Short Film Review: All You Can Eat

Poster for All You Can EatKieran Reed‘s All You Can Eat takes one of the most delicious foods on the planet and turns it into sharp-toothed, flesh eating monsters. Created in the style of the schlock horrors of the 1970s and 80s, the film blends comedy and gore into one deliciously fun short.

A young waitress, Nola (Verity Hayes), working at a burrito fast food joint, reveals to her co-worker, Gurdip (Matt O’Toole), that their colleague is conducting kooky experiments in the pantry. He brushes her off her concerns explaining that he’s just a bit weird.

We learn, from a message on the answering machine (voiced by Jello Biafra, former lead vocalist of The Dead Kennedys), that the co-worker is actually experimenting on specimens having to do with an ancient cult. At no point in time should these specimens come into contact with any organic materials or any sort of food stuffs. So, naturally, a restaurant is the perfect place for these tests.

Nola raises all these concerns to Gurdip as she ‘helps’ him take out the night’s rubbish. On top of dealing with creepy, and leering co-workers, she now has to be concerned about an ancient evil coming back to life. Without Nola’s helping hands, Gurdip spends just a bit too long in the bin storage and finds himself the main course in a killer burrito frenzy.

Nola looks on as the man messes with something in a petri dish. Still from All You Can Eat

From the opening credit sequence it’s clear that All You Can Eat is made as an homage to the B-horrors of the 70s and 80s, and the retro theme plays throughout. Apart from the mobile phone that Nola is constantly on, the setting is filled with vintage (that makes me sad to say) set pieces. From the payphone and answering machine, to the beaded curtain and bright jelly-looking food stuffs – All You Can Eat feels it’s of another decade.

The majority of the film lies of the shoulders of Hayes, and she pulls it off perfectly. She goes from mouthy and sassy to vulnerable with a flair, and actually makes you care for her as she tries her hardest to escape her killer food fate.

The excellent puppet design and SFX work take the film from what could be generic love-letter to retro horror, to a fun-filled gore fest. While on paper it sounds kind of ridiculous, the acid spewing, blood thirsty burritos are actually quite terrifying creatures who do a lot of damage in a short period of time.

Nola stands outside on her phone. Still from All You Can Eat

The full run-time hits at exactly 13 minutes and, while there are scenes where the film feels to linger on longer than it should, the payoff of killer burritos turning people into minced meat makes it worth the wait. Reed has made a film that is sure to please both fans of  retro schlocky B-horror and those who can appreciate how awesomely terrifying a flesh eating burrito can be.

If you get a chance to catch All You Can Eat, be sure to stay for the post-credit scene. If you have any questions about a characters death or survival, they will surely be answered here.

By: Jennifer Dale Apel

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