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The magician Joe D'Amato manages to enchant us once again, in some strange way. It must be said, "Antropophagus" taken scene by scene is an incredible trash, a film made badly.

But for some magic by one of the most popular directors of the "genre films", "Antropophagus", in its entirety, it becomes incredibly a masterpiece. So much so, that we forget a monster  too smart to be driven only by a desire for blood, so much, that we forget a technique certainly not superfine.

So this film from 1980 is another successful hit from the crazy roman director, as we know shortly before he had given us another cult "Buio Omega." The tecnique situation is the same. The budget is little, the fx are ridiculous, but the imagination is great and insights from craftsman, those who save all, are in every frame.

We are faced with a movie that rides a little 'horror genres, going from splatter, to gore and even a little' slasher, and it enter  in history thanks to two disturbing scenes that have become famous.

The monster pulls out a fetus from a woman alive and bites it (it was a rabbit) and always the monster  self-practice cannibalism. Scenes strong still today, even for us "evolved" humans of2000, but we don't the fiction, as the british did at the time thought of a "Snuff Movie" (!).

D'Amato tells a simple story in which places a great strain and several twists, besides the aforementioned disgust. He, at times recalling the best Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, but he failed on other occasions where he touches a little 'too many clichés of horror films.

The real key to "Antropophagus" is the figure of the monster, played by a masterful George Eastman who has full "The physique du role" and that with some barred look and some insight of the director, manages to be a monster very credible.

The rest of the cast is impressive and has also some curiosities. Vanessa Steiger is the xenophilous  pseudonym for an actress who soon after this movie became for years an italian icon: Serena Grandi. Young, away from the roles that will gave her fame, she plays Maggie, the pregnant girl. Then there is Tisa Farrow, sister of Mia and already seen in "Zombi 2" or even Saverio Vallone son of Raf and expert Zora Kerova. We close with Maragareth Donnelly another pseudonym under which hides the writer Margaret Mazzantini, in the role of a blind girl in a state of shock.

Her shock, more than justified, is the result of a real serial murderers happened on a Greek island. There then comes a group of tourists, four to be exact, that they realize that the island is now uninhabited at the mercy of something overhuman.

D'Amato narrative attempts to tell the story in small steps, gradually revealing the plot. He also managed to create a few moments of actual tension, such as the arrival of Arriet (the Mazzantini), blind girl whose time of arrival on the scene is immortalized on the poster.

For everything else as we said earlier, there is little art and a lot of ability to make do, but it does not matter, what matters is that this is a cornerstone of Italian genre cinema.


Original title: Antropophagus

Year: 1980

Country: Italy

Alternative Titles: The anthropophage, Anthropophalus (Canada), anthropophagous (France), anthropophagous: The Beast (UK), Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper, The Grim Reaper, The Zombie's Rage (USA), Der Menschenfresser, Man Eater - Der Menschenfresser, Man-Eater (Germany), Gomia, terror en el Aegean Sea (Spain), O cannibal (Portugal), O anthropofagos (Greece), Man Beast, The Savage Island (Indefinite)

Director: Joe D'Amato

Cast: George Eastman, Vanessa Steiger, Zora Kerova, Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Margaret Donnelly

Duration: 90 '

Production Company: Filmirage, Film Production Massaccesi (PCM) International