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A Toxic Burrito Story: Kieran Reed’s All You Can Eat

A gory and ridiculous 13-minute horror film. Jennifer Wallis reviews shlock short, All You Can Eat.

KIERAN REED’s All You Can Eat (2022) is a 13-minute horror short that follows the trials and tribulations of waitress Nola Gombo, whose suspicions about diner boss Kip Meatsock set in motion a gory — and enjoyably ridiculous — chain of events.

Nola (Verity Hayes) works at Planet Burrito, where she and colleague Gurdip Chutney (Matt O’Toole) are discussing the odd ‘concoctions’ that boss Kip (Andy Muskett) seems to be whipping up in the pantry. When Nola overhears a sinister answering machine message — voiced by Jello Biafra, no less — she has her suspicions confirmed: 

‘Greetings. This message is for concerned parties only. We are about to begin final negotiations with the current custodians... The primary objective is still the procurement of a specimen containing the full molecular chain… There are substances beyond our understanding at work here.’

All You Can Eat. Man at a stove in a kitchen.

It gets even weirder from there on, with unwanted burritos dumped in nearby woodland, hints of pagan religious cults, and a tortilla and beans bloodbath when Gurdip and Nola are attacked by wriggling razor-toothed burritos.

It’s a clever homage to 1980s horror schlock, from the grainy filmstock to the synth-driven soundtrack. The burrito monsters themselves invite comparison with the slug-like parasites of Shivers or the aliens of The Deadly Spawn. Reed — who has worked in creature effects as well as directing and producing — was clear that he wanted to use as many physical effects as possible. The ‘rubber monster’ school of effects that he works with is much more appropriate for this kind of film than the slick CGI of recent decades.

All You Can Eat. Woman screaming at huge, pointed monster teeth.

That’s not to say it’s simply an out-and-out SFX gorefest. There are some lovely moments, such as the lengthy shot of Nola’s scream when one of the killer burritos catches up with her. The film has the same air of geographical/locational confusion as many low-budget horrors of the seventies and eighties — which I assume was intentional. Nola’s waitress uniform and workplace are distinctly American, but she uses quintessentially British slang (‘sodding’ and ‘bloody’).

I was left wondering why we haven’t had more killer food horror movies. All You Can Eat would be the perfect supporting feature for The Stuff or Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Reed clearly loves eighties schlock and All You Can Eat is a cool homage to the genre. As well as the special effects, the sound (Jack Kelly and Peter Lewington) is worthy of note, and there’s fantastic poster art by the always-brilliant Graham Humphreys.

All You Can Eat poster.
All You Can Eat
Kieran Reed
Flying Eyeball / 13 mins / 2022
Watch Film

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