Sometimes all it takes to put an independent film over the top is that one special actor or actress. In the case of Dead Meat, that special someone is Ron Jeremy. After seeing some of Jeremy's body of work, his past exploits on the Surreal Life and his biography-made-documentary, I gained a great deal of respect for the man nicknamed "the Hedgehog". However, instead of the usual 9" penis toting fuzzball that fans are accustomed to in his usual role, in Dead Meat we get Andre the Butcher - a 9" penis toting maniac with a thirst for human blood.
On their way to a cheer competition Jasmine, Jimbo, Cookie and Kristy get into an altercation with the rival school. After gaining the upper hand in the fight, the quad leave their enemies in the dust and head back on course to the competition. Unfortunately, while Jimbo is getting head from Cookie for being a hero, he crashes into a telephone pole totalling the car and stranding the cheer team in the middle of nowhere. Bruised and pissed off, the team heads out to seek help in repairing the damaged car. They stumble upon an abandoned house and decide that they should split up so that 2 look for help while the remaining pair wait for the house's owner to come home. So Jimbo and Kristy set off to find life while Cookie and Jasmine keep the house warm for its owner.
While Jimbo and Kristy are out searching for life, th house is besieged by a pair of escaped convicts. Fearing that they're in grave danger, Cookie and Jasmine consistently attempt to escape from the convicts. However, they soon find out that the greater danger lies in the owner of the house, Andre the Butcher. Beginning early in the film and keeping a steady pace, Andre brutally massacres anyone that he comes in contact with. The unlucky folks stuck in the house also find out that Andre is doing his dirty work for the devil himself, and the more souls he collects, the stronger he gets. So it's now up to a pair of convicts, a cheer team and the law to stop Andre from claiming his final souls needed to fulfill his contract with the devil.
Director Philip Cruz (interview forthcoming!) and Rice Power Productions offer up a balls-out gore fest in Dead Meat. More importantly than the splatter FX, the lesbian scene and the fact that Ron Jeremy stars in the flick (!) is that Cruz was able to tie the events together with an incredible storyline. Whether it be the myriad of black humor or jump scenes, Dead Meat does a fantastic job of keeping the audience involved and entertained. Back to the FX of the film, I'd have to say that it's quite possibly the best I've seen for an Indie horror in a long time. Kudos to Rice Power for really stretching a LOW budget.
Since the copy I received from Phil was a screener type DVD-R, there were no extras present on the disc. But rest assured, Mr. Cruz promises to include a slew of goodies on the official release including deleted scenes, commentary and the special cut of the trailer that producers didn't want to happen (a little something involving Ron Jeremy).
All in all, Deat Meat is a superb horror debut for Phil Cruz and Rice Power as it delivers on every front. From solid acting to "A" class special FX, this film is a complete package, folks!
ed-note: Dead Meat would go on to be released on DVD as Andre the Butcher, from Velocity/Thinkfilm.