The Starving Games
|The Starving Games|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jason Friedberg
|Produced by||Peter Safran|
|Written by||Jason Friedberg
|Music by||Timothy Michael Wynn|
|Edited by||Peck Prior|
|Distributed by||Ketchup Entertainment|
|83 minutes (PG-13)
93 minutes (unrated cut)
|Box office||$3.8 million|
The Starving Games is a 2013 American parody film based on The Hunger Games and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. The film stars Maiara Walsh, Cody Christian, Brant Daugherty, Lauren Bowles and Diedrich Bader. It is the first film in Friedberg and Seltzer's long-running partnership to be distributed independently. It was released simultaneously in theaters and video on demand by distribution start-up Ketchup Entertainment.
The film was released on November 8, 2013 to a commercial and critical failure.
Kantmiss Evershot practices archery in the forest, but her boyfriend, Dale, surprises her; the arrow accidentally hits the Wizard of Oz. They return to District 12, where children afraid of getting picked for the Games injure and mutilate themselves to avoid selection. At the Gathering for the 75th Annual Starving Games, President Snowballs explains his reason for separating America into districts, as well as ridiculous prizes for winning. During the drawing for District 12's contestants, Petunia, Kantmiss's sister, tricks Kantmiss into volunteering when she gets picked by crying fake tears. Dale tries volunteering as well, but the town idiot Peter Malarkey beats him to it.
When the Games begin, Kantmiss grabs a backpack and tries fleeing, but Seleca, the Games' producer, sends Angry Birds to attack her; she defeats them and squashes the Annoying Orange. Peter teams up with a group of contestants led by Marco, who aim to kill Kantmiss. Marco tries to kill her with a spear but it kills one of his allies instead. They flee when she knocks down a beehive using a chainsaw. Kantmiss is stung, and the venom causes her to hallucinate being a Na'vi. She is slapped back to her senses by fellow contestant Rudy; they team up, vowing to kill the other contestants first. After the halftime show is played, Marco again tries to kill Kantmiss, but Rudy kicks his shin. Marco then kills Rudy.
Wanting to spice up the Games, Snowballs decides to implement a lesbian love story, but learns Kantmiss is the only woman left; thus, only a straight romance is possible. After it is announced only a couple can win the games, Kantmiss tries to team up with Marco over Peter, but Seleca fakes being killed to convince her to find Peter instead. Kantmiss kills all of the contestants but Marco, and flees with Peter to a cave. As Peter starts to have a fever, he reveals that he had been stalking Kantmiss for most of her life. Since Kantmiss is keeping her distance from Peter, Seleca offers to send medical supplies to treat Peter if she gets more intimate with him. Kantmiss has sex with Peter, which is televised. Dale is disgusted by this and storms the Starving Games arena, expressing his hatred for Peter.
The next day, Kantmiss and Peter attack Marco, but Snowballs orders Seleca to send in the Expendables. An armed Dale arrives, kills them, and asks Kantmiss to come back with him. When Kantmiss orders him to leave, he breaks up with her. Marco holds Peter hostage, but Kantmiss shoots a loaf of bread into his eye, killing him. Seleca then announces there can only be one winner again. Peter tries convincing Kantmiss to commit suicide with him by ingesting poisonous berries, to not give those in charge the satisfaction of them fighting to the death. Instead, Kantmiss kills Peter with an arrow, telling him it was nothing personal. Afterwards, Nick Fury and the Avengers show up, with Fury saying he wants Kantmiss to join the Avengers team as a replacement for Hawkeye. Then, the Avengers all die after stepping off their platforms and onto mines.
Joe Leydon of Variety called it a "stillborn spoof" and "desperately unfunny". Scott Foy of Dread Central rated it 1.5/5 stars and wrote, "The printed word cannot fully express my dismay at having experienced this latest alleged comedy". CM says "This is insulting to the real Hunger Games, and is aggravating to anyone who even watches it!" Gabe Torio of Indiewire wrote that the film "is as terrible as you think it is". Max Nicholson of IGN called it "a horrible, horrible piece of cinema that needn't be watched by any person ever." Fred Topel of Crave Online rated it 1.5/10 and called it "more of the same, only worse."
Box office performance
For the first time in Friedberg and Seltzer's careers, the movie was a box office bomb, with only $3,889,688 earned against its $4.5 million budget.
- Maiara Walsh as Kantmiss Evershot
- Cody Christian as Peter Malarkey
- Brant Daugherty as Dale
- Diedrich Bader as President Snowballs
- Lauren Bowles as Effoff
- "The Starving Games: Exclusive Clip". Crave Online. 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- [dead link]
- "The Starving Games". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Leydon, Joe (2013-11-12). "Review: 'The Starving Games'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Foy, Scott (2013-11-15). "Starving Games, The (2013)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Torio, Gabe (2013-11-08). "Review: 'The Starving Games' Is As Terrible As You Think It Is". Indiewire. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Nicholson, Max (2013-11-08). "Half the calories, zero the laughs". IGN. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Topel, Fred (2013-11-13). "Review: The Starving Games". Crave Online. Retrieved 2014-01-01.