Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1981, Joe D'Amato)


Anthro-po....Anthropo....What? Took me a long time of studying and saying different possibilities out loud before I could finally say Anthropophagus. Anthropophagy is the consumption of human flesh, so that pretty much let's you in on what the film is all about. Not that you'd really expect much else after seeing any of the movie posters/home video boxes.

A group of friends on vacation are asked by a young woman named Carol (Tisa Farrow) to tag along with them as they visit some tropical islands. She is babysitting a rich couple's kid while on vacation, which in turn means she gets a free vacation. When they stop at the island, they notice no one is around but soon find out something isn't right. The radio equipment is smashed and they soon start locating mutilated corpses. The girl Carol is to babysit, who we find out is blind, shows up in hysterics, claiming that there is a monster out there who smells of blood. Before long, they realize she is right and they must face their worst nightmare - a cannibal monster - Anthropophagus.

Anthropophagus was, above all else, a creepy movie. It just felt dirty and grimy and out of the ordinary. I also knew with Joe D'Amato and Italian B movie star George Eastman, that this film could be hit or miss, probably a miss. For the most part, Anthropophagus is actually a success, with a script by Eastman and D'Amato (under their real names). The only real drawback I noticed was the slowness of the script. Though these scenes were actually meant (and they were largely successful) to create tension, allowing the creature to pop out of nowhere and eat someone. Eastman does a great job as the monster and the rest of the cast are mediocre but serve their purpose. The real payoff for the film are a couple of really nasty scenes that add a lot to the creepiness factor. There are a few scenes where stuff/the monster pop out and are successful in startling you. Overall, a sick, twisted, gross and quite enjoyable horror film.

RATING: 7/10

5 comments:

  1. While you finish eating babies with the antropophagus, stop on by to claim your award homeslice

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  2. I've always been interested in seeing this film. Wasn't it one of the "Video Nasties"?

    And, although good ol' Carl seems to have beaten me to the punch, I too have an award waiting for you at my blog. Quite possibly the same one.

    --J/Metro

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  3. I love this film!!!!

    It is one that is probably loved and hated in equal measure but I think it is a film that has so many fine qualities- genuine chilling moments, great set pieces and the pace really picks up in the final third.

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  4. Jonny - yes it was one of the UK Video Nasties, under it's original title Anthropophagus: The Beast. It was released in the US under the title The Grim Reaper (hence the DVD title).

    Thanks for the award too!

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  5. Nigel - I agree with you on all three counts. The scene where they are in his underground tomb was really creepy.

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