Sunday, January 17, 2010

Antropophagus (1980)

After seeing Antropophagus for the second time on DVD, I'm even more convinced that this is a good movie. In some moments even a great movie, if you compare to other gore/slashers/splatters from the same era. I mean, the story is nothing to talk about: a bunch of people goes to an island and finds themselves killed one by one by a mad, disgusting cannibal (George Eastman of course) and nothing more than that. Sure, there's some back-story and even some minor character development - but the rest is just simple, good old fun entertainment. 

It starts bad. I never liked that beach-scene with the German tourists. The acting is crap, the cinematography and direction is uninspired and the whole scene is more or less unnecessary. Or they could have done something funnier, maybe inside a house so Joe D'Amato could have light the scene a bit at least. Now it's just danish dogme on the beach and nothing more. But then something happens. The main characters is pretty boring, even Tisa Farrow in her last role, but D'Amato really tries to get some atmosphere going. He even tries to scare us. From the deserted village to the spooky old house, D'Amato hits every mark and does it good.

The first great scene is when the woman is jumping out from the wine barrel, and after that there's some really good stuff going on. George Eastman (or Luigi Montefiori as some people know him) is creepy and scary as the tall cannibal. He's like a nasty version of Frankensteins Monsters, and seem to play it that way with his long arms hanging down and that innocent, retarded way of handling dead corpses. He's also very brutal and intensive when the killings start, and I could be mean to say this is his best performance ever - but I mean it, he really is that monster.

The gore is cheap, but a lot more fun in D'Amato's and Montefiori's next opus, Absurd. There's bloody bites, stabbings, throat-rips and a lot more - plus the infamous fetus-scene. Last time I saw the movie I wasn't that impressed by it, but now I felt uncomfortable watching it. Which is good of course, and it made the whole movie stronger.

Antropophagus may have an empty script, but it's ends up a fantastic little gore-film with the help of talented people both in front and behind the camera.


Jocke Andersson said...

I agree. The movie still has more atmosphere than most of its kind. The productionvalues are shoddy, but it is entertaining as hell, very gory and I do have a certain love towards that kinda of analogue synthesizer score :)

mamoulian said...

It really is quite a good movie, though not his best - that's "Buio Ωmega". The scene with the girl out of the barrel is a masterpiece, but I particularly like the eerie and ghoulish score, and once you're in the catacombs...

Phantom of Pulp said...

Totally in agreement with everybody, including you, Ninja. The film has a wonderfully revolting, lurid vibe.

Anonymous said...

Warts and all, it's a far better movie than most give it credit for being. I do find the infamous "cut" scenes to be somewhat funny. Certainly not funny "HA HA," but funny weird. My mind made those scenes to be far more disturbing than they turned out to be. The fetus scene had me saying "That's it, that's what got everyone so upset?" It didn't even look like a fetus. Had it not had a rudimentary umbilical chord, I would have figured it to be the victim's stomach, or a kidney. But a fun film regardless, and George Eastman is a great villain.

Ninja Dixon said...

Jocke and mamoulian: I agree totally on the music. Someone I know once said that she thought that electronic music and the greek countryside always fit good together :)

Phantom: My respect for D'Amato grows bigger for everyday actually. I always knew he was a good director - and cinematographer of course - but it's pity he didn't became bigger. But as long as he was happy, I'm happy.

davidfullam: I can't say I was disgusted by the fetus-scene, but it disturbs my somehow :)