Anthropophagus

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There are movies that are sometimes considered to be legends, you have heard about them, you know someone who has seen them, and you spend half your life thinking about them. For some reason they are hard to track down, usually not worth the effort you spent trying to track them down, and 9 times out of 10 they are the only decent worth mentioning film in that writer or directors career…I want to say that Joe D’amto’s sleezefest shocker “Anthropophagus” falls into one of those three categories, but I can’t…I mean before 1980’s Anthropophagus, the man was responsible for a million entries into the “Emmanuelle” series, and worked right up until his death (in 1999) making such “classics” as “Anal Instinct” and “Jurassic Pork”…

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Do I have your attention yet? Here’s the rundown…

A group of generic tourists all hook up to head out to a deserted island that the locals refer to as “Paradise”. The group consists of some horny dudes; Andy (Saverio Vallone), Daniel (Mark Bonin), Arnold (Bob Larsen), and the ladies; mother to be: Maggie (Serena Grandi), a spooked out Taro reader, Carol (Zora Kerova) and a stranger the group met Julie (Tisa Farrow). After what seems like a boat ride that lasts for weeks, Julie finds out that Carol is not her biggest fan and senses danger ahead for the group on the island. Julie mentions that she is there to meet some friends that have already arrived on the island, and the group can stay at her friend’s house. While the gang goes off to explore the island, (leaving Maggie on the boat as she busted her ankle when they arrived on land) they find it to be deserted. While staying in Julie’s friend’s house, they find out that the only person living on the island is a blind girl named, Rita (Margaret Mazzantini) who is suffering from shock. After some petty treachery, a crazy fucking chase sequence, a lot of “You check it out and I’ll stay here” Scooby-Doo stuff and a kooky explanation, the movie goes fucking apeshit and you realize why this movie is one of the most talked about “video nasties” of all time.

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I was fully prepared to be let down by this much-hyped shocker, but I was surprised as the mood is very effective, (besides the poorly dubbed English), and I found myself almost getting nervous at times. Perhaps it’s the set up during the first quarter of the film (much of it spent on a boat in daylight with awesome scenery) or maybe because of Marcello Giombini’s creepy score, which slowly makes its presence to becoming one of the lead roles in the film. The gore is on par with giallo films from that time (although I don’t think giallo purists would consider this to fall into that category) the first three quarters of the film certainly play like one. What can I say? The reds are red, the skin is fleshy, the fetuses are rabbit-like and the intestines are tasty.

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Pretty much since the first time I heard about Anthropophagus, I have also heard about how the original film has been chopped into a million different cuts with even more names (Man Beast, The Grim Reaper, The Savage Island…and so on), from what I can tell the most comprehensive cut is the 90 minute 2 disc version from Shriek Show/Media Blasters released last year. Apparently there is a sequel titled “Absurd” however upon reading a synopsis of the “sequel” I don’t see any similarities other than the fact it is directed by Joe D’amto and written by George Eastman (the co-writer of Anthropophagus). Okay, enough is enough, check out this “classic”, and try to say Anthropophagus 5 times really fast.

Charlie “I think we should be with the others” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on March 3, 2008.

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