THE STARVING GAMES (2013) – On DVD from 11th November 2013

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THE STARVING GAMES (2013)
Directed and written by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer

“Good morning hungry citizens of District 12! Don’t forget today is the Gathering Ceremony, so parents please do bring your beloved children to the square for a random death lottery“

THE STARVING GAMES is the latest in a string of spoof comedies that rip the piss out of popular movies and culture. The film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the main inspiration for this particular satirical spoof. With a film such as The Hunger Games presenting such an extreme heirachy than which we are used to, along with the last-man standing death match between 24 ‘tributes’, makes for a lot of material to poke fun at. Put it this way, The Hunger Games had its faults and obscurities, and writers and directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer successfully poke fun at that, unlike the previous spoof outings.

The film pretty much follows the plot of The Hunger Games, with Kantmiss Evershot volunteering for The Starving Games, in which the winner shall receive an old ham, a Subway coupon for a foot-long sub and a half eaten pickle (the rest consumed by President Snowballs). Peter Malarky joins her as the male tribute for District 12, and the two go through the televised interviews before reaching the games, where most of the action is set.

The relationship between Kantmiss and Peter plays out in a similar way to the film, as do Seleca’s (spoof of Hunger Games‘ Seneca) attempts to drive Kantmiss away from the edge of the games’ zone. Whilst fire is used in The Starving Games like the film it’s parodying, Seleca also requests that they use the latest weaponry technology against her – Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and the Annoying Orange. It’s quite amusing how they insert popular culture into the film without it standing out like a sore thumb unlike the other movies. As The Hunger Games provides some strange concepts anyway, like the over-the-top fashion (blamed on the rise of Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj in this spoof) and interesting choice in facial hair (Seleca uses his for advertising in The Starving Games), this provides the filmmakers with plenty to work with and spoof.

The acting is very decent for a parody and the actors look a lot like their counterparts from the films they are spoofing. Even the bit players, which Kantmiss encounters, look and sound like their counterparts, from The Avengers to The Expendables and even Taylor Swift. One section of the film even includes Gandalf and co from The Lord of the Rings, which I never saw coming.

There’s plenty to laugh at here, and whilst I’m not really a fan of these types of movies, The Starving Games appears to be of a higher quality than the rest. Anyone who’s seen The Hunger Games will surely chuckle at the jokes, which may go over the head of someone who hasn’t seen the film. It’s not rib-tickling funny – mind you I never find that these films ever are – but as a film poking fun at another, it certainly hits its fair share of right notes.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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About Bat 4425 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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