While the cannibal genre definitely already had its heyday back in the late seventies and early eighties, that doesn't mean that there aren't a few greats that may have escaped your meaty grasp. In no particular order here are five excellent cannibal movies that are worth feasting on.
|Mmmmmmmm.....just like mom used to make.|
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
This is the granddaddy of all cannibal movies and it has earned its reputation as one of the most disturbing horror films of all time. It can also be considered a proto "found footage" movie as well, since it used a documentary style approach to the filming. It follows a documentary film crew as they travel through the Amazonian jungle to film cannibal tribes. Cannibal Holocaust is notorious for having extremely gory and violent scenes, rape, and the killing of a real live turtle. While this isn't a film for the faint of heart, it does have beautiful cinematography and an outstanding musical score by famed Italian composer Riz Ortolani. One's foray into cannibal horror cannot start without watching this movie first since it is the one that inspired all the tropes and conventions of the genre in later films.
Ravenous is one of the genre-straddling films that defy categorization. On one hand, it's a bloody and gruesome film about cannibalistic soldier (Robert Carlyle) in the late 1800s who is eating people to gain mystical strength, but it also delves into black comedy quite often and is funnier than it should have any right to be. Guy Pierce plays Captain John Boyd, a man who is trying to escape his fate as someone's prospective dinner. The two play off of each other perfectly and it keeps the film from just being exploitation. It's also incredibly well filmed and Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn's shrieking postmodern orchestral score is amazing and unique. When Ravenous first was released it didn't get critical acclaim and bombed financially, but in the time since then it has become a cult classic.
|Damn fool. We're about to get eaten.|
Bone Tomahawk (2015)
If you are a lover of traditional westerns and horror movies then Bone Tomahawk is a must-see film. S. Craig Zahler completely nailed his directorial debut with this movie and made of the best horror films of 2015 to boot. What sets this film apart is that it is a pitch-perfect period piece (down to the dialect) as well as an extremely well-crafted horror film. Kurt Russell stills proves that he is a bad ass with his gruff Sheriff Franklin Hunt performance and Patrick Wilson is no slouch either as Arthur O'Dwyer, a man who is looking for his kidnapped wife. When shit goes down in this movie, it really goes down and the stomach-turning scenes that occur may be too much for some people to handle. Gore hounds will be pleased with this one though and should definitely check it out.
This one is a quirky and dark little film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic France where the tenants of a crappy apartment building have to live under the rule of a landlord who is also a butcher (with a meat source that is suspect). It has a Terry Gilliam vibe to it but it was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (The City of Lost Children, Amélie) and Marc Caro. The tone of the film wavers between whimsical and horrific, and as well all know, if there is one thing France does well, it's whimsy. Even though France is "destroyed" in this film it still has an interesting look to it and this film also makes use of clever editing and camera angles. It's a character driven movie and most of the intrigue comes from the way they interact with each other and all of their respective personality quirks. It's the most original of the films on this list for sure.
|What do you mean? Soylent Green is Wal-Mart shopper?|
Soylent Green (1973)
Soylent Green is the most socially conscious of the films in this list though it is unintentionally campy at times (like most films from the '70s). Charlton Heston is at his hammy best in this with his role as Detective Frank Thorn, a man ordered to investigate the death of a rich businessman in an overcrowded and resource scarce dystopian society. Food is hard to come by and most of the hungry population is beholden to the Soylent Corporation who produces food rations known as Soylent Green. As Thorn dives deeper into Soylent company practices, he discovers a horrible secret that could completely bring them down. While the cannibalism isn't at the forefront of this film, it's tackled in an interesting way. This movie falls more into the science fiction genre than horror per se, but it's still fun to watch, if not just for the kooky '70s trappings and fascinating take on the dystopian society concept.
Pass the plate. Share this list, sicko.