton of toilet humor, juvenile antics, a splash of romance, some creative kill scenes, and one fetish-filled sex scene. It certainly has one of the most awkward, uncomfortable kissing scenes I’ve ever seen, thankfully interrupted by Al Snow’s signature style. The filmmakers definitely go out of their way to offer up some of the most disgusting gags I’ve seen in a while (such as one of the contestants hiding nutty bars under his boob folds), and make the characters just stupid and oblivious enough to continuously fall for them. The cinematography is well done. The dialogue is surprisingly good, cliches aside, and there are some really decent scenes that draw the audience in. As this is a slasher-flick, there isn’t much story beyond trying to survive until either help comes and/or the bad guy is defeated.
The cast, when their characters are not written to be ass hats, give truly earnest performances. The e-cig sucking, will-do-anything-to assure-success, or at least fame, host of “By the Pound”, Warren Gilley, played by (co-director) Jim O’Rear, is that character the audience loves to hate – and he does it so very well. Gilley’s “straight-man,” production assistant, Natalie, played by Ava Cronin, gives a solid, take-no-shit performance. Her antagonist, the always scheming, smack talking, Greg, is played to the hilt by (writer/co-director) Daniel Emory Taylor. Stefani, the camp nurse with a soft spot for the nice guy, played by Megan Hunt, is girl-next-door, sweet and resourceful. Jeremy, nice-guy and victim of varied humiliations, played by Nicholas Huntsman, is the only character that actually seems to develop through the film. Al Snow, as Ritz, shows off his showmanship skills and ability to monologue mad soliloquies in his brief role. Psychologist and weight loss expert, James Bartok, played by Carl Donovan, appears so genuine in his desire to help these poor unfortunate overweight men. And Scott Tepperman gives an entertaining and athletic performance as the one who embraces Dr. Bartok’s method, Franklin.
I gave this movie 2 Bloody Marys. There are things I liked about this film, definitely the cheesy 80’s slasher movie feel. And things I am able to appreciate about it, as I am not the target audience for this style humor. This movie is not for everyone, it wasn’t for me. But if you are entertained by low brow, crude humor, it may be for you.