Sunday, March 14, 2010

White Cannibal Queen (1980)

Due to popular demand I will once again give you a review of a Eurocine-production, this time Jess Franco's White Cannibal Queen. A movie with a bunch of French/Spanish/random white dudes with sideburns and eighties hair cuts and clown-make up pretending to be dangerous cannibals. But to Franco's defense, it's a lot more entertaining that you could imagine, mostly because of good pacing and Al Cliver in the lead. Al yeah, great guy. He plays some professor that gets his wife killed in a cannibal attack, and his daughter kidnapped by the same bastards. Many years later she's grown up to a hot blond teenager with very little clothes and is also some kinda leader for the cannibals. Her boyfriend is the hot-headed Yakaké (Antonio Mayans) and she seem to be one of the only two women in the tribe. But Al wants her daughter back and is sponsored by some rich twats to go there again, and they all get killed and Al is the man. Something like this.

Yeah, it's easy to make fun of such a stupid movie. Franco hates this movie too, but still he manages to film some good stuff. Actually, whenever there's no cannibals around and they are far away from the jungle it's OK and much more stylish. Not that the jungle seem that terrible, it's more of an overgrown garden with nicely planned paths in it. Maybe the back of the hotel? I like the stuff with the young daughter in the beginning (like when she's listening to the music box, very classic Franco-style images) and some of that scenes that are suppose to be in New York. But when it comes to the cannibals Franco just treat them as a joke and just shoots the scenes fast and without any real thought. The only jungle-scenes that has some tension is when they come to the house in the jungle, and discover that everyone is dead. Quite OK.

The special effects are one of a kind. When people are bit by arrows or spears it's just because they're holding them to the body, or sticking them under the arm, to fake being hit. The cannibalistic scenes is looooong sequences of people eating raw meat in slow-motion. Al Cliver gets his arm chopped of, which look like a mannequin-arm and has the arm stucked behind his back rest of the movie, which is very unconvincing.

But to be honest, I enjoyed this movie a lot. It's still miles better than Cannibal Terror, another masterpiece from Eurocine. The only reason why White Cannibal Queen is watchable is because of Franco's talent. He just tried to do something with it, and probably got his little paycheck in the end. Ah, I almost forgot. Antonio Mayans as the cannibal-guy actually tries to do something good with his character. He might be the only one of the cannibal-actors trying to be a little bit convincing and at least pretend to do a good job with his character. Good for him, and good for us.


CiNEZiLLA said...

Is this also the one that went under the name Cannibals and had that really sadass artwork with a shot of the cannibals carrying a woman in the air and the head/skull lifter right out of Dario Argento's Inferno artwork?

Ninja Dixon said...

I don't know about the poster, but my dvd of this movie is called Cannibals, I just took the more famous title for the review :)

But I'm sure you are correct!

Alex Bakshaev said...

I agree that the non-jungle stuff looked ace, and very stylish.
Cannibals is indeed tha film that had Inferno skull as background on the old poster.