You’ll all new Jason Flemyng from things such as Hanna, X-Men: First Class, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Here, he has made his directorial debut with the Danny King (Wild Bill, Thieves Like Us (TV)) penned, Eat Locals.
Eat Locals sees eight vampires: Charlie Cox (Daredevil (TV), The Theory of Everything), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who (TV), Sense8 (TV)), Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution, Defiance (TV)), Eve Myles (Torchwood/Doctor Who (TV), Broadchurch (TV)), Vincent Regan (300, Unleashed), Annette Crosbie (One Foot In The Grave (TV), Into The Woods), Jordan Long (Kingsman, Stardust) and Lukaz Leong (mostly known for his stunt work) meet-up to discuss ‘farming rights’, much like the EU discuss fishing rights.
On this particular occasion, they have chosen a farm in the middle of nowhere, run by Dexter Fletcher (the voice of McDonald’s in the UK) and Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey (TV), East is East), who happen to be not quite right in the head themselves.
Unbeknown to the vampires, they’re being tracked by some strange mix of army, mercenary and church, led by Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean, Detectorists (TV)) and Robert Portal (The King’s Speech, The Huntsman: Winter’s War).
As if that wasn’t enough, stuck in the middle of all this is Billy Cook (Traveller, The Hooligan Factory), who has been brought by Myles to be turned into one of them.
Phew, that’s a lot and, with that in mind, you’re probably thinking the movie will either be a complete disaster or zip-along nicely.
In truth, it’s somewhere in between. Eat Locals never quite manages to hit the heights its premise would lead us to believe.
The laughs are good, when they arrive, but too few in number and too far apart. This also leaves you noticing the pacing which is too slow for this sort of movie.
However, one should keep in mind this is a low-budget British flick, which you notice in a couple of the cutaways.
It has a stellar-cast of former-Whovians and Lock Stock people, all more than ably directed by Flemyng who you wouldn’t know hadn’t been behind the camera before.
The actors do what they can with a sluggish script that never manages to pick up the pace, with Cox and Fletcher standing out in particular, as well as the short bursts we see of Crosbie.
In fact, the sight of Annette Crosbie holding a sub-machine gun and uttering the words “Eat this, you sons-of-bitches” in the poshest way you have ever heard someone utter those words, and then proceed to fire-off an entire magazine, is worth the admission price alone.
The real stand-out performance here though, perhaps because it seems so effortless, and he gets most of the best gags, is from Billy Cook.
He cockney’s his way through the film in this ‘lovable rogue’ type character. A bit dense, but in a way that does no harm. That man can fall off a chair in a way that had me in stitches.
Eat Locals shows a lot of promise but just fails to hit the mark in a few areas but, come on, who wouldn’t pay to see Victor Meldrew’s wife utter those words whilst holding a machine gun?
EAT LOCALS will have its UK Premiere at FrightFest 2017 on 26th August, and will be in Selected Cinemas and PVOD from 1st September (iTunes & Sky Store, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video & Xbox Video Store & VOD/DVD) from 30th October @Eat_Locals_Film