A fun display of effects sets the stage for a future feature film.
Synopsis: A young waitress stumbles upon a dark and sinister cabal operating behind the scenes of the fast food diner where she works. She now has the proof she needs to bring this secret to light, but unseen evil forces are unleashed in a bloodthirsty attempt to stop her.
Short films are a specific art form, allowing for the exploration of stories that perhaps don’t suit a longer runtime, but also providing a space for filmmakers to start a creative journey, testing concepts and skills to progress into a feature-length film. All You Can Eat is one of the latter, using 13 minutes that do not quite feel like the start of a feature, but one that acts as a succinct introduction in any case.
Nola (Verity Hayes) is a waitress who is starting to notice more sinister goings-on than the usual idiosyncrasies of her coworkers. When trying to warn a coworker, the secrets are seemingly unleashed on them, kickstarting a fight for survival.
All You Can Eat is clearly a film that takes its styling seriously. From the poster art and lobby card graphics, it is obvious that this is a film that wants to embody that nostalgic B-movie vibe. It maintains this even throughout its restaurant menu-style credits and that level of attention to detail is impressive.
Obviously, much of the focus here is on advertising the progressively gooey special effects and that focus pays off. The design is excellent and better yet, is accompanied by a few perfectly pitched jump scares. An incredibly difficult thing to get right, that it manages it in a short space of time is worthy of praise. Verity Hayes is excellent and focusing on her character’s commentary lends the film a spirited energy.
It is, however, difficult to fully ignore that you are watching a snippet of a feature and that narrative structure does feel lacking. It feels less satisfying than it would without the full context. Despite this, the snippet does introduce numerous concepts that the feature will no doubt expand upon, including a mix of old and new technology with high-energy sequences that promise much more to come.
You can watch All You Can Eat now at the Flying Eyeball webpage.