Night Feeders (2006)
Director: Jet Eller
Writer: Jet Eller
Night Feeders opens with a crudely CGI'd satellite orbiting serenely above the earth. Suddenly, from the depths of space a rogue meteor scores a direct hit on it! Yee haw, that sucker blowed up real good!
Somewhere in the wilds of North Carolina, a very authentically scary-rough-looking woman is watching tv. Suddenly, it loses the signal. Disgusted, she steps out on the front porch and yells at Roy to come fix the tv. Roy's out in the yard working on his red pickup truck, while his two buddies stand around watching. He yells back that he's busy fixin' the truck. She goes back into house, returns with a couple of pots and throws them on the lawn, declaring "I'll fix your supper when you fix the damn tv!" What a charming comedy of manners, in the Southern white trash mode.
Suddenly, a meteor streaks across the sky. "What the hell is that?" asks one of Roy's buddies. They can't decide: is it a meteor or a plane? It begins to break up.
Cutaway to two more rednecks. One's reading the latest Bargain Hunter -- yes, they're trying to see exactly how many rural cliches they can pack into the movie before the opening credits begin to roll. The other redneck points at the meteor pieces as they whiz overhead.
Two good ol' boys are fishing in a jon boat. A big chunk of meteor plops into the water nearby, creating a ludicrously out-of-scale superimposed splash.
"Did you see that?" exclaims one of the G.O.B.s. His buddy replies, "It must be a UFO!" and chatters wistfully about alien abductions and anal probes. Meanwhile, the other good ol' boy takes his glass-bottom bucket and peers down into the water. Something that looks a lot like a really big mud puppy swims beneath the boat. The boat flips over, and the G.O.B.s are immediately pulled under while the water turns red. Close-up of shredded life preserver. Wait a minute: I thought these alien nasties were supposed to be night feeders? Or was this their equivalent of a midnight snack?
Credits run: writer and director -- Jet Eller. Oh joy, we're about to be treated to this filmmaker's intensely personal vision. Creature effects by “Cactus Dan” -- I'm getting a bad feeling about this …
Four guys are standing around in the woods, next to a car with a very dead deer draped across the trunk. There's weedy guy, Doug, and handsome Italian-looking guy, Andy. John, the pudgy guy with the stupid sideburns, is almost in tears because they've wrecked his mom's car, which still has deer bits dangling from its stove-in grill. Andy, who was driving when they hit the deer, assures him that a little Bondo and paint and it'll look fine. Donnie -- we'll get to him in a minute -- says they should have borrowed John's mom's pickup. John reiterates "for the fourth time" that his mom wouldn't let them use her pickup truck -- they were lucky to get the car.
Now, the other three are city boys, but Donnie's different. He's a simple man, a dweller on the land, the common clay of the New South. You know: a moron. (Not to imply any other character in this movie is the sharpest butter knife in the drawer.) He's a big ol' boy, slow talkin' and slow movin', always ready with the sort of homespun commentary that makes your fingers itch for the nearest blunt object.
However, it's my belief that this amiable exterior is only a sinister pretense. For instance, he's had to have it explained to him about the pickup four times? He's reminded everybody what a pathetic loser his long-time "friend" John is four times on this trip so far, and this is just the first day? Nobody's that dumb, not even a featured columnist at Pajamas Media.
(There's another thing you should know about Donnie: the actor's real name is "Donnie". Apparently, writer/director Eller was so taken with this quirky real-life character that he just had to craft an entire movie around him. And odds are Donnie has trouble picking up his cues, if he's addressed by anything other than his own name.)
The boys get their gear together and prepare to hike to their campsite. Donnie's worried about snakes -- which is of course a natural segue to Andy's Wildean bon mot about the big guy's trouser snake, which he probably hasn't seen since sometime before the second Reagan administration.
Cut to a game warden, who drops in on elderly guy Clyde and his wife at their farm house. Clyde is fiddling under the hood of his SUV: it's cranky and won't start.
Clyde takes the game warden to where his fence has been broken. His cows and his dog disappeared last night without a trace. Clyde then shows the game warden the big chunk of meteor that landed in his pasture. The game warden enthuses about the meteorite probably being billions of years old. Clyde says he doesn't give a damn, if it doesn't make his cows produce more milk. The game warden takes a piece of meteor as a souvenir, but leaves before the dairy farmer can further elaborate on his lacto-centric concept of the universe.
New characters enter: Churlish Redneck and his girlfriend, Terry. C.R.'s at the wheel of some kind of 70s' gas guzzler, bitching at her about wasting money on perfume. Churlish and cheap: what a catch, huh, ladies? He says it makes her smell like a whore. She retorts that it's better than smelling like a drunk. By way of a witty rejoinder, he slams her head against the dashboard a couple of times. C.R. hits the brakes and pulls the car over. Terry gets out, backs away from the car and pulls a pistol out of her handbag. He advances on her menacingly.
She pulls the trigger: oops, he removed the clip! He picks up a handy piece of kindling from the roadside, and chases her into the woods. C.R. loses sight of her, and after a while wanders up to a lake. (Let me guess: it's Meteor Critter Lake.) As he's standing by the shore, Terry sneaks up behind him and smacks him in the back of the head with a branch. He staggers into the lake, falls face-forward into the water, and instantly sinks. Terry has second thoughts, and wades in after him. She takes a deep breath and goes diving for dipsticks.