Saturday, 21 January 2012

5 Cannibal Films with Their Own Different Twist

All cannibal movies are the same right.  Wrong, although the films share the same concept, people eating people, over the years filmmakers have found new and interesting ways to develop this idea.

  After The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which introduced one of the first cannibal families, there seemed to be an explosion of cannibal films during the late 70's.  The majority of these movies centered around missing people, who dared to venture into the primitive jungles of South America and their loved ones or colleagues who went searching to find them.  There they found primitive tribes who sacrificed people to gods and ate their flesh.  These films contained some of the most graphic shots of animal abuse, rape and torture.  A lot of them were banned from different countries and put on nasties lists, never to be seen again, except through mail order and now the internet.

 By the early 80's this trend had dwindled and horror movies moved on to slasher films but in the early 90's, a brief revival of the genre was brought by The Silence of the Lambs. Lector was not an out of the way country hillbilly or a primitive tribesman in some dense jungle but a sophisticated, charming killer who blended in with society.  This revival was short lived and most horror movies seemed to put on the back burner during that time until Scream.

 However, over the last ten years with horror movies gaining more mainstream acceptance again, there has been a number of films with excellent cannibal twists especially coming from the Asian film industry.  In these films, a cannibal could be the lurking on the highways, the owner of a hostel or the family next door.  The idea that they could be anywhere or anyone gives the genre that extra taste of terror.

Here are some great cannibal movies, each with a different take on the genre.

5. The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978) - A young woman (Ursula Andress) and her brother enlist the help of Professor Edward Foster (Stacy Keach) to search for her husband, who was lost on an expedition in New Guinea.  Once there, they face the perils of the jungle and find out that a cannibal tribe, that was once thought extinct, is hunting them down.  This movie is truly a classic cannibal film and has the all the right touches. We see graphic animal mutilation by man and beast, tons of gore and  castration, which seemed to have been the trademark of these films.

4. Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) - After discovering a tattoo of an ancient tribe on a female inmate at a mental hospital, a young journalist, Emanuelle, convinces her editor to do a story on the cannibal tribe in the Amazon Jungle.  Emanuelle and her friends travel to discover that the tribe does exist and they are not welcoming with new comers.  Right off the bat, if you've watched any Bleu_Nuit as a teenager, then you would recognize Emanuelle.  Laura Gemser did a series of Emanuelle titles in the late 70's and early 80's, so basically, it's soft core porn wrapped up in a cannibal movie, go figure.  Sure, there is a lot of sex but it does meet the criteria mention above with minimal castration and a lot of gore.

3. Antropophagus (1980) - A group of friends wind up stuck on what seems to be a deserted island, only to find out that a madman has murdered and chased away the towns inhabitants.  Now, this lunatic is after them.  This movie for the most part is a typical Italian horror film.  The pacing is slow, with very little blood at the beginning and but it has some pretty gross scenes at the end and it is more than worth the wait.

2. Cannibal the Musical (1993) - Alfred Packer leads a group of miners across America in the late 1800's to search for gold in California.  Unfortunately, they never make it and Packer is charged with eating his party.  Trey Parker and Matt Stone do an awesome job turning this true horror story into a musical.  There is some gory scenes, catchy songs and some great laughs.  It's the funniest cannibal movie, I've ever scene.

1. Frontier(s) (2007) - After a robbery goes wrong, a group of friends head for Holland to get away from the police.  On the way they stop at a hostel, outside of France, to rest only discover that it's run by, you guessed it, cannibals.  I thought this was a terrific movie, stuff always going on and it had a good look to it.  It brings back the cannibal family theme and it is really gory.

Cannibal films are great fun and for the most part, pretty disgusting and worth watching when you have a hunger for horror.

P.S - I know you're probably wondering why Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi aren't on the list.  Well, for two reasons;
1.  Everybody already knows about "Cannibal Holocaust" and "Cannibal Ferrox", I thought it better to add some different titles to the list.
2.  "Eaten Alive!" scenes were lifted from "The Mountain of the Cannibal God" and an earlier film of Lenzi's, "Man From Deep River"
These are great films and will probably make an upcoming list.


  1. I would have also put Ravenous on there for the crazy plot twist, dark humor, and Robert Carlisle's excellent acting abilities.

    1. I had totally forgot about Ravenous, when I created this list. I saw it when it first hit the video store shelves and I remember enjoying it. Maybe I'll do a part 2 to this list. Thanks!

  2. Don't forget about Don Johnson in "A Boy and his Dog"