Randy (Jamie Kennedy) from Wes Craven's Scream once said that in trilogies "all bets are off." Since the series has a clear-cut end, certain characters-- even the leads-- don't have to be kept alive for countless resurrections down the road. It seems Gulager took this advice to heart with Feast 2, opening on the morning after the initial attack in a town nearby where the creatures are now invading a whole new group of people. He throws the picture he painted in Feast out the window not only by ignoring what happened to the car of survivors that took off at dawn (Balthazar Getty must have been too busy with his TV drama and his real life personal drama to return his calls, and his working relationship with Krista Allen was definitely not positive enough to warrant her return) but also by deeming some events and their subsequent title cards false by having a character or two "not be dead after all" (I love Judah Friedlander more than the next girl, but his death was awesome, and his reemergence compromises the rules Feast set forth). A cop out way just to fill the cast with your friends and family, if you ask me, and isn't that what the studio was trying to avoid the first time around? Feast's dollar success was not great enough to allow the granting of complete power to a still-green director who, judging by the auteurship of this film, will most likely have to head back to the world of wedding videos come 2010.
What was so clever and refreshing about Feast was how Gulager made the most of what he had. He wasn't given all the fanciest FX equipment or the biggest budget for CGI. He made an old-school monster movie, with puppeteers on set, steering the hand-crafted rubber beings. He sprayed plenty of blood on his actors and the camera lens, but first and foremost, he crafted well-developed characters and dialogue, using the carnage as a visual aid, but not relying on it to carry the film. Feast 2, however, speaks to the lowest common denominator, as if everything about the filmmaking process was rushed. Between visual gags, toilet humor, and cheap costumes (seeing more of the monsters just showed the dudes in their latex suits), the budget may have doubled, but the production value has been cut off at the knees. There is a lot of the S16mm handheld "home movie" footage in this sequel, but unfortunately shooting such shots at night and "on the move" just provide dark, grainy, and offensive results-- not just to the filmmaker in me but also to the fan.
Actually Gulager's brand of humor has always been borderline, but in Feast 2 he takes it a bit too far, once again probably just drunk on the power of being in control. There are a lot of slapstick jokes at Martin Klebba's expense, and there is a scene with a baby that caused my jaw to hit the floor and my finger to hit the stop button on my DVD player. This film is nothing like the original, and if you are one of the few diehard supporters of the first, like me, you definitely should not ruin your opinion of the story by viewing this mess. Gulager himself should not have ruined the integrity of the story by making this mess!