Monday, January 12, 2009

Anthropophagus (a.k.a. The Grim Reaper a.k.a. Antropophagus)

One mistake that is often made by people, myself included, is to write off a director that they’ve seen two or three bad films of, in the belief that he will clearly never amount to anything worthwhile. While I’m certainly quite guilty of this, I’m glad I decided to give Joe D’Amato a third chance (after the terrible films Beyond the Darkness and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead – what, you’re telling me you’re not intrigued by the title?), because this is the film where he finally goes as crazy as his reputation warrants.

The film is set on a secluded Greek island, as a group of tourists decide to go on a boat tour of a series of islands in the area, and choose the worst possible island they could as their first stop. While seemingly deserted, the friends soon find that they are being stalked by a mad killer who has already wiped out the rest of the island’s inhabitants. With their numbers dwindling, will the survivors find a way to stop this mad fiend before he kills them all?

Well, okay, this is not the kind of film you watch because it has a really fascinating plot. It’s the kind you watch because it has some crazy scenes of violence (that’s a definite, in this case) and hopefully a creepy mood during those tragic scenes without violence (thankfully, that’s also a yes here). While the film suffers from some pacing problems – the killer doesn’t even show himself until about fifty minutes in, leaving most of the more disposable characters to get offed pretty rapidly – it keeps itself interesting enough through most of the film that I was never bored once they reached the island.

I feel I do have to spoil one of the kills, though, as it’s the kill that made me certain I was going to include this in the HROHFYSSBYD, so if you don’t want to have it ruined for you, stop reading now and just go rent or purchase the movie. Anyway, one of the female characters is heavily pregnant, a situation that never turns out well in such movies. Her encounter with our villain has him choking her a bit, then slowly rubbing his hand across her swollen belly, then reaching his hand down under her skirt and yanking her fetus out through her vagina before eating it. You can’t find movies like that nowadays.

Rating: *** ½

1 comment:

brian said...

I kinda disagree. This movie was too plodding in my opinion. For D'Amato at his best, see Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals.