Monday, November 29, 2010

Anthropophagus - Joe D'Amato


Film: Anthropophagus
Release Date: 1980
Director: Joe D'Amato

"Anthropophagus" is one of Italian-Sleaze Master, Joe D'Amato's, most hyped horror films in his roughly 200 film career as a film director.  The story focuses on "Zombie" actress Tisa Farrow and a gang of vacationers as they get stranded on a deserted island that is later revealed to have once been inhabited.  They later find themselves being stalked by a cannibalistic killer that murdered the town's former residence.  This film is notorious for a scene in which a woman's fetus is ripped from the womb, as well as a scene in which the cannibalistic foe ingests his own intestines before dying.  But can two famous scenes hold up to all the talk this film has been given in the underground horror community?  Here's your answer:

Lets be honest; Unless it's an Argento film, chances are there won't be that much semblance of a coherent plot in Italian gore-cinema.  So with this review, I won't be focusing on the plot, since pretty much all the viewers of films like this only care about three things:  Blood, guts, and tits.  

The blood and guts in this film seemed very few and far between.  There is a semi-decent hatchet kill on a beach in the beginning of the film.  The two scenes mentioned above were very well-done though.  The fetus scene was rather intense, and was rather well done.  The self-ingesting intestine scene also made this movie worth a watch.  But other than that, the film seems to focus on a plot that isn't really there.  

Since D'Amato is such a known sleaze director, it's necessary that the topic of naked women is covered while reviewing a film of his.  Needless to say, there were tits in this movie.  But, the sex wasn't as overwhelming as one would expect going into this film.  I was hoping to at least see a scene I wouldn't want to watch with my mother.  Unfortunately, that scene never came.  Granted, nudity isn't the only thing that makes a movie, but when it comes to 80's Italian horror, it's almost a given.  With that absence, the film sucked a little more.

Since this film hails from another country, you may be wondering about the dubbing in the film.  Granted most older foreign horror movies have poor dubbing, the English dubbing on the transfer was terrible.  I burst out laughing multiple times during my viewing of the film simply because of how ridiculous the voice acting was.  I'm not exactly sure if that is a pro or con of this film.  On the pro-side, it does add a little more entertainment value to the film.  On the con-side, it disappoints more than entertains.

Overall, this film isn't all that it's cracked up to be.  True, the fetus rip is sweet, and the film should be watched for that scene, but not much else.  It's simply too slow to keep the attention of the high expectation gore-hound that will most likely be watching this movie, let alone a new-comer to the world of Italian exploitation films.  The slow plot, lack of consistent bloody messes, and poor voice acting could send a lot of new views running away from the genre all-together.

Score: 5/10

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