This review is written by our Friends at the "Here Comes The Spooky Podcast"
5 people on a vacation tour in Greece help a stranger get to a remote island. Once they arrive, the island and its village appear to be abandoned but someone is slowly stalking them. After discovering that they have no way to leave, the group desperately tries to seek help but all they find is MURDER!
Anthropophagus is one of these movies you have heard of but likely have never seen. Directed by Joe D’Amato (Absurd, Troll 3) and written by George Eastman (Absurd), this movie was prosecuted in the UK as one of the 72 Video Nasties, and while I will personally never see eye to eye with the DPP, I can understand why this movie was easily targeted. Shot in Greece (and filmed in Italian) it is one of the more infamous “Spaghetti Horror” movies in the genre. D’Amato presents a fairly straightforward horror experience and Eastman’s story is not one that stands out immediately but will stick with you forever at the end. This movie is not one that will require much thought provocation unlike many other Italian Giallo Films of the time (I’m looking at you Argento) and can easily be viewed by even the more casual horror fans. You do have to be patient as this movie can move slowly in the middle and you’ll forget what you’ve gotten yourself into, probably up until the last 8 minutes when it jumps head first from standard horror to “HOLY SHIT!” really quick.
The cast consists of relatively unknown foreign actors save a few that will be recognized by hard core movie buffs, mostly Tisa Farrow (Zombi) who plays Julie, Zora Kerova (Cannibal Ferox, The New York Ripper) who plays Julie, and writer George Eastman (Absurd, The Call of the Wild). It’s hard to say whether or not if the cast delivers a memorable performance due to the film being in Italian, however English-speaking viewers can watch a lackluster English dub of the movie which forces very forgettable dialog exchanges from the cast but that’s not what many watch this movie for. No, you came for the gore. The special effects are what really sell this film (particularly in 2 scenes near the end) and when the kills are shown on screen, they are delightful and the practical effects are done shockingly well for a movie of its time.
I personally am glad that I spent 90 min of my life watching this but I would not recommend it to anyone who is not a die-hard fan. I’ve referenced it already but those last few minutes of this movie really change the pace, tone, and overall feel and absolutely should make anyone feel just a little uncomfortable for watching it. Think of this film as an acquired taste, so to speak (pun intended for those in the know) and is one of the more memorable video nasties on the list. You can watch it on many streaming services (Prime, Tubi) but be aware as the USA version was released as The Grim Reaper with a largely different edit and much of the gore cut out. If you are looking for the pure experience, Severin Films has a great Blu-ray version of the film with both the uncut English and Italian versions of the film with a high quality transfer and a few special features.
Overall Rating: 6/10
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