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Feeders 2: Slay Bells (1998) Review

Feeders 2: Slay Bells is just what we all need to put us in the holiday spirit, a Christmas movie from Mark Polonia (Amityville in Space, Sharkula) and his late brother Paul (Razorteeth, Gorilla Warfare: Battle of the Apes). Or maybe that should be what we need to make us drink a lot of holiday spirits. Considering it involves Santa Claus fighting flesh-eating aliens, probably both.

The original Feeders ended with aliens destroying Earth, but somehow it’s still here and Derek (Jon McBride, Cannibal Campout, Among Us) is ranting about the aliens while we see footage from the film. Then we see the aliens in their spaceship getting ready to really finish off our planet. In a seemingly endless shot, we see the spaceship’s interior. Puppets bob up and down while we see their control panels, all of which seem to be oscilloscopes showing the same waveform repeating endlessly. Sine, sine, everywhere a sine.

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The aliens hover over the home of the Parker family, Alan (Mark Polonia), his wife Bernice (Maria Davis, Return to Splatter Farm, Saurians) their son (Anthony Polonia, Muckman, Lycanimator), and daughter (Courtney Polonia, Dweller, Night Thirst). Realizing they’ll be tough opponents, they decide to knock off a few townspeople as a warmup first.

Co-directed by the brothers with a script by Mark, under the pseudonym Storm Anderson, Feeders 2: Slay Bells quickly catches the viewer off guard for all the wrong reasons. Apart from the Earth not being destroyed, the Feeders themselves look different. There are also several cast members who died in the first film back playing what seem to be the same characters but with different names. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out this was written as a completely separate film and retitled to make the video company happy.

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The effects are, to put it mildly, laughable even by 1998 standards. In fact, they’re further behind their times than the CGI in Mark’s solo films are behind current standards. Paper mache and rubber aliens are bad enough, but the dead cat that’s simply a torn-up picture with ketchup on it is on a level all its own. So why did I bother to finish watching Feeders 2: Slay Bells, let alone review it?

Because once the aliens set their sights on the Parker residence the film goes totally off the deep end as Santa Claus, who by this point had already conquered the Martians, shows up complete with a laser gun to save the day. “I’ll get you, you pesky Christmas saboteurs!”. If you think this sounds batshit, just wait until you see it. You can see the strings holding up the miniature sleigh, and Santa’s reaction when Alan tries to take what he thinks is a fake beard off is hysterical.

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As would be the case with any film made for $500, even in 1998 Feeders 2: Slay Bells has plenty of padding that isn’t nearly as much fun to sit through. Given the presence of the Polonia kids in the film, I’m tempted to think some of it was actual Christmas home movies edited in so that they didn’t have to use all the footage from the first film.

It’ll take considerable endurance, or a taste for incredibly bad films, to get through Feeders 2: Slay Bells. But once Santa shows up and goes all Rambo on the aliens, it’s worth it. If you’re a fan of the Polonias and haven’t seen it, yet, you have no excuse. If you’re not, you’ll want to keep those Christmas spirits handy.

Wild Eye Releasing has made Feeders 2: Slay Bells available on several Digital platforms including Tubi which also has the original film and Feeders 3 which came out this year. Looking for more films like this one? FilmTagger has some suggestions.

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