Now, you might be surprised to learn that They Must Eat is not about a group of stoners at an All You Can Eat buffet, although that would interesting viewing. Possibly. It is in actual fact a lot more gruesome than that, if you can believe it, in this highly enjoyable schlock-fest from the guys at The Skeleton Factory.
Sanford is a bit of a loser and is not having it so good of late. He's constantly getting grief at work from his boss and his boss' son, and to make matters worse he's just been dumped by his girlfriend which in turn forces him to seek out alternate accommodation. Thankfully his uncle agrees to let him stay with him, as long as he helps out when it is required of him. The help he needs involves what he lets into his cellar every other night or so.
You see good old uncle has taken to feeding a group of ghouls, that pop over to his cellar from time to time, the time honored traditional delicacy that is human flesh. I won't go into detail on how a group of ghouls got to his cellar, but it involves the adjacent swamp and some Persians ok? Anyway, Uncle is not in the best of health and asks Sanford to continue his ghoul-feeding ways after he dies; a task Sanford takes to with great aplomb.
Not only is Sanford happy to feed them, he plans on training them to do his bidding as well. Could come in handy whilst getting some payback maybe.
Into this mix of murder, flesheating and ghouls you can also add a potential love story concerning a co-worker, a police investigation and corruption where he works! All very good fun I must say in a completely cheesy and very bloody way.
They Must Eat isn't a movie to be taken seriously, it's far too over the top for that as you might have gathered, but there is quite a bit of fun to be had with it if you are looking for some gore and laughs. This movie starts with a bloodsoaked Sanford, then continues in flashback form through many more gory sequences.
On the downside though the acting left a little to be desired, but then no more than I would expect. John Anton (Sanford) I found to be initially quite annoying, but the more he throws himself into his role as food provider the better he got as he showed a quite creepy dark side to Sanford's character. The rest of the cast were so-so but do what is required of them. On the whole the film was fairly well made, looking far better than many low budget releases, although I did think that the ghouls looked like a cross between the Grinch and Pennywise from It. Not that that is such a bad thing, but I couldn't help thinking it whilst watching the movie.
Overall They Must Eat was good fun and should appeal to fans of gory, schlocky B movies. Quite ridiculous but I had fun with it.
- Jude Felton