Mueller (Nick Karner) adores food, and his entire life has been about cooking and eating. Working his way up the ranks to become general manager for a restaurant, he is overjoyed when his chef, Chef John (David Berberian), invites him to the exclusive, underground restaurant known as “Kitchen X.” Sworn to secrecy over the invite, Mueller nevertheless shares his plans with his girlfriend, Hannah (Alena Koch).
When the big day arrives, Mueller and Chef John head to a secluded house where they meet up with the main chef, Brandon X (Tony Hughes), and numerous other food personalities that make Mueller swoon. There’s the wine snobs behind Wine Dungeon, Beth (Tracey Coppedge) and Greg (John Jimerson), as well as controversial chef French Milt (Jeff Alguire). There’s also Darla (Emlee Vassilos), a blogger who once panned Mueller’s restaurant.
Everyone is a luminary of sorts, except the starstruck and comparatively ignorant Mueller, who is about to find out why someone such as himself, no matter how big a fan of food he is, got invited to this exclusive meal. Essentially, Mueller is about to become the equivalent of a mystery ingredient in the basket on Chopped.
Christopher G. Moore’s Foodie is a nightmare scenario for those of us who spend way too much time watching the Food Network. A horror comedy that doesn’t skimp on the gore or the laughs, this is a gruesome delight.
Still, you could see the narrative as somewhat one note. Once Mueller’s plight is apparent, it’s a matter of whether he survives it or not. Still, just because it’s straightforward, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun.
And well-made to boot! From the opening credits to the score to the composition in the frame, this is a short film made by filmmakers who know what to do. The film also finds the perfect balance between being playful in tone while delivering on the gore. While there may be some suspense over whether Mueller survives, there’s also a question of how much of Mueller survives.
If there’s a main criticism to be lobbed at this one, like many a short film that pushes a half hour, it’s the running time. I think the overall quality of the film is such that the running time is not a major handicap, say for film festival programming or the like (quality is quality), but you could also tighten up the edit a bit more. Then again, time flies when you’re having fun, and I had fun with this one.
In the end, Foodie is my type of nightmare, the kind where you’re laughing as much as you’re cringing. As someone who is a fan of many a cooking show on TV, I can relate to the allure that food, and food personalities, have for Mueller. At the same time, if I’m ever in a room alone with Bobby Flay, or the demonic cackling of Michael Symon, I’m going to be prepared to defend myself.
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