In 2015, indie filmmaker Liam Regan released his twisted debut, My Bloody Banjo (formally just Banjo), fast forward seven years and we’re back in the same universe, with this follow-up/not sequel.
Beth (Lyndsey Craine) is a vegan Goth trying to make her way through high school and yet another low-budget horror film. Unfortunately, Hennelotter High isn’t like other schools, rather than focus on their curriculum, they are keen to promote mass shootings. The highlight of the year: an ‘All You Can Eat Massacre’. Whoever wins gets the chance to either go on a spree or shoot themselves. Beth is hoping to win for the latter, particularly since she’s often bullied by the clique of clichéd girls (named Melissa, Clarissa, and Sabrina). When a new teacher, Miss Campbell (Lala Barlow) arrives, Beth develops a new urge: to eat human flesh.
Regan has teamed up with the Troma guys and it’s clear why it’s a match made in gooey heaven. Almost every taboo is broken, no gag is too risqué to pull, and while not everything lands on the first watch (it is a film that requires another run-through to fully appreciate), there’s a lot to enjoy if you’re in the same frame of mind. While it goes without saying that Eating Miss Campbell won’t be for everyone, there’s plenty to enjoy.
As well as being a spot-on satire on American high school life (as depicted in the films, at least), there’s plenty of social commentary, dished out with a ladle rather than a spoon. The aesthetic is very much in the Troma mould (Uncle Lloyd makes his obligatory, welcome appearance) but that’s not to say it’s sloppy. Far from it. It’s well acted; Lyndsey Craine is fabulous as the fourth-wall-breaking Beth and Laurence R. Harvey is at his creepy best, and everybody does their OTT best. It’s also very well shot by Hamish Saks and the team has excelled at making the low-budget look anything but.
If you want to be bombarded with almost constant bad taste dialogue and situations, you can’t go wrong with Eating Miss Campbell.