Relocated from the wrong board... Oops... Sorry, Mom. Sorry, God.
Anyway, extreme critical commentary is strongly welcome, this being my first review. I can take a pretty good hit. Heh, I did just post this on the wrong board, after all...
ANTHROPOPHAGUS: THE GRIM REAPER
Rated: UNRATED (edited version Rated R)
Copyright 1981 Liberty International Entertainment
Submitted by JOE THE DESTROYER
Allen- Our so-called-hero. It seems he arranged this whole meeting thing. That only means he will be spending the next 30 years of his life blaming himself for what transpired, drinking wild turkey straight like it's water, and staring for long hours at Jeffersons re-runs.
Julie- Tisa Farrow! A reporter who just so happens to be headed for the same destination as everyone else. Dan seems to have a jones for her, but she seems more interested in Allen.
Maggie- A pregnant woman amongst the friends on the trip. Yeah, you can see where they might be going with this angle. Yech...
Arnie- Maggie's husband. All in all, and uninteresting character.
Dan- Another of the friends in the main group. Has the hots for Julie, but seems to be liked by Carol. Did I fail to mention he's also somewhat annoying?
Carol- Allen's sister. She's the superstitious type with tarot cards in tote.
Rita- A blind British girl that is one of the few survivors on the island after the cannibal goes for an all you can eat special. She's been able to avoid him due to her keen sense of smell.
"Anthropophagus"- A baby-eating crazed cannibal! He's the one that keeps bumping off our characters one by one. Imagine what it would look like if Gallagher and Bettlejuice had a child and it was covered with from head to toe with herpes. Hell, this guy practically is one big, hairy, carnivorous herpe.
-One crazed cannibal can wipe out an entire island.
-One crazed cannibal can also give an effective abortion with his bare hands.
-People with crappy hairstyles listen to equally crappy music.
-If you hear a noise coming from a boat floating by itself in the open water, don't go near it.
-A camera (or group of cameras), a huge group of people, and what looks like a whole "crew" of other people behind the camera are a good indication that someone is shooting a movie and that you probably shouldn't walk in front of the camera.
-Corpses that are sitting perfectly still have a tendency to fall over at critical times.
-Superstitious women are prone to prose-laden ramblings and subsequent weeping.
-People who have been strangled to death have a tendency to blink.
-Cannibals find their own intestines irresistible.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
Opening credits: Carnival music, anyone?
3 mins: His girlfriend is semi-nude and he's petting the damn dog?
5 mins: Is she being stalked by a synthesizer?
9 mins: Get off the damn set!
16 mins: See, anyone can make this s**t up!
28 mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE ON A BIT PLAYER!
30 mins: It was the cameraman! That bastard!
38 mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE ON DANNY!
42 mins: Carol takes the plunge.......DENIED!
45 mins: Danny takes the plunge.......DENIED!
71 mins: RANDOM ACT OF HUNGER ON A FETUS!
78 mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE ON A MIRROR!
90 mins: Oh wait! Those are mine!
Maggie: "Like they say, I think the kid's got football boots, and he uses them to take dancing lessons."
Allen: "And so it's time to eat, that is if anyone can lay his hands on a can opener!"
Allen: "Carol's a genuine lunatic. Has been since she was a kid."
Allen: "This is more like a ghost town than anything else."
Dan: "Well, Julie did say it was quiet here."
Carol: "I sense its vibrations now. Its vibrations are an intense horror."
Rita: "Blood. He smells of blood. Blood!"
Carol: "Damn you! It's your fault! Everything that's happened; it's all your fault! Damn you, you dragged us into this and you'll kill us all-"
Julie: "Carol, get off it."
A town on an island off Greece, a group of friends, a lunatic cannibal, dancing clowns and mimes, a fetus, and a barrel of laughs are what await y- Oh, well the barrel of laughs might not quite be accurate. Yeah, and the clown and mime part... Anyway, Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper follows a group of 30 somethings to a remote and little known island just off Greece. What they sought was relaxation, ocean air, and probably more foreign sex than you can wave a clap-laden stick at. What they got was death, misery, malcontent, and some hairy sicko that looks like a transient trying to turn them all into a hearty cannibal meal. Sounds enticing, right?
Well, the premise has a lot of promise, and for some the names Joe D'Amato and George Eastman might also pluck some exciting chords. Unfortunately, Anthropophagus doesn't quite fit the bill under dark and terrifying or feel good comedy of the year. Perhaps D'Amato and Eastman missed their mark?
One thing about this film that was a real mood killer was the dragging. It seems any time someone walked into a room or ran away from someone, it was deemed necessary to have camera treatments that lasted a few minutes. First it'd be on the person's face to show their utterly quizzical glances, then it would slowly rotate about the room and show you exactly what was in there, then get back to their face. Sometimes instead of rotating it was just random shots here and there. One scene in particular showcases Julie and Rita running every so slowly up the stairs away from the killer, and let me tell you, the action rivals that of John Madden racing madly uphill after an elusive Ho-Ho. You couldn't help but think, "Good crap, how many frickin' stairs are there?" From what I heard, they were trying to build something called... Atomos... Atmospine? Atmosphere? Yeah, maybe that was it. I've heard tell of it being done effectively with briefer shots and better music, but you know all about this word of mouth. Can't be trusted all the time.
Honestly, when you pick up an Italian horror flick, what do you usually expect to see? Do-gooder high school kids with comb overs totally respecting authority and never thinking about that s-e-x word? Well, we all know what we're really getting into: lots of cheesy looking blood, inventive death scenes, brutal killings, artistic production, making a low budget look about ten times bigger, awesome sets, gratuitous breast shots ranging from very few to OH MY GOD!, very bad dubbing and voice overs, and some good old fashion 70's/80's splattery goodness! Well, this one doesn't quite follow up on that list, at least not completely, though it does have two scenes that are a huge claim to fame. One involves the killer choking out Maggy, the group's token prego, only to reach into her, pull out her unborn baby, and eat it as her dying husband looks on. Seems baby's back on the menu... The other involves the killer being hit in the gut with a pickaxe, subsequently leading to his guts falling out. To show how hardcore he is, and the whole waste not/want not philosophy, he begins to eat his own guts just before falling over dead.
Anthropophagus is neither a terrifying watch, nor is it utterly appalling (with exception to the baby scene), nor is it really a good bad film. In fact, it's not terribly exciting, and it makes a horrible tea cozy. Its saving graces are a few scenes here and there which make you say, "Oh, that was neat!" Despite all this, there is still a little bit of charm and some atmosphere to the film, though it isn't quite thick enough, and a few brilliant camera shots. Better luck next time D'Amato and Eastman. I'm planning on picking up Anthropophagus 2 if I can locate it, and Porno Holocaust. Let's hope they can be a bit more fulfilling.