(Review originally written at 17 March 2007)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Italian horror movies from the '70's and '80's especially, are not really know for their subtitle or overall brilliantness. Let's face it, they always have low production values and has a cheap look over it, with actors in it that really can't act. In essence all of the movies are also the same with its story and development. "Antropophagus" is really no exception to this all but has as a big difference that it's really well developed and build up, which provides the movie with a great horror atmosphere that is both tense and gory, despite being predictable from start till finish.

Next to the gore, also all of the other typical Italian horror movie elements are present here; many young characters, a scary kid (although she is only scary in one sequence), cannibalism and a psychotic monster like killer. No sex or nudity present though this time, which was a bit of a surprise.

The movie is really well build up. It features many scares and false-scares. Also the tense ending does not disappoint. It also definitely helps the movie and its tension that the killer his face isn't shown until about halve way through the movie. It makes the movie more mysterious and tense at the same time, which also really adds to the atmosphere. Also the environment adds to this atmosphere. The movie is set on a small Greek uninhabited island, where all the former residents were slaughtered. It makes the island empty, moody and claustrophobic, which all suits the horror genre really well of course.

There are also two sequences that make this movie a memorable one and through that also makes it distinct itself from other genre movies. The first is the one in which our psychotic monster rips an unborn fetus out of the belly of a woman and starts to eat it, while the dying husband is watching and the second one is the ending when the killer is starting to eat his own intestines after being stabbed in the belly. Really some unforgettable and gory sequences. The movie is filled with also some other great gory sequences and scare moments, such as the head in the bucket and the Irina Karamanlis suicide. The movie is also helped by it's killer, that is a great character, who is also quite scary looking.

The budget for the movie obviously wasn't very high. Like with all Italian genre movies is the case, the sound is terrible, the movie cheap looking and the actors are amateurs. I also at the same time adds to the charm of the movie and it gives B-slasher movies like this one (because let's face it, this is a B-movie, no matter how well its made) a big cult following. And in that perspective, this movie by specialist Joe D'Amato is definitely one of the better ones out of its genre.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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