Had it up to here with bloggers who badmouth restaurants? Then you’ll probably enjoy the movie Bitter Feast, an indie thriller in which a celebrity chef extracts revenge from the online critic who’s ruined his career. The DVD lists for $25, and the 113-minute-long film even has a cameo by Mario Batali in a dramatic role. “Gore for the gourmet,” says Variety.
Here’s the official synopsis of Bitter Feast:
“Peter Grey (James Le Gros), an overly zealous television chef, kidnaps J.T. Franks
(Joshua Leonard), an influential and notoriously snarky food blogger, after a particularly nasty review deals the final blow to Grey’s already plummeting career.
Sequestered deep in the woods of the Hudson Valley, Grey keeps Franks chained up in a basement, presenting him with a series of deceptively simple food challenges—from preparing a perfect egg over easy, to grilling a steak precisely medium rare—punishing him sadistically for anything less than total perfection.
“A tense thrill-ride served up with wicked wit and culinary flare, Bitter Feast is an exploration of the creative impulse gone tragically and ferociously awry.”
The film premiered in June at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival and has been shown at a number of similar independent film festivals around the country, most recently in Austin, TX. Even though it never had a theatrical release, it earned some critical kudos before it went to DVD. “Wonderfully wicked,” declared the Village Voice; “Critics Pick…delightfully nasty…zesty fun,” opined L.A. Weekly.
Batali plays the restaurant owner who employs the celebrity chef. He described his role this way to USA Today:
“I fire James after he gets this really bad blog review. Our scene is I’m firing him and explaining to him just about everything that is against my own ideology. I said, ‘This whole green thing is [crap]. It’s just a marketing tool. People don’t give a [crap] where their meat comes from. It’s really how expensive and delicious it is. Without your face on TV, you’ve got no expansion plans, you’ve got no pots-and-pans contract.’
“The whole thing is like me talking to myself if I was telling myself how to fail. So it’s really funny. And I fire him on the spot and he storms out. That’s what starts the wheels moving for him to get this critic and to take him upstate and have his dirty way with him.”
The DVD’s official release date is Jan. 4, 2011 but it can be preordered now. We saw it as low as $19.97 online. It could be just the thing to play the next time you have an employee party.