Jason Flemyng makes his directorial debut with Eat Locals, a horror-comedy with an impressive line-up in front of the camera. The Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels actor has brought together a host of familiar UK faces including Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Pirates of the Caribbean), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who) – and he even manages to squeeze in his Lock Stock co-stars Dexter Fletcher and Nick Moran.
Flemyng’s film sees eight vampires come together for their regular half-century meeting in an isolated farmhouse in the English countryside. However, a vampire killing squad is on the prowl, getting ready to strike when internal disagreements lead to some serious stake-related drama. Then things go really bad as the vamps and vampire hunters face-off in a bloody battle for the ages. Stuck in amongst this is Sebastian (Billy Cook), an Essex boy who is just looking for a good time.
Eat Locals might be about vampires, but it’s really a comedy, with a keen eye on the state (or should that be stake) of modern Britain. The vampires bicker about blood quotas and European regulations and discuss how even migrants have rights. In essence Eat Locals is a British horror film for the Brexit era. The film takes a lot of snide swipes at the political shenanigans taking place in the UK at the minute – and the action even takes place on Thatcher’s Farm. You don’t get more on the nose than that!
There’s a lot to enjoy within Eat Locals’ running time. The actors seem to be having a ball and Flemyng co-ordinates the carnage well (even if the last act is a little unfocused). The film straddles the same cross-genre boundaries as Shaun of the Dead and Dog Soldiers, but sadly it doesn’t quite match-up to those noughties classics. However, they are tough films to measure up to and Eat Locals does to break some interesting new ground with visual motifs and character quirks.
A fun late night beer and pizza flick, Eat Locals tries hard to entertain. Jason Flemyng makes a solid debut behind the camera, loading his film with with humour and gore. It sets itself up well for a sequel – and stick around for a few interesting names during the end credits.