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.