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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Model Hunger

February 20, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Model Hunger

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #543: Model Hunger

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never actually met anyone, in real life, named Reginald, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and forty-three, I take a look at the super fucked up low budget horror flick Model Hunger, which hit home video in July of 2016 and is currently available to watch on Tubi TV.

Model Hunger

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Model Hunger, directed by the legendary scream queen Debbie Rochon in her directorial debut, is one of the most messed up horror movies I’ve seen in a good, long time. Chock full of gore, social commentary, jet black humor, and a brilliantly sick performance by star Lynn Lowry, Model Hunger will stick with you for a long time after it’s over. If it doesn’t make you think, man, it will surely creep you the fuck out.

Lowry stars as Ginny Reilly, a former model turned serial killer and cannibal who likes to take out her pent up life frustrations on young women, men, and, really, anyone she decides deserves to die. We hear Ginny’s completely unhinged internal monologues where she attempts to justify her heinous acts, and it’s obvious from the first monologue we hear that Ginny is completely gone. We see, via flashback, that she was used and abused by the modelling industry and show business in general and that she now wants her revenge. Instead of taking out her frustrations on the people who ruined her life/made her life difficult, Ginny goes after the kinds of people she feels as though contributed, in a way, to the mess of her life. Pretty teenage cheerleaders doing a door-to-door fundraiser? You better not show up at Ginny’s house all perky and cute because Ginny just isn’t going to “tolerate” that kind of thing (she takes out two such unlucky teenagers). You also shouldn’t be a young woman with dreams of getting into show business hitching a ride to New York City or wherever because Ginny will pick you up and chop you up, especially if you complain about the size of your own thighs (Ginny believes that her modelling career was ruined because she “wasn’t thin enough”). And if you’re a man who is, well, a man, Ginny will show you no mercy because you ruined the world (and you also expect women to be something they can’t possibly be).

As Ginny eliminates the people she believes deserve it, a troubled woman named Debbie (Tiffany Shepis) and her husband Sal (Carmine Capobianco) move in next door. As soon as Debbie sees Ginny she immediately suspects Ginny is up to something unsavory. But what? Debbie isn’t sure. She tries to explain her issues with Ginny to Sal but Sal doesn’t want to hear it. He feels as though his wife is just being paranoid. Why can’t Debbie just settle in to her new house and try to enjoy life?

And what’s the deal with Arnold Winters (Michael Thurber), the old man neighbor that really doesn’t do much of anything except stare out his window and watch his neighbors with binoculars? What does he know about Ginny and what she may be up to?

And what’s the deal with “Suzi’s Secret,” the local home shopping program that features multiple plus sized models (Gerica Horn and the immortal Babette Bombshell) and a host (Suzi Lorraine) that is constantly talking about how women need to love themselves? Why does it seem as though everyone in town watches this show?

These multiple plot threads don’t seem to have anything to do with one another, at least for the first hour. Everything interacts with everything else, but what do they have to do with one another? How does all of this stuff tie together? I won’t say how it all fits, but I will say that the last twenty minutes or so answer all of your questions and leave you questioning how society in general treats women. I wasn’t expecting that. I think I was expecting more of a straight forward horror movie that didn’t lean on social commentary to the extent that Model Hunger actually does. But director Rochon handles everything brilliantly and puts together a truly terrific movie watching experience. Model Hunger is easily one of the best directorial debuts I’ve ever seen.

Now, is Model Hunger a perfect movie? No. Some of the scenes are a little too dark, and there is the occasional sound issue with some of the dialogue, but these really are minor quibbles. Rochon knows how to marshal her available resources and make everything work. And Model Hunger works. It obviously has, at best, a modest budget, but Rochon gets more out of that modest budget than plenty of Hollywood studio movies do from their mega budgets. It’s almost like Rochon has been making movies like this for decades as a director and knows exactly what she needs to do in order to make the movie she wants to make. I don’t know if Rochon has any plans to direct further movies (I seem to remember that she was planning on directing something called Torment Road but I have no idea what the status of that is at the moment), but she clearly has a knack for it. I hope she does more.

Model Hunger doesn’t hold back on the blood and gore. Could it have been even gorier? Probably. But the amount of gore on display should satisfy the audience interested in that kind of thing. The nastiest sequence is a toss-up between Ginny removing a chunk of flesh from a young woman’s thigh and then eating it, or the scene where Ginny cuts a man’s fingers off up close. The thigh scene is probably nastier but, tomorrow, will I feel the same way? That’s why it’s a toss-up, it really is.

Lynn Lowry gives an amazing performance as Ginny Reilly. From her completely unhinged inner monologues to her scenes where she attacks her prey, Lowry is absolutely terrifying. Funny, too. You get the sense after her first scene that Lowry is having a blast playing Ginny, and that’s always cool to see (her obvious enthusiasm for the part comes through the screen). Lowry knows how to make you feel a moment of sympathy of Ginny as she clearly had multiple shitty experiences in the modeling profession, but then she starts torturing and killing people and that sympathy vanishes. Lowry effortlessly moves between victim and monster and it’s a true thing of beauty to witness. Ginny will give you nightmares.

Tiffany Shepis is terrific as Debbie, the woman no one believes. She’s unhappy about her current life and she can’t seem to figure out how to fix herself. She didn’t want to move to a new town, but she had to because of her husband’s job. How is she supposed to make the best of it? When she becomes suspicious of Ginny, that suspicion/paranoia gives her a reason to exist. Debbie is also dealing with trauma from her time as a kid that will break your heart because it’s just so unnecessary. Why are people so terrible? Shepis is just so great here. Haunting.

Michael Thurber is creepy as hell as Arnold Winters, the old man neighbor. You’re never really sure what his deal is, and when you do find out what he’s all about he skeeves you out even more. And when you add in the masturbation scene, Jesus Christ. If Lynn Lowry doesn’t give you nightmares, Arnold’s “alone time” most definitely will.

And then there’s Suzi Lorraine as Suzi, the host of “Suzi’s Secret.” At first, Suzi comes off as background noise, something that’s happening peripherally, but you have to pay attention to what she says throughout the movie because it’s incredibly important to the movie’s message. She isn’t just some lunatic on a home shopping show eating pizza and talking about nothing.

Model Hunger is a low budget horror movie that low budget horror movies fans, if they haven’t seen it already, should. It’s nothing short of a modern classic. It’s also one of the most fucked up movies you’re likely to see in your life. If you haven’t seen Debbie Rochon’s directorial debut, you need to make the time do so. It really is that type of a movie. A real deal must see.

See Model Hunger. See it, see it, goddamn see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 8

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Yes. It is not appealing at all.

Doobage: A cool opening theme by Harry Manfredini, high school cheerleader practice, foul mouthed teenagers, door-to-door fundraising, boob self-consciousness, drugged tea, baseball bat attack, a weird dream, pills, multiple ball gags, hammer to the back of the head, breast torture, car shop hooey, multiple middle fingers, a flashback, a photo session by a photographer with a cold sore on his mouth that is creeping me the fuck out, sexual harassment, multiple black and white stills, hitchhiking hooey, tire iron to the head, torture, thigh stabbing, shoving thigh skin into a woman’s mouth, sawzall saw hooey, donut eating, masturbation, the most disgusting dinner in the world, someone inadvertently eating that most disgusting dinner in the world, barfing, erratic driving, a foot in a pot, another baseball attack, bad news, more ball gag bondage, strangulation, bloody finger removal, throat slitting, a TV discussion about “Granny panties,” a disturbing haircut flashback, a super bitch mother, rose bushes hooey, Jehovah’s witness hooey, a hilarious “discussion” about religious beliefs, hand fan hooey, bloody carnage, naked torture, clitoris removal, clitoris eating, cane to the back, a brief fight, thumbs to the eyes, sledgehammer to the head, and a shocking ending.

Kim Richards? : None.

Gratuitous: Michael Thurber, “Model Hunger” Magazine, a guy drinking from a flask, Lynn Lowry, Debbie Rochon eating a hamburger on TV, Suzi’s Secret, Lynn Lowry voiceovers that are incredibly disturbing, Lynn Lowry wielding a baseball bat, Tiffany Shepis, wind chime on the porch, bacon frying in a pan, Tiffany Shepis watching TYV, multiple jokes about testicles, talk of thigh reduction surgery, Michael O’Hear, Michael O’Hear as a cop, bloody feet, Michael Thurber masturbating, Michael O’Hear being disgusted, garden windmill hooey, Lynn Lowry wearing black lingerie, carrot cutting on TV, a rotary phone, and a shocking ending.

Best lines: “Young lady, you will watch your language and you will raise more money than last year,” “Raise money? What?,” “Deviants! You’re all deviants! Every last one of you!,” “There’s no reason to scream. I can hear you just fine,” “More like fat female audience!,” “Look at those legs. Fucking twigs for calves,” “What? I need the keys, shitface!,” “Who vacuums in the middle of the night, Sal?,” “I’m still hungry,” “Well, you’re not so perky now, are yam, bitch?,” “Those twats deserve to die. Especially the snotty one,” “So, when do we shoot my cover?,” “What is beauty?,” “Look at this! Dammit, I said look at this!,” “Are you ready for your close up?,” “What are you eating?,” “What a dedicated hubby you are,” “Sal’s at work. My husband’s at work! Right?,” “Mom’s the boss,” “Could you imagine a world without evil?,” “What are you? Too good for my tea and crackers?,” “To the glory of Christ,” “Must be squirrels,” “I used to have a pair of tits like that once,” “I guess in the 21st century Darwin still applies,” “Oh, for fuck’s sake, I’ve heard it all before,” “Virginal is the best,” and “Fucking freak!”

Rating: 10.0/10.0

**

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Things to Watch Out For

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21 Bridges: I missed this action flick when it played in theatres this past November, but I did see several trailers for it over the summer/early fall and I thought it looked pretty good. Yes, it did look kind of generic, a sort of throwback action movie like Hollywood used to make “back in the day,” but I love those kinds of movies. I’m bummed that I didn’t make more of an effort to see it. It didn’t do that well at the box office, but according to Wikipedia the movie made more money worldwide than it cost to make, so maybe it was profitable (or not as big of a failure as it could have been. I guess it depends on how you want to look at it). Will this movie find a bigger audience on home video? It will be interesting to see. Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther hisself, stars alongside Sienna Miller, J.K. Simons, and the great Keith David.

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Disturbing the Peace: The great Guy Pearce stars in this low budget action flick about a small town marshal with violence issues that has to rescue his town from a biker gang that plans on robbing the town’s bank or some shit. Devon Sawa plays the leader of the biker gang. The trailer doesn’t make the movie look all that special, so this should be a rental before buying it. I’m hoping it’s actually pretty cool because I can totally see Pearce doing more of these kinds of movies in the future. I’d much rather he get a chance to make a sequel to Lock Out, but that will never happen, so this kind of movie will have to suffice. And, hell, Pearce has been involved in something called the Jack Irish series in Australia, which apparently is a TV series and a bunch of TV movies, so, heck, why not do something like that here in America? I’m down for it.

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Deadly Manor: The fine folks at Arrow Video are behind this Blu-ray release of a low budget slasher flick that apparently came out in 1990. It was made by Joe Larraz, the same guy who made Edge of the Ax, another low budget slasher flick that Arrow Video released a few weeks ago. The movie was apparently made in Spain. Until now, I had never heard of this movie before and can’t find any info on whether or not it was released on VHS back in the day. If it did get some sort of release, I don’t remember seeing it any of the video stores I frequented. I have no idea if it’s any good or not, but Arrow Video always puts out a great looking product, and I’m sure, based on that and whatever special features are on the release, make this something worth owning. Anyone out there see this? Anyone at all? Did anyone see it under its other name, Savage Lust?

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Model Hunger

Lynn Lowry– Ginny Reilly
Tiffany Shepis– Debbie Lombardo
Michael Thurber– Arnold Winters
Carmine Capobianco– Sal Lombardo
Suzi Lorraine– Suzi’s Secret TV Show Host
Brian Fortune– Colin
Michael O’Hear– Officer Dan O’Leary
David Marancik– Officer Jason O’Bannon
Gerica Horn– Suzi’s Secret Model
Babette Bombshell– Suzi’s Secret Model
Bette Cassatt– Chloe
Lisa Dee– Missy
Samantha Hoy– Katie
Rachel Jane Conn– The Hitchhiker
Kayfee Williams– Melanie

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Debbie Rochon
Screenplay by James Mogart and Debbie Rochon

Distributed by Wild Eye Releasing

Not Rated
Runtime– 84 minutes

Buy it here or check it out on Tubi TV