By Alex Purnell. A genuinely disturbing feast of a film, Hungry Joe sticks with you well after you have stopped watching with its ghastly visuals and consistent, torturous sounds.
Inspired by Tarrare, a 17th-century man who ate anything and everything he could get his hands on, Hungry Joe follows the mother of a monstrous eater, who’s insatiable appetite grows so uncontrollable that it starts seriously affecting those around him.
The short, running in at 20 minutes, is grotesquely engaging, whilst also being unforgivably vile with its obscene, albeit sometimes obnoxious, sound effects that are so invasive that one might think you have somehow ended up in someone’s mouth whilst they squelch and chomp down on some unidentifiable food.
To complement this main course is a side of grizzly practical effects and gruesome props that are sparsely scattered to create a haunting visual element that worms its way into the viewers head.
Andrew Greaves, who plays the lead of Joe, is sinfully brilliant at doing his job of putting me off my breakfast. I found myself grimacing whilst viewing Greaves shovel mouthful upon mouthful of compressed, mushy food into his face with no expense for cleanliness.
This particular scene of Joe and his mother at the dinner table is executed beautifully, causing the audience to feel sympathetic towards Joe and his obvious eating problem. His mother watches on at her abomination of a child with such disgust, as he devours the slush in front of him like a junkie finally getting his fix.
Hungry Joe is an obscenely clever film, skillfully paced with just enough gore and grossness to make it chilling, though not too much to push it over the top.
If you have a strong stomach, I would recommend giving Hungry Joe a watch. The short has strong, disturbing visuals, nightmarish in a verminous way that can make it somewhat of a challenge to get through depending on your tolerance.
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