Since the wife was going to be out of town for a week, I thought I'd load up on exploitation DVDs and have a real old weeklong movie party. Of course my stay-at-home-dad duties cut my projected movie tally by half. So I didn't make it to Destined To Be Ingested until she got home. Too bad since this bizarre head-scratcher - albeit light on real gore - is strange enough to make it feel wrong in many right ways.
The great thing about writing reviews is you get to step back out of the experience and examine a movie in a very conscious way. That's helped me realize that Ingested has a plot. A group of obnoxious, privileged white folks take an island cruise, they wind up stranded on what they believe to be an unoccupied island, only to discover that it houses a small tribe of cannibals.
If only it were that simple. What's immediately noticeable; there is really poor looped dialog throughout the movie, and our heroes are total slimebag dorks, including a Ron Jeremy doppelganger that brings loathsome to new, sunburned depths. His super-hot consort seems turned on by the even more corpulent ship's captain, while the thin bitchy ones fight about staying clean-and-sober, and Ron Jeremy snorts coke off his chickee's back. It's a really nasty, soap-opera mess of trivial irritants. As poor continuity and jokey porno music punctuates certain scenes, it becomes clear that director Sofian Khan just might be sending up '80s Italian Cannibal Movies. As we scratch our heads in disbelief, it becomes clear that not only is this a send-up, it is also a sincere send-up, minus the smirking, self-interested contempt you'd find in most similar efforts, no matter how misguided they all might be.
But it gets weirder still, this time not in any attempt at one-upmanship, but through multiple shifts in tone and direction, including pursuit by a cannibal who resembles Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli. Slowing, becoming more serious, the movie makes you begin to fear what's in store, while you're struggling to understand what you've just witnessed, and then the zombies appear, (yes) and then at the 75-minute mark your good luck abruptly runs out.
Clever camerawork forms the glue that holds this thing together. If you didn't know there was a sane mind behind it, you'd dismiss it as garbled and misguided. But every now and then a shot crops up with the power to jolt you, and the fact that there's no rational reason - other than sheer perversity - to enjoy or even comprehend this movie, is forgiven. Tepid gore might disappoint those looking for a true Cannibal spoof, but the baffling nature of everything else will at least genuinely intrigue lovers of weird cinema.