DVD Famine

DVD Famine
DVD Famine
Run time: 77 min
Rating: 3.2
Genres: Comedy | Horror
Director: Ryan Nicholson
Writers: Ryan Nicholson, Jeff O’Brien
Stars: Beth Cantor, Christopher Patrick Donoghue, Nathan Durec
Two years after a high-school prank that nearly killed popular teacher Mr. Balszack during the school’s annual famine, the graduating class of Sloppy Secondary try to forget the incident and decide to hold a 24-hour famine in hopes of making it an annual event again. It isn’t long before students and staff start turning up dead at the hands of a killer masquerading as the school’s mascot. Is Balszack back for revenge? Written by christianmellinger55
Plot Keywords: mascot, teacher student relationship, masturbation, scalping, breast mutilation
Country: Canada
Release Date: 6 October 2011 (Canada)
Box Office
Budget: CAD 250,000 (estimated)


  1. Being a fan horror films, anticipated seeing this film very much, but Famine is beyond campy horror, it makes bad campy horror look good. I am a huge fan of Ryan's films Gutterballs and Hanger even Star Vehicle was good for me, but this time Ryan opted to find the worst actors he could find, along with using a story that showed he was obviously drunk when he wrote it. This film was bad bad bad, acting, story, lighting, anything you can think of, all was bad. I'm still trying to figure out why this movie was titled Famine? Whatever the case if you're a fan of Ryan Nicholson's previous films then you'll wanna watch this just for the sake of being a fan.

  2. IMDb has misled me once again, presenting this movie as a "Horror." Clearly it's a comedy, just with a horror-ish setting. It's more bloody than scary, but in a non-offensive way. If people are approaching it as horror, I'm not surprised about the bad rating. As a horror it can't possibly work. Also the first 10 minutes or so I thought it had some really bad acting, before I realized it was all intentional. The more I watched, the more I noticed the acting was actually pretty good and showed some skill. It is very exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness, but it's done really well and makes the movie quite hilarious.

    Special credit must go to Christine Wallace. Just seeing all the faces she makes the whole time is a good enough reason to watch this movie. I actually entertained myself going through the scenes frame by frame, just to see that in detail. Her mimicry changes so fast that I wished at times the movie had a higher frame rate, because the camera was barely able to capture all the nuances of her facial expressions. She can go from looking bored, to widely smiling, to eyes popping out of her head, to frowning, to looking ridiculously dumb, to screaming furiously, plus a few other things, all in about 2 seconds. She seems to be enjoying acting tremendously and I hope she does a lot more of it in the near future.

    Probably the most obviously overdone character is Cathy (Beth Cantor), who was the first to give the initial impression of bad acting. Once I realized that it was simply the intention, I couldn't help but laugh. Nothing about this movie can be taken very seriously and you certainly won't be scared. It's definitely entertaining and amusing though.

    I've seen plenty of B-movies, especially in the horror category. Many of them have terrible acting, extremely poor camera work and barely existent directing. Not the case here. I think the acting was really good, within the framework of what the movie was going for. All that ridiculous exaggeration was intended and worked perfectly well for the purpose of a comedy movie. The camera work was, in my opinion, surprisingly good, which rarely ever happens in B-movies. It suffers from neither boring static shots, nor terribly shaking Blair Witch type nonsense. I think some scenes were actually really well shot. By the end of the movie I had to acknowledge that this was actually pretty well directed too, despite the initial impression. No dull moments or endless crawling through corridors while music is trying to build the atmosphere because the acting can't, like in many such movies. This is well paced, which might be why it ended up pretty short. I could say this movie is 20 minutes shorter than other movies because it doesn't have 20 minutes of pointless material.

    The dialogue goes along with what I said about everything else. There are lines that are ridiculously dumb regarding content, and in bad B-movies they sound hollow and unconvincing, but here they are uttered with some kind of grace that may be coming from the fact that the actors aren't trying to look "serious." They're acting out silly lines with passion and no hesitation, and do it really well. If I rewatch some segments, I'm actually impressed they were able to pull off something that on paper must have looked terrible, while in reality making it look almost natural, which technically shouldn't even be possible. Still, there are other lines that are just brilliant. I can imagine working on this movie must have been a lot of fun.

    As for the plot, well, I think it wasn't really important at all, because the scenes were just entertaining enough on their own, and this isn't something you're gonna watch for the story. It was still decent for a B-movie though.

    Again, the highlight of the movie is Christine Wallace, who is simply awesome. It's not just the faces, it's how she talks, how she walks and moves. It's simply eye candy in every aspect.

    In summary, I think this movie deserves much better rating than it currently has (3/10). Like I said, it might be largely due to people not knowing what they were getting into… I don't know. I'll admit I probably enjoyed it more than most people will, which my own rating reflects, but for anyone who likes zombie-type comedy, or let's recall Evil Dead II/Army of Darkness, this should still easily pass as 6/10. It would certainly help if you like the Parody subgenre, because this movie makes fun of itself and is often absurd on purpose.

    As a side note, if by any chance you like Bill Zebub's movies, definitely go for this. There's some death/thrash metal as well.

    It may not be a "great" movie, but it's certainly an entertaining one and most definitely not a bad one, as the ratings might lead you to believe.

  3. This is the work of Ryan Nicholson, an accomplished makeup effects artist and the special effects makeup in Family are really quite good. Nicholson's work may remind some viewers of Tom Savini's work in the 1980s. While the cast is inexperienced most of them handled their lines just fine and most of the girls are absolutely gorgeous.

    People who sit down to Famine with the expectation of a horror film may be put off because it's more of a comedy with elements of horror. Famine won't give you nightmares – it doesn't assault the senses the way Evil Dead does but it also isn't as successful at melding comedy & horror as Army of Darkness was.

    Famine may suffer the most from the writing; the story (not the script) leaves a lot to be desired and the editing took the wind out of the sails for the suspense in one scene after the next so the climax is more like a mercy killing of this interesting feature.

    I hope Ryan Nicholson will take a wider view of the talented people in the world and avoid trying to do everything himself next time. With a better story, I think Famine may prove to be a starting point of some great films to come from this talented man.

  4. Ryan, what have you done this time. You came out of nothing with Gutterballs (2008), the best one you made so far but what the hell is this. This hasn't got an actual story and the acting was below zero. The only thing that makes it watchable are the killings. Maybe for boys who love big tits they will love the girls walking in tiny shirts.

    The effects used are very good and gorehounds will love that but you have to sit through a really boring flick. It's the bad acting that makes it unbelievable and even laughable. Just watch the retard, how cliché was that? Maybe the cum scene was a big joke but doesn't fit here in this flick.

    It's going from good Torched (2004) to (Gutterballs) to worse (Hangar (2009))to this. The title has said it, Ryan is having a famine. God, how is it possible. Just watchable for the killings…and that's the reason I gave it a 4.

    Gore 4/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 4/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5

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