cannibal

Shaun vs. Anthropophagus: The Beast (1980)

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Directed by Joe D’Amoto

Starring Mark Bodin, Bob Larson and Tisa Farrow

A group of travellers find themselves stranded on an island, originally expecting paradise, but find themselves stalked by a crazy man who intends on having them for supper.

Review

A group of people travelling to an island paradise for the day take on another passenger on their boat who also wants to go to the island to visit some family.  Shortly after arriving, their boat is cast off back into the ocean with one of the passengers still on it as a storm approaches.  To top off all their bad luck, a deformed man lives in the area and makes it a habit to kill and eat his victims.

I haven’t seen too many of filmmaker Joe D’Amato’s films, though I’m very aware of his reputation.  The bulk of his filmography comprises of erotic films, gore films and erotic gore films.  “Anthropophagus” is one of his more well-known genre films, attaining a cult classic status among a small but proud audience.  I have a sneaky suspicion that that’s more to do with the infamous fetus-eating scene than anything else presented in the film.

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It slices and dices and even makes julien fri…oh wait, it doesn’t.

Yes, there’s a scene that’s to my knowledge hasn’t been replicated in other films, the cannibal gets his hands on a fresh baby fetus from a victim and proceeds to devour it (for all of two seconds before the scene cuts.)  Certainly designed to shock the audience, it’s a short but still disgusting scene.  The kill scenes are spaced out quite a bit until towards the end but everything counts.  In addition to the fetus munching scene, we get a butcher’s knife in the face, plenty of stabbings, a few throat rippings, a suicidal hanging and some innards protruding through a stomach wound.  D’Amato did not disappoint me with the gore.

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What do I do with these again?

The story itself is pretty standard with a group of people stuck somewhere getting offed one by one.  Be it a slasher flick or cannibal film, it’s the tried and true story trope in the horror genre.  The film can be slow and plodding at times as the film didn’t do enough to keep my attention.  There’s not much character progression though the cannibal surprisingly gets a quick flashback to explain why he’s nuts.  I really got the feeling that the story wasn’t that important compared to making sure the damn fetus got eaten. 

As per usual for Italian films, there’s a good amount of dubbing that actually isn’t good at all.  In fact, while the dialogue is laughably too long for what little the mouths move, the funniest part is that some of the characters sound like they’re in a small room…even when they’re outdoors. 

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Damn, I forgot the ketchup and relish!

The film isn’t terrible but it’s far from good.  The only reason, which could be reason enough for some, to watch the film are the gore effects which are pretty good.  But it’s wrapped in a basic story that barely does enough to keep you involved in the movie up until the end. 

TL;DR

Story: 4 – Simple, hardly engaging stuff. 

Blood: 8 – The real reason to watch the movie, there are some vicious scenes to get through.  As I said, D’Amato didn’t disappoint me in this respect.

Nudity: 4 – A couple of brief topless scenes.  I was actually expecting much more.

Overall: 5 – That’s the thing with cult movies, you either like em or love em.  Your mileage may vary, but I felt it was only alright.

Trivia

– Back in the early 80’s, the British Bureau of Film Classification enforced what was known as the “Video Recordings Act of 1984” which seemed to classify video releases in addition to theatrical releases in the country due to video releases not being regulated and no one wanted children getting corrupted by these awful films.  “Anthropophagus” wound up on the list, mostly because of the “you know what” scene, and was released on video in 2002 with about nine minutes of footage cut. 

– That fetus?  It was actually a skinned rabbit.

-Anthropophagus is Latin for “man eater” or “cannibal.”  Well duh.

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