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Gateway Meat, The Print E-mail
User Rating: / 26
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Written by Ray Casta   
Thursday, 26 June 2008

Directed by: Ron DeCaro
Written by: Ron DeCaro
Produced by: Ron DeCaro, Drew Snelson
Cinematography by: Jared Silva, Jessica Pratt, Drew Snelson
Editing by: Ron DeCaro
Special Effects by: Ron DeCaro, Aaron and Ben LaBonte
Music by: Drew Snelson, Jeff French, Skull P
Cast: Ron DeCaro, D. Whitney, Turiba fradoca, Riley Knispal, David Barry, Sophia Flynn
Year: 2008
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 69 minutes

Video: NTSC R1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Distributor: For the Better of Mankind Productions

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Satanism exists in our society. The term itself refers to a number of different beliefs revolving around the worship of Satan or the powers of evil. Textbook definition states Satanism as a "travesty of Christian rites in which Satan is worshiped.” It is roughly estimated there are anywhere from a couple thousand and up to four billion individuals in the world today who practice Satanism in one form or another. In film, religion is always a sensitive subject. It seems as if a motion picture is met with immediate controversy when the movie makers take a daring approach to religion. This is a film which consists of dark themes of Satanism. Yet these heavy themes are in the foreground whereas the characters stay in the forefront. Come to think of it, if William Friedkin's The Exorcist successfully freaked out the Christian community and squeamish moviegoers during its notorious theatrical release in 1973, I'd wager Ron DeCaro's harrowing vision of Satanism in America, The Gateway Meat would surely send the same viewing demographic running for the hills with their heads cut off.

According to the text at the beginning of the film, the president of the United States was assassinated by a religious extremist. The news is tragic enough to send shocks throughout America. Meanwhile, in a seemingly quiet and relaxed Gloucester community, a family of Satanists rage against society as they partake in a bloody, homicidal rampage. This is the story here, and it's all the story we're going to receive. On the surface level, it's simple and to the point. DeCaro plays Marcus, the head of the family. This is not, in any way, an "abusive" father. He loves his daughter deeply. He is merely following the footsteps of his late father. His father is like a monster, under his bed, a demon in the closet or better yet, a ghost who looms in the background of his thoughts. He haunts him in his recent passing, as Marcus vows to carry on his infamous legacy. With his father's passing, the pressure that Marcus is under is so overwhelming it tragically undertakes his entire life. He becomes a raw carnivorous animal, heading down a destructive path of torture and murder. His chaotic lifestyle involves his wife and daughter (played by his real life wife and daughter), a family whom he loves deeply.

From the twisted opening frames, writer/director Ron DeCaro infuses a unique panorama of nihilistic visuals, which freely allows his film to take a life of its own. Shot on digital, the film runs for a brief sixty nine minutes. But, this film spends all of the sixty nine minutes by burrowing deep inside the man of our lead character, Marcus. For the bulk of the film, we follow him around as he goes about his day. Whether he drinks beer with his evil and sadistic cousin, rapes one of his cousin's helpless victims, or cuddles with his daughter, we are with him every step of the way. The movie is reminiscent of DeCaro's debut short, Eating Razors where our main character's inner turmoil and pain is illustrated through visuals. There are a number of images in this film which will stick in your mind and force you to think about them. Most of the images will disturb you, whereas others will flat out confuse you. You will, however, be provoked into thought. It's also possible you'll hit the rewind button if only to make sure you saw what you thought you saw. No matter how off the wall you think DeCaro's visual symbols are, he has his reasons as to why he chose them. Every hallucination Marcus has is for a reason. This film is just so visually inventive, it feels like a devilishly wild acid trip the Manson Family must have had at one time.

This is the type of uncompromising cinema where the director shoves the knife in quick and yanks it out -- only to shove it back in again. Expect Ron DeCaro to take no prisoners here, folks. There is no retreat and no surrender in the world he has created. Known for their effects work and performances in Fred Vogel's August Underground, Aaron and Ben LaBonte assist Ron DeCaro in the special effects department. Together, they have joined forces to deliver an arterial spray of carnage. The effects work is impressive. This project (which was self-funded and took a total of two years to finalize) bleeds passion. At a difficult time in DeCaro's life, the film is a clear cut reflection of his attitude and frustration. And this film is angry, alright. It rebells against any convention of movies and gives a big middle finger to the system. It refuses to take a linear approach to the material. This fly-on-the-wall approach is confrontational, raw, and in your face. It can be said by detractors that the movie is needlessly convoluted. By the way the characters are revealed, we are pulled in their world against our will. The movie would have benefited from more development about the family and their roots. Some may be irked about how vague the movie is, but it shows us all that is necessary: a voyeuristic birdseye view of psychopathic mayhem.

 

Prior to the release of The Gateway Meat, DeCaro was known for two impressive short projects Eating Razors and The White Lie. Both of his previous efforts display his skills as an upcoming genre filmmaker. This feature only solidifies his firm stance in the filmmaking scene. Importantly, The Gateway Meat marks his debut feature length film and it finalizes a trilogy of sorts, called the "Brightside Trilogy". Ron DeCaro has made loyal fans with his shorts, whom were all waiting in anticipation for his new project. The wait was well worth it. This film tells me he is not going anywhere anytime soon. He joins the ranks of such underground filmmakers as Fred Vogel, Brian Paulin, Andy Copp, and Ryan Nicholson with his fearless courage, passion and tenacity. When we see directors consistently improve with each body of work, it shows us they take the genre seriously and they absolutely mean business. DeCaro takes the dream logic visuals from Eating Razors and the violent brutality of The White Lie and throws them in a blender. Out comes The Gateway Meat, the demented father of those previous two shorts as well as a startlingly brutal, sadistic piece of confrontational horror in its own right.

As simple as the plot appears, The Gateway Meat is a hallucinatory downward spiral, a grotesque stew of blood and guts, and a nightmarish mindfuck. Unlike much of the new wave of indie horror, the vision is more conceptual than explicit, packed with a rare imagination, fiendish imagery, diabolical characterization. There is nothing new about psychotic families, but if you put inspiration into the idea, you get something varying from the norm. This is what Ron DeCaro did. His film gets so engulfed in his characters agenda, horrific flashbacks and fantasies that it never loses its way, it steers towards a haunting conclusion and drives into a pit of hell. Guerrilla filmmaking at its finest, this is a rabid animal of an underground film. If there is any recent genre film, which has cult status written all over it, it's The Gateway Meat. It's a film which stares into the abyss. The abyss stares back at us -- and we cannot look away.
 

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:

- Making The Gateway Meat documentary
- The Bahtoe Auditions
- Still photo gallery
- A Commentary track with Director Ron DeCaro, Producer Drew Snelson, Actor D. Whitney, Director of Photography Jared Silva, Actress Turibia Fradoca & Actress Genevieve Boudreau

In the self-distributed DVD release for The Gateway Meat, Ron DeCaro's For the Better of Mankind Productions brought us underground horror fans a special treat. The commentary track is wonderfully informative and it keeps listeners entertained throughout. It is very interesting to hear what lengths the cast and crew had to go through to get this movie made. The film, presented in a clean 16x9 transfer, shows their collective efforts and all of the hard work they went through in production. "Making The Gateway Meat" is extensive in illustrating to viewers the work put into it, starting with the scouting of locations. One of the most disturbing aspects of the movie is how there is a child, Ron DeCaro's own daughter partaking in the mayhem, being exposed to several atrocities, throughout the movie. This is revealed to be "movie magic" through the before and after process of editing. DeCaro's daughter is adorable and her scenes in the documentary are cute and funny. Perhaps the best section of the documentary is the making of the special effects, made by DeCaro himself and the LaBonte brothers. Check out the "Columbian Necktie" scene for pure entertaiment. Overall, it's an extremely fun and informative documentary. A must-see for aspiring filmmakers. The DVD is rounded off with audition footage for the role of Bahtoe, two trailers for the movie and a still gallery. Support underground horror and get your copy of The Gateway Meat today!
 

RATING:
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AUDIO: Dolby Digital 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
DVD: For the Better of Mankind Productions 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema
MOVIE: "The Gateway Meat" 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema

Comments
Add New Search
bedlam23   |Author |2008-06-29 11:02:44
Hey guys thank for the Awesome review!
Chris Mayo   |SAdministrator |2008-08-07 19:55:56
Great review once again Ray. I'm in desperate need of finally picking this one
up. Looks definitely promising.
zer0hal0  - Fuck yeah     |220.253.212.xxx |2009-04-17 12:55:25
FUCK this looks like a brutal flick, i gotta bust a nut over it.. Cheers.
Charlie Counselman  - So Awesome     |75.183.2.xxx |2009-07-22 00:51:21
This movie is so awesome. If someone's gonna make a shot on video movie they
should make it exactly like this. Ron DeCaro really did everything right.
Some
huge DVD company needs to put this thing on DVD and make it widely available.
Anyone who liked August Underground even a little bit will love this movie. And
that little girl in it was seriously awesome.
Rod Sims   |207.250.21.xxx |2010-09-02 18:13:25
just bought this from www.diabolikdvd.com, 1 of only 12 copies left. Can't wait
to see it.
Decy  - another garbage movie   |99.239.79.xxx |2011-07-10 01:11:18
I know some people probably will worship the "documentary style" of the
movie, to me it just looks like another attempt of some homeless guys that have
found a cheap cam and decided to be directors.
this movie really is absolutely
overrated bullshit. I can understand that some american rednecks discover
extreme intellectual symbolism in this movie, for anyone else it's a bore.
Tiffany  - Pretty decent   |74.101.228.xxx |2012-11-03 23:28:07
I just finished watching this film after purchasing it off of Diabolik dvd.
Considering the fact that there was like no budget in making this film I think
it was actually pretty good. While the acting wasn't top notch that's really to
be expected considering, like I said there was NO money to hire actors who were
half way decent... Aside from that the story line was okay, and the gore was
pretty damn good!! Though I think that the part that made me double take was
when a guy was watching a porno where a guys head legit was being crammed up a
womans vagina haha.
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