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  • I have already seen this classic formula in horror films, in which a group of young friends go on vacation to a far-away land, only to find their trip cut short by a series of fortuitous and gory events, followed by an imminent death. "Antropophagus" manages to stand out in its own way, by offering a genuinely frightening villain, extreme gruesome deaths and a perfect setting for the story. I have always thought that the locations of a horror film sometimes have a greater role than the central characters of the story. In this case, the scenario in which the action takes place in a European island, which is actually a beautiful place, but also a devastating scenario that creates a feeling of isolation and vulnerability.

    In "Antropophagus", a group of travelers go on a trip to Greece and are joined by a young woman named Julie, who asks them for a ride to an island because she wants to meet some friends.

    While the group explores the seemingly deserted island, they come across a rotten dead body, which obviously prompts them to rush back to the boat, only to find it adrift. Julie suggests taking shelter at her friends' house, and when they get there, they find the family's blind daughter in an utter state of panic. The teenage girl, named Henerietta, explains them that her family was killed some days ago by a lunatic. Later, the friends find out that most of the island residents were murdered by the same insane killer, a man named Nikos, who feasts on human flesh and is now out to get them.

    I have seen hundreds of horror films and while I can see that certain horror villains, such as Michael Myers, are frightening and creepy looking, that's basically it; I can acknowledge their creepiness, while not necessarily being afraid of them. With this film, I was genuinely afraid of the antropophagus (performed by the surprisingly good-looking Luigi Montefiori). The cannibalistic villain appears as a gruesome beast-like creature with hideous scars all over his face, shredded clothes, a sinister smile and deranged eyes that give the impression that he is some kind of ravenous wild animal that is out to catch his prey. The antropophagus is definitely one of the most intimidating villains I have seen and his image is haunting. "Antropophagus" features some very effective chase sequences full of suspense, in which the killer goes after his human prey with ferociousness in his eyes and a very disturbing smile.

    The gore is plentiful and intense, which made my stomach turn once or twice, while not necessarily making this film a torture show. I admit I am easily impressed by gore and I tend to dislike extreme brutality, even when it looks ridiculously fake. However, sometimes gore serves a purpose, when is not just there for the sake of seeing guts scattered all over the place. In some cases, like it happens with this film, the crudeness of the gore help to convey a feeling of vulnerability and even anxiety.

    The lead actress is Tisa Farrow (Mia's less known sister) who gave her last performance in this film, in which she accurately provided all the basics that the audience normally expect on a lead girl from a classic horror movie: she's beautiful, but also angelic and innocent. Her character is likable and nice, but also capable of becoming a warrior towards the end and facing that horrible man that is out to get her. And speaking of the devil, the antropophagus himself is played by Italian actor Luigi Montefiori (who goes by the name of George Eastman in this film). I have never seen Montefiori in anything else, except "Antropophagus", but I honestly have to say that this is one of the scariest horror villains I have seen in basically 20 years as a horror fan. He was amazing as the beast-like killer.

    To this day, "Antropophagus" remains as one of my favorite horror films, although in all honestly, I don't see it very often, because I actually find it scary and even depressing for moments (that's a good thing, since horror films are not supposed to cheer us up)
  • A lot has been said about Anthrophagus' excellent special effects and for good reason. The film comes to life when it's showcasing decapitated heads in buckets or scalps being ripped off. When it's just following around our cardboard characters, it suffers and can't muster any suspense or even decent character drama to keep us invested until the next inevitably gruesome death sequence.

    The silly music score doesn't help much in conjuring a mood or sense of dread and, in fact, the U.S. version (under the title The Grim Reaper) has a much more effective score that uses various library cues. I'd recommend on the U.S. cut if it weren't for a lot of the special effects being trimmed (including the infamous fetus eating scene).

    If you're only here for the guts, Anthrophagus is worth your time, but if you want a little more substance, look elsewhere.
  • Well, I FINALLY got to see this infamous shocker after hearing about it for years. 'Antropophagus' a.k.a. 'The Grim Reaper' is one of the most despised and loathed of all the so-called "video nasties", and director Joe D'Amato seems to be regarded as little more than a figure of fun for many. The people who hate this movie usually call it "boring", "dull", "too slow", and so on for the most part, and then complain about the bad taste of the two infamous gore scenes towards the end. One involving a pregnant woman, the other the killer. I won't go into any detail regarding either scene so as to not lessen their shock value. Now, the strange thing is I inadvertently watched the DVD of 'The Grim Reaper' which cut both of these scenes out, and while I was sorely disappointed not seeing them, I didn't find the rest of the movie dull at all. In fact I thought the movie managed to create quite an effective feeling of dread and suspense throughout. While I don't think the movie is as strong as Fulci's 'Zombie' (which also starred Tisa Farrow), I enjoyed it a lot more than say, 'Zombie Holocaust', which is generally rated higher by many hard core horror fans. So make of that what you will. My advice though is try and see the original uncut 'Antropophagus' for maximum effect.
  • Immediately banned in many countries after its release, Joe D'Amato's Italian Gore Classic "Antropophagus" of 1980 is a truly disturbing and immensely scary video nasty, and fans of ultra-violent and nasty Horror should not be disappointed. Potential viewers have to be warned, however: You need a strong stomach for this! The uncut version of "Antropophagus" features some of the most graphic and disturbing and goriest acts of violence you will ever see in a movie, and if there was a ranking of the most out there gore scenes ever brought to screen, this sick little flick would easily make it in the top 10! I don't want to give the most shocking scenes away, but I assure that anyone about to watch this flick can prepare for extremely horrid gore scenes.

    A couple of tourists travel to a Greek island which they find deserted at their arrival. It quickly becomes clear that something evil is haunting the place. Something with an appetite for human flesh...

    Whether you like it or not, "Antropophagus" is a movie that you will not forget quickly! In case you don't like gore this is not your type of film, but in case you do, avoid any censored version and watch this demented Cult-sicko uncut. There is simply no point in watching cut versions of Exploitation-King Joe D'Amato's movies, and "Antropophagus" in particular is a movie that is intended to shock, so the uncut version is essential. Apart from its shocking violence, "Antropophagus" maintains a very scary atmosphere, and its cast includes many familiar faces for Italian Horror fans, such as Tisa Farrow and George Eastman (whom Spaghetti Western fans might also know).

    In case you are easily offended, avoid this movie! But if you're a fan of Italian Gore films and Exploitation, you should certainly not miss this one! I advise my fellow Horror-fans to get a beer, lean back and start to enjoy the sick imagination of Joe D'Amato... When the movie reaches its climax, you will only be using the edge of your chair!
  • Big George 'Luigi' Eastman 'Montifori' wreaks havoc on a Greek Island in a film I'd only ever seen in severely cut form (under the title 'The Grim Reaper'). Is this film any good in it's unedited form? Well, I liked it.

    After two German tourists are murdered on a beach, we get to meet Tisa Farrow (of Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Last Hunter) who appears once again in an Italian gore film, this time getting a lift to a Greek Island from some holidaymakers, including a pregnant woman, her husband, some guy, his sister, and another guy and a sailor. The sister does tarot cards and doesn't like what she sees, and she doesn't like Tisa either because the guy she fancies keeps putting the moves on Tisa instead of her, even though due to the very blurred copy I watched both of them looked almost exactly the same.

    They all sail to the island and find it strangely deserted. The pregnant woman hurts her leg, and is soon kidnapped by someone who cuts of the sailor's head (and puts it in a bucket for safekeeping). The rest wander around town, catching fleeting glimpses of a mysterious woman and finding another survivor who keeps rambling on about how someone killed everyone on the island. Our poor victims gather in a house, wandering what to do, and how to get back to their ship, which is now adrift. Plus, a storm hits the island.

    I'll warn you now: Even though you get to see a couple of killings near the beginning, it's fifty one minutes before Big George puts in an appearance! What a sight he is though, all seven foot of him done up like some one man zombie army. Once he shows up, he tries to munch down on those who remain, but who will survive and will we get to see a certain character eat his own intestines (which was entirely cut out of the British print)? Although slow, and cheap, Anthropophagus neatly builds up the suspense so when Big George does appear he's really creepy and daunting. The whole empty island thing helps the film a lot (as it did in Island of Death and The Wind)…maybe folks should make more films set in Greece. And is it just me or does this whole premise rear it's head in Stephen King's Desperation? You know, the 'one person killing an entire town' thing?
  • I first watched this movie under the title of The Grim Reaper. Most of us fans of the movie probably have as well. Surprisingly, I had never heard about this movie until a few years ago. I remember watching it and think that there was something about this movie that was above most of its competition. Of course, I hadn't seen the uncut version of the film yet so I was just going off of the atmosphere. When I was told what I was missing in the uncut version I had to find it. Obviously, I did. And it wasn't through Shriek Shows new DVD.

    A group of people, including Tisa Farrow of Zombi 2 fame, set sail to a secluded island. Upon setting shore, they notice that no one is in site and begin to find dead mummified bodies throughout the town. They don't realize that an extremely impending figure has murdered everyone on the island and they are next.

    Sounds simple and it is. George Eastman who plays The Monster even says in an interview that this movie was only made to make money. There was nothing artistic about it. But, nevertheless, the movie is great. Obviously, this movie is not for everyone as some find it boring and over-hyped. I happen to love this film. The sense of impending doom covers this movie from top to bottom. And the 2 particular controversial scenes are great. Sure, the special effects are terrible but it is the thought of what is happening that makes you realize how sick this really is.

    I am not a huge fan of D'amato's works but this movie is excellent. For any real collector of horror, this is a must have. By the way, I did end up picking up The Shiek Show release of the movie. It is well worth having. But, if you can find the original American version of the movie I would get it also, under the title of The Grim Reaper. The music selection in certain scenes are different. 10/10
  • This is a pretty cool movie, although I do reckon that you need to be a little sick in the head in order to truly enjoy Joe D'Amato's wicked imagination. "Antropophagus" (LOVE the title!!) is a notorious video-nasty because it contains shock-sequences that ...well...aren't exactly for the squeamish! The pivot figure is a savage and bloodthirsty man that prowls a Greek island (Greek islands are dangerous tourist places apparently...anyone remember 'Island of Death'?) and devours pretty much everything and everyone that crosses his path. The film focuses on the encounter between this maniac and a group of young tourists that coincidentally strand on the island. Apart from the downright nauseating gore (he eats a fetus, for Christ's sake!), this is a rather suspenseful and atmospheric Italian horror film that surely ranks among D'Amato's best work, alongside "Beyond the Darkness" and "Death Smiles at Murder". In case you're a fellow Italian horror fanatic, you'll love the cast that includes George Eastman, Tisa Farrow and Serena Grandi. True, there are some really tedious moments to sit through but the gore is rewarding and the music is terrific. There equally is some gratuitous sleaze to enjoy, as well as some nice photography. Due to its violent and raw nature, "Antropophagus" is one of the most cut films ever. Avoid any version that says "Grim Reaper" on the cover because that's the version that leaves out all the sweet nastiness you're so desperately looking for :)
  • I tend to shy away from Joe D'Amato's more sleaze & sex orientated efforts. But I don't mind giving his horror outings a watch. Up until now, I thought "Buio Omega" (aka "Beyond The Darkness") was about the only film I found to really live up to its notorious reputation, while still being a reasonably good film. And as far as I'm concerned, after just having watched "Atropophagus", it still is the only one. Plain and simple, "Antropophagus" was a mild disappointment of the boring kind. It couldn't fascinate me the way "Buio Omega" did, mainly because it drags in so many places, it becomes tedious very quick. So, a bunch of characters on a holiday - all good folks, as they don't drink alcohol, they don't smoke, do drugs or have sex either - get stranded on a Greek island. Not ship wrecked, just stranded as they loose their boat. They find an abandoned village, decide to spend the night there, and rather later than sooner, some mysterious killer starts abducting and killing them off one by one. It takes even longer for them to figure out exactly what's going on behind their backs.

    Now, D'Amato sure knows how to present us grisly images, creepy settings and at times inject his film with a bit of atmosphere. He also knows how to make gore look good on screen. But building up tension, clearly isn't his strongest skill (he does try, but doesn't really succeed). Also, the man has absolutely no clue how to make a decent film (with an interesting plot or how to construct a proper mystery) nor does he know how to get on with the story. The acting is awful, the dialogues are close to moronic and the movie suffers too often from scenes in which nothing is going on, really, and even senseless & illogical things occur. Like for instance, those two guys deciding to leave the village to go down to the beach to try and look for someone who was still left on the boat. Now, instead of walking down the hill, to the sea, one of them is suddenly seen walking up the mountain for no apparent reason, only to find some ruins of a castle. Him finding them by coincidence, is very convenient to the plot, of course, as it proves to be one of the hideouts of George Eastman, our demented Cannibal Man from the title of this film. And when it comes to his character, I'll admit I was thankful they gave him some sort of background story, as to why he became what he is. Though it was a very thin explanation, with little info and no elaborations, at least there was one. That did put my fear for this being merely a film about an unknown cannibalistic lunatic (of whom we learn nothing) on some island to rest.

    On the other hand, the subplot about the mysterious woman in black was severely - shamefully, even - underused. Of course, you suspect from the get-go that she has certain ties with Eastman's character, but all she ever does, is stand behind a couple of windows. Well, actually, she does something else too (later on in the film), her act making up for a fine, short-lived scene. But what she does, doesn't add anything to her character, nor the story. To switch to a positive note again, Eastman's make-up was good. It really succeeds in making him look gruesome and menacing.

    Then there was that one scene, earlier in the film, when a couple was investigating a basement. Another highlight, that's at the same time also a low-point. Suddenly and very obviously, some set assistant out of frame, just throws a kitten on a piano. A fantastic fake jump scare, of course. Well done, D'Amato! But then, the real shock-scare comes on, and that one really is priceless. Behind our couple, is a barrel. Suddenly, a woman covered in blood from head to toe, jumps out, screaming, waving a knife. Great shock-moment, I agree. But only if you don't think about it. If you do, for a second, then explain this to me: The barrel was filled to the top with blood - I presume, or was it wine? Inside, was a woman (waiting to jump out). Now all that time our couple was searching the basement, that woman was holding her breath in that barrel of blood? Or was she drinking the wine? This is typically D'Amato throwing logic and plausibility out the window, only to favor presenting us his precious shock-moment. It turns a cool moment, into sheer stupidity.

    The musical score was at times, uh, both amusing and interesting. The big mansion near the end was a great location. And the film had that typical late 70's/early 80's gritty feel to it. But it takes more than all this to make a good film, doesn't it? The couple of death scenes we do see, are fine and bloody, with decent make-up effects. And the two most notorious gory shock-moments (which only happen near the end), are well worth seeing. But the whole film really isn't worth sitting through just for that. You might just ask a friend who was the film, to show you the nasty bits and be done with it. But make sure it's the complete uncut version.

    I understand the cult following this film has (D'Amato, George Eastman and the few gory bits, I imagine), and I am glad I finally saw it myself (it is kind of a must-see, if you are into obscure & vintage Italian exploitation horror). But I can't say I watched a good film here. I would like to flunk it, even, but looking at it from all possible perspectives, I find myself able to conclude that as an exploitive shock horror feature, trying to be sickening & unsettling (and hoping to upset your stomach), well... it does succeed. So there you have it.
  • Scarecrow-8827 August 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    An group of tourists offer to give an American, Julie(Tisa Farrow), a ride to an island village where pals of hers(..a French couple we see killed at the opening of the film)were supposed to be waiting for her. Deciding to remain on the island for a spell, the group find the village without people, providing quite an ominous suspicion that something's amiss. When the sailboat they were riding is sent away mysteriously into the sea adrift, the group ponder why, holing up in the home of Julie's friends, awaiting for the night to fall, hoping that the boat would return to shore. The remaining members of the group do find a person in the village, but she remains elusive warning for them to leave the village. They then find the French couple's blind daughter who is deeply traumatized. But, what none of the visitors plan on is encountering a dangerous, psychopathic cannibal(George Eastman, in hideous make-up, with unhinged eyes..his build works to enhance how scary he looks as he approaches victims)without an ounce of humanity. He seems devoid of anything remotely civilized and there's a reason revealed later involving his son and wife in a raft isolated in the middle of the ocean.

    Aristide Massaccesi(Joe D'Amato)and George Eastman craft quite a sickening tale which has given "Antropophagus-The Grim Reaper" an assured following. "Antropophagus" is the very definition of a slow-burner as it idles along showing the tourists walking throughout the village(..modeled after the Greek Islands and looking eerily similar to Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's "Island of the Damned")attempting to find any citizens. I love horror films which show visiting outsiders finding a complete village abandoned like a ghost town as if they just vanished off the face of the Earth, and seeing our cast moving throughout and finding no one certainly worked for me. I think this beautifully sets up just how monstrous the film's predator really is..such a menace that he empties a city of it's people. I think Massaccesi's decision to not show the killer until 50 minutes in will test the patience of many, but I felt that the director was building the dread of his arrival. I mean, we know that someone is on this island somewhere and I felt that Massaccesi wishes to keep him hidden for as long as possible. His impact to the film, when he does arrive, is immediately felt when Eastman's fiend bites a plug of skin from the neck of a victim. He'll also bite a chunk of flesh from a throat later in the film when he pulls a victim's face through the hole of a mansion's ceiling. The most infamous death concerns the removal of a fetus from a pregnant victim's womb(..Massaccesi said it was a rabbit)taking a bite out of it. You also see the aftermath of a cleaver stabbed into a victim's face. Massaccesi even pays homage to Spielberg with an underwater attack at the very beginning reminiscent of Jaws. There's even the eating of intestines that will leave many jaws dropping to the floor in dismay. Massaccesi has shown(..as Buio Omega will prove)that he isn't afraid of making films with disturbing subject matter and scenes with (in)human behavior that shock. I think the film's finest moments occur when Massaccesi shoots the use of candle-light at night through the darkened rooms of the French couple's home with Julie and Bodin's Daniel encountering a frightened innocent hiding from Eastman's monster, and specifically the Roman catacombs where Eastman's lair of eaten bodies is located(..this is very akin to the work of Lucio Fulci with the presence of remains, corpses, skulls, bones & red-eyed rats running about). The film also has a nifty sequence where Julie finds a hidden room where Eastman's sister kept many of his first victims through the breaking of a mirror, in the mansion of a family who worked for the village. Also, cool is a suicide where a woman decides to hang herself, and Julie, at one point, is trapped in a gated graveyard by a jealous Carol(Zora Kerova; who was upset because Daniel preferred Julie over her). A young Serena Grandi has an early role as the pregnant victim, Maggie, who is found by her husband in the catacombs. I think "Antropophagus" is very similar to Fulci's works at the time(..from "Zombie Flesh Eaters" into his more sadistic 80's gore flicks)and just as willing to push buttons, repelling weak-hearted audiences. To those of us who have seen a bunch of these movies, though, the impact isn't as severe, but I find his unflinching ability to shock rather amusing. But, I think it can be sensed, here, that when inspired, Massaccesi can create a sense of atmosphere. With the amazing setting, Marcello Giombini's often haunting music score, and Enrico Biribicchi's lush cinematography, Massaccesi had all the tools to make quite an impression. Unlike many, I didn't have any problem with the pace because my eyes were taking in the location and how it was brought to the screen. And, Eastman is quite an impressive beast.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A perfect example of a "notorious" film that has been canned by many and seen (uncut) by few. As I have been in the latter bracket for years, I thought it was high time I chucked in my two cents worth.

    Not only do I like "Antropophagus" very much, I think D'Amato has been unfairly maligned. His "Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals" (see my review), for example, is classic trash, and never less than enthralling. It zips along and delivers everything the ad art promises. It isn't dull and it's nicely shot, too. His "Beyond The Darkness" (see review) is also righteous exploitation, a shameless look at a deliciously revolting subject.

    Which brings me back to "Antropophagus". Often criticized for being boring, badly made and slow, it is none of those. Its island setting is atmospheric, D'Amato creates creeping suspense, and George Eastman, as the flesh eater, is memorably hideous. And the scene involving the removal of a fetus and its ingestion is just what genre fans ordered.

    There is a creeping sense of death and decay surrounding this fine horror entry and I, for one, appreciate its stench.
  • I originally watched this on SKY a few years back and I enjoyed it then as I did this time around.

    That's right I said I enjoyed it and judging by low scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, I think I'm in the minority.

    The worst thing about this film is the soundtrack. To say it's dreadful would be doing an injustice to the term understatement. There are a couple of scenes where the music sets the mood perfectly... but it is only a couple. The rest of the time the audience is assailed with a manic Wurlitzer pianist - I actually had a vision of an old time theatre (back in the silent movie days) and a man, half-crossed between The Phantom Of The Opera and The Joker, going insane of the ebony and ivories... all it lacked was a maniacal laugh.

    Apart from that what the writers Joe D'Amato (Director) and George Eastman (Actor) give the audience is a new take on both the Cannibal and Zombie legends, by giving you Nikos Karamanlis, a man turned beast who is something other than alive and with a penchant for human flesh. He acquired this evil and unnatural taste after he and his family were shipwrecked... when you're miles from anywhere and starving you have to eat.

    This is so much better than his follow on movie Absurd, which also fell foul of the dreaded Video Nasty title and banning.

    The acting is above average. Tisa Farrow (Mia Farrow's sister) who gave a well-disposed portrayal of Julie, a student on her way to a Greek island and summer job. Along with Saverio Vallone who gives an affable portrayal of Andy, the unheralded leader of the group, these two hold the film together. Even the mostly silent Eastman as The Beast does a decent job of being menacing and actually uses his size and facial features to add power and unease (wish he'd done the same in Absurd)

    For the time the effects are more than passable, the only let down is Eastman's "Beast" face as it looks like somebody has spilt cold porridge over him. Most of the dead look nasty enough, with decaying skin and maggots writhing in eye sockets. The scene with the rats would have looked more realistic had they not covered a skeleton in spam... they could have added more blood to disguise the fact - go Herschell-Lewis on them.

    One thing that did impress me is most of the scenes are shot in daylight and D'Amato still builds a sense of tension and unease. The scene where Arnold is looking for his pregnant wife Maggie and stumbles into a clearing by a ruinated abbey sent a shiver down my spine. You can actually feel something watching him.

    There is more to this film than I originally thought and I would recommend it to all horror fans who haven't seen it yet. And I will be watching this again in the future.
  • Antropophagus from director Joe D'Amato is a pretty notorious movie, mainly for making it's way onto the infamous UK "Video Nasty" list. When your hear about this movie you probably hear about its gore, mainly 2 infamous scenes that cemented its place in the list. I think this reputation hurts the film though because, in all honesty, the gore in this movie is pretty weak (except one scene that I will get to). People go into this movie expecting a very nasty and extremely gory horror movie but come out pretty disappointed at the shoddy gore effects and extremely slow pace...Well, that's because they overlooked all the great and more subtle things that the movie DOES deliver on.

    First off, this movie is creepy, a combination of atmosphere, music and a wonderfully over-the-top performance from George Eastman make this movie one of the spookiest Italian slasher flicks I have ever seen. Scenes of characters exploring darkened corridors by candle light are some truly creepy scenes and sort of remind me of more classic horror movies from decades before. There are also some really great jump-scares too. The cat is cheap, but effective, the girl popping out of the wine barrel is definitely effective and lastly, the scene at the end where Eastman's character emerges from the well nearly stops my heart every time I see it! There is some fantastic atmosphere in this movie as well, the deserted Greek town is beautiful but haunting, whether they are walking through the halls of a house or the streets of the town there is always a feeling of something not quite being right.

    The Music heightens the creepiness of all the scenes so well. Some might consider it to be annoying but I would call it nerve-wracking. Finally, and most important, is Eastman's character... this man is disgusting, disturbed and definitely somebody you would NEVER want to meet in real life. He towers over everyone with his immense stature, the make-up is excellent in giving him a monster quality. His performance is so over-the-top but it provides the energy the movie needs to keep it going.

    If there is one thing that I think sets Joe D'Amato apart from the rest of the Italian horror directors, it's the way he ends his movies. All his movies I have seen contain a wonderfully shocking and over-the-top climax. I think Antropophagus has the best climax of all too. I will try not to give too much away but basically Eastman's character reveals how truly mad he really is (as if he could be any madder) and in a fit of insanity we finally get rewarded with the one truly excellent and extremely disturbing gore effect that wont leave your mind for days to come.

    Everything else is pretty standard when it comes to Italian exploitation but I do think it's worth mentioning that there are some above average performances from Tisa Farrow (Zombi 2) and Zora Kerova (Cannibal Ferox) that make the characters a little more likable than your average slasher.

    In the end, I think Antropophagus is a really great Italian horror that should be appreciated for it's scares, not its gore. Don't listen to the hype, cause it's misleading.
  • The thing about D'Amato, is he can take the most straight-forward film and make it over-the-top and sleazy...and that's why he's one of my favorite directors. He always goes just a little "too far" and I commend him for that. In ANTHROPOPHAGOUS - ol' Joe is up to his old tricks - but this time, he saves his over-the-top elements til the end for maximum impact, and otherwise weaves a pretty atmospheric (yet admittedly slow-paced) horror film. Not the constant shock-fest of BUIO OMEGA, nor the all-out sleazy exploitation of EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD - ANTHROPOPHAGOUS is more of a serious horror film with some "shocking" scenes thrown in for good measure.

    This one starts with a group of vacationers who decide to head to a secluded island for some R&R. Turns out the island is nearly uninhabited, and when the vacationers get stranded there - they start to piece together what happened to the original inhabitants of the island. Turns out a cannibalistic weirdo still roams the island, just waiting to pick off anyone who crosses his path. And soon enough, the vacationers will get to meet him face-to-face...

    A lot of people down ANTHROPOPHAGOUS for it's slow pace - which I can't really argue - but overall, the film is handled competently. The story is drawn out slowly and the island sets and backdrops are simultaneously beautiful and yet still creepy and atmospheric at the same time. The "bad-guy" is also suitable creepy and bugged-out looking - and the gore scenes at the end make up for the slow pace as the last 20 minutes or so are pretty fast-paced. There are some decent throat-bitings with tons of blood - a decent intestines-eating, and of course, the notorious fetus-eating scene which is the reason that the un-cut version of this film is so sought after. That scene is pretty cool - but is very short and still appears to be cut down. Overall, not my favorite D'Amato film - I'll still stick with BUIO OMEGA or EMANNUELLE IN America - but ANTHROPOPHAGOUS is worth a look too, if you go into it knowing that you'll have to wait a while for the "pay-off"... 8/10
  • Going into Antropophagus aka Man-Eater (man i have a tough time, pronouncing that) I knew a couple things about it. I knew it was a classic of euro horror and I knew that it was supposed to be pretty gory. And I would say both are true. While watching the opening credits I also found out that it was directed by Joe D'Amato, big time sleaze/horror director. After seeing Buio Omega and this one really gets to know his style of directing.

    Antrophoghagahasus....Man-Eater is about a few wealthy people taking a vacation and visiting an island. What they don't know is that the island people have all vanished, thanks to one of the coolest villains in horror history. No joke. So obviously they arrive to the island, and bad things start to happen. Simple but fun.

    I hear people find this movie dull, and I can totally see where they're coming from. In the beginning especially there were a few instances I caught myself not even paying attention. But these day-dream episodes didn't happen again and I was pretty happy with the following results. The movie (uncut) isn't full of gore, but it has it's fair share, especially the ending which was funny as hell. It's one of those moments where you're telling yourself - He's not gonna...he's not...Awesome! - Actually there are two moments in this film that gage that type of reaction.

    If you're into euro horror, you've most likely already checked this out, but if you're just a horror fan looking for something different, this is one flick I would definitely recommend. It has D'Amato directing, pretty girls, cool gore, some nice suspense and a pretty badass villain. 8 outta 10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The hype surrounding this film is just that, hype. It is quite honestly the most boring 'horror' film I've ever seen (and I've seen Oasis of the Zombies!) if you can even call it that. The whole stigma of the film and its controversy was the fetus eating scene which, quite frankly, was not all that spectacular. The version I saw was the recently released 2 disc 'uncut' edition from media blasters/shriek show and I swear that it was still cut. Even so, unless they cut out a huge helping of gore and interesting plot, it would still suck hard. I had been waiting to see this film, uncut, for about 10 years. The anticipation was killing me and when I saw the 2 disc uncut edition for 10 bucks I had to get it. What a waste of 10 dollars that was. Before I discuss the plot let me set the record straight: I LOVE horror films, B-movies and anything that the average person would dub as complete garbage (ie: anything released by Troma). That said, this movie was still the most boring, uneventful piece of trash I've ever witnessed. The plot was so sluggish I wanted to shoot myself (there was plenty of fast forwarding after sitting thru the first 30 minutes), the gore was limited and/or nonexistent, the fetus eating scene looked like it was cut and it was still boring as balls. I know Joe D'Amado is hit or miss, and I've enjoyed a number of his films, but unless you want to see his worst movie ever then stay away from this film. Anthropophagus, more like Anthropo-wheres my f'n $10 back for this crappy movie? End review.
  • Looking back these days at the movies on the list of Video Nasties drawn up in the early 80s by the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions, one is often left wondering what all the fuss was about. In the case of "Antrophagus: The Beast" AKA "Antrophagus: The Grim Reaper", with its infamous ripping-out-a-fetus-and-chomping-on-it scene, it is easy to see. However, fetus grimness aside, 'Antrophagus' is a disappointing horror which neither lives upto the hype of its infamous set-piece or the promising first act of the movie.

    The film begins with the slaughter of a young couple on a pleasant beach on a remote Greek Island by something which emerges from the sea. Sometime later a young group of holidaying tourists (friends of the slain couple) arrive and find the island deserted Mary Celeste style. They begin to investigate, catching glimpses of a mysterious woman before they finally stumble upon a hysterical blind girl who tells them of a monster whose presence she can smell from the odor of blood it carries. From there the members of the group are gradually picked off by something which is eventually revealed to us to be a disfigured and insane George Eastman.

    Unfortunately, while the first third establishes a convincingly uncomfortable atmosphere courtesy of the island and the house, and the build up to the monster's reveal is quite well done… after this the film deflates quite quickly. For all its hype there is actually very little in the way of action/gore and after the plot has revealed itself we still have to suffer a lot of shots of people walking around like they have done for the whole of the film upto that point. However, it should be noted that the film does attempt some modicum of character development and has some only-just-sub-par acting in order to carry the viewer through the boredom…even though it falls short of the mark. And then, the fetus eating scene (in fact a skinned rabbit)! Sure, this is a gruesome and repugnant idea, but to be honest the scene isn't shot that well, doesn't really make sense, fails to repulse, and so ultimately disappoints.

    It's a shame really as every now and then you catch glimpses of what could be a great movie, but the editing, the acting, and (to be honest) the monster, let it down and (while it's much, much better than the follow up 'Absurd') still bores where it should scare, and elicits yawns where there should be screams.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Also known as "Man-Eater" or "The Grim Reaper". This film is a definitive must-see for all lovers of those 70s Euro horror trash flicks!!! Nearly the whole time there is nothing happening, the actors behave as if they were in a soft porn and the special F/X are pretty cheesy! But "Antropophagus" has his very own charm that makes him so enjoyable: the last 15 minutes are a real splatterfest and main actor George Eastman is giving an immortal horror film performance with playing the insane man-eater. Two notorious scenes made this movie being legendary:

    • in one scene George Eastman tears out the embryo out of the stomach of a pregnant woman.


    • at the end a heavy wounded man-eater starts to eat his own guts...


    Not to forget that trash mastermind Joe D´Amato was really able to create a pretty creepy atmosphere! If you liked "Antropophagus" check out his great "Erotic Nights of the living dead" - a semi-porn zombie shocker that also stars the outstanding George Eastman!!!

    Euro horror trash at its best!!!!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The ideas and atmosphere of this film come from great, universal horror themes: a secluded and creepy Greek island, lost tourists, the tragic-horror story of a man who had to eat his wife and child in order to survive while lost at sea, a scary old mansion ...all wonderful horror (and with a genuinely tragic monster, the backbone of all great horror). The scene in which Tisa Farrow is hanging in the well and George Eastman (the cannibal monster) is reaching out to grab her is masterful suspense, and the scenes of Eastman eating the fetus and his own entrails remain shocking today, 25 years later. I've found myself comparing many different secluded-island horror movies to this one, most recently Stuart Gordon's "Dagon," but also "Shockwaves," both great but neither quite evoking the atmosphere and classic horror that Antropophagus does. The Greek folk music piece early in the film draws me back, whenever I hear it, to the dark side of the seclusion of the little islands in the Aegean Sea (the only other film in which I have heard this song is "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" ...needless to say, the use of the song in MBFGW came off as terribly irritating to this gorehound). Though the cuts I have seen of Antropophagus could stand to be cleaned up (and converted into one language throughout the film), these cosmetic problems should not be translated into "slow" and "dull" to modern eyes. This film is spirited and delightful, with all of the suspense and grue of its era packed into 90 minutes. Absolutely essential viewing for the Eurohorror fan.
  • A group of young adults go to a Greek island, where things go from bad to worse when they find that everyone on the island -- with the exception of a blind girl -- has been killed. Clearly, they didn't see the exploitation film "Island of Death" to learn why Greek islands are bad. What they encounter is a man who is more beast than anything, with an insatiable thirst for human blood and flesh.

    This film has floated around under various names -- "Grim Repaer", "Man Eater" and the misspelled "Antropophagus" to name a few -- for quite some time, gaining notoriety for its banned status in England and two scenes which had to be cut when it was finally released (one involving a man eating his own intestines and the other with a baby being ripped from a womb and devoured). The hype is more than enough to get people to see the film, though it's tame by today's standards. (I hate to reference "Island of Death" yet again... but if you want to be shocked, the goat scene in that one easily outdoes anything shown here).

    I enjoyed this one. There's something about older horror films, even those with poor film quality, that have a value to them modern films lack. And the cannibal, played by George Eastman, is a disgusting creature in his own right. Even without the publicity or the previously cut scenes (now restored in many versions) Eastman is convincing and works well. (For what it's worth, the blind girl is also pretty cool -- on par with the blind girl in "Castle Freak" -- and I'm very glad they scripted her in to this one.) Decent plot, decent characters, decent blood and gore. Unless you're impatient with older films, this is one that is worth your time and I can see myself seeing it again and again if the opportunity presents itself. Make sure you get an uncut copy. You don't need those extra scenes to enjoy this film, but if you're going to view it, you may as well get the full effect and see what lead to the banning in the first place. You'd be surprised what gets people riled up.
  • This Italian/German made horror tells the tale of a group of characters so dull and personality less I don't think I ever even acknowledged their names. They arrive on an island and come under attack from a cannibal, each being picked off one by one.

    As you can imagine you'll have seen it all before but the film does have a couple of notable features.

    Radiating that 70's vibe you'll be right at home with the ridiculously red "Blood", over the top blips and blops within the soundtrack and all the usual tropes.

    Antropophagus was one of those banned video nasties which you watch now and you simply cannot understand why. This one however does have one particularly unpleasant scene but even that is done in such a laughable manner it loses credibility.

    The Good:

    One great death scene

    Interesting killer

    The Bad:

    Awful 70's score

    "That" baby scene

    Lifeless characters
  • hcjv618 September 2003
    How anyone can say this is better than its sequal "Absurd" goes beyond me. I saw this film (uncut) straight after Absurd and kept wondering when it was actually going to start - there is one initial scene where a guy on a beach gets a meat cleaver through his head (extremely unrealistic effects) and then the next "excuse of gore" is a head in a bucket which is so pathetically unreal I nearly split my sides with laughter !!!! The so called famous fetus eating scene is about the only thing that could atract anyone to watch this film and even that is poorly done. The whole concept behind the idea is definatly sick if you sit there and think about it but the effects really are poor and as for everyone talking about suspense and quality music - oh dear, I don't think you watched the same film as me. There is far too much cheesy greek "plate smashing" music, too many scenes done in the dark - to the extent where you can't actually see half of the film - and just no need to watch it - not even out of curiosity !!!! Trust me, do not waste 90 mins of your life watching this one - it is dire !!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Creepy and unsettling Italian slasher that without being pretentious pays homage to American slashers and at the same time capitalized the success of the American style back in the early 80's.

    The Uncut version has raised controversy mainly because of two gruesome sequences including the cannibal eating a woman's fetus and the later being his demise when he tries to eat his own guts after being slaughtered. Two magnificent scenes for lovers of gore.

    Still, the movie is not all about blood, gore, or brutal death sequences. "Antropophagus" is a suspenseful movie that creates a creepy atmosphere based on an eerie Greek ghost town, an easy to follow but interesting plot, and believable performances (specially by Tisa Farrow and George Eastman).

    The score is also perfect and creates the other half of the movie's atmosphere and dark vibe.

    By any means a let down, I'd say it's a worth Italian slasher with excellent gore, perfect creepy atmosphere, and terrific art direction.

    A must see for those who enjoy good gore and tension.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Joe D'Amato's "Antropophagus" is a classic piece of Italian splatter.It boasts no less than three major veteran genre actors like Tisa Farrow("Zombi 2"-1979),George Eastman("Absurd"-1982)and Zora Kerova("Cannibal Ferox"-1981,"The New York Ripper"-1982).D'Amato manages to create some moments of genuine tension,including a deadly encounter in cannibal's macabre lair.There is also a nice amount of gruesome gore,including a legendary scene where George Eastman rips out woman's fetus.To sum up if you consider yourself a fan of Eurohorror you can't miss this film.Highly recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    D'Amato's horror film is notorious from its placement on the UK's video nasties list, and certain scenes in it do push the viewer into the outer reaches of stomach churning disgust. The film also has a reputation as one of the worst films on the list, with accusations that it is boring, inconsequential, absurd. It doesn't even seem to be popular amongst D'Amato aficionados. Yet it's a striking work – full of atmospheric tension, horrific visions and the caustic misanthropy about contemporary society which was D'Amato's stock-in-trade.

    The film begins in the luxurious setting of a Greek island, where a couple of German tourists – swim-wear clad and equipped with the mod-con accoutrements of the early 1980s – are sunbathing and swimming only to be attacked and murdered by a mysterious figure. This offers a prologue to the main action, in which the same attacker menaces a larger group of Italian tourists who are island hopping and who happen to stop on the killer's island because they've picked up a boat-hiker who is going to be working there as the companion of a blind girl. As usually happens in a stalk-and-slash film, the killer – a giant cannibal played by regular D'Amato collaborator George Eastman (who also scripted) – picks the tourists off one by one and murders by munching into their necks and chomping on their flesh.

    The tourists are a typical bunch of middle-class twenty-somethings, concerned with sightseeing, their relationships and grabbing some sun. One of the party happens to have an interest in Tarot cards, and she reads those of one of her companions, a pregnant woman. Unhappily, she sees nothing in the cards, which she takes to suggest that the querent has "no future." This prophecy has an echo of the Sex Pistols' corrosive refrain in their God Save the Queen, a song which predicts the same "No Future" for English consumer society of roughly the same era. And like the Pistols' great anti-Monarchist song, D'Amato's film identifies the cause of no future as coming from those at the top of the social pile. We discover that the cannibal is a scion of a wealthy merchant family, who live in what looks like a typical mercantile, colonial mansion on the Island. This fellow has been involved in a shipwreck, and found himself forced to squabble with his wife in a lifeboat over the body of their son, whose carcass was now the only meat they had. The wife objected, and the man stabbed her in a desperate struggle for survival, after which he seems to have developed a taste for human meat which he satisfies on his murderous spree. But there's something about the scene in the lifeboat which is emblematic of the struggle for survival, the Darwinian survival of the fittest which Capitalism foists on us all. In encountering the cannibal, the tourists are encountering the truth about the system which allows them to afford such luxurious holidays in the first place.

    D'Amato emphasises this sense of characters encountering the truth about themselves through their encounter with the cannibal by a series of shots in which they see themselves reflected shortly before seeing him. The German tourist sees himself reflected in the cannibals knife, the first dead Italian confronts a mirror shortly before death and later the boat-hiker has to smash a huge mirror in which she is reflected in order to find her way into his lair and discover his secrets. The cannibal, as in Sondheim's contemporaneous 1980 Broadway musical Sweeney Todd (later filmed by Tim Burton) is a ideal image of a Capitalistic society in which man devours man, a rampage of anthropophagy which ends here with the cannibal literally chewing on his own entrails, a self-devouring monster.

    The film's most infamous scene depicts the fate of the pregnant woman, whose unborn baby is ripped from her by the cannibal and the foetus devoured, fresh from the womb. There can be no more visceral an image of a child born into the world of No Future than this, yet those who see it as mere unnecessary nastiness on D'Amato's part might reflect that it has a partial real life analogy in the treatment meted out to Sharon Tate's unborn child in the Manson gang murders as well as a rather more classical forebear in the famous Goya painting of Cronos devouring his child (in D'Amato's film, the father looks on as his child is eaten by the cannibal, but if the mirror analogy holds, he is looking at an image of himself).

    Often in D'Amato's films, white Europeans are seen as cursed with a culture which is deadly, cannibalising and exploitative. In setting Anthropophagus on a Greek Island, D'Amato traces that cannibalistic tendency back to its source in the classical civilisation of the Greeks, here stripped of its Romantic, idealized associations and seen as a devouring demon – a Minotaur in its island lair, feasting upon the young who are delivered by ship for sacrifice.
  • Anthropophagus is one of the few films on the Video Nasty list that is still banned in Britain in its uncut form to this day; and that really isn't surprising. While the film only features two heavy scenes of extreme violence, these two alone are good enough reason for the BBFC to get its scissors out and Joe D'Amato's Eurotrash masterpiece features a continually morbid and graphic tone throughout. The film kicks off with a sequence that could have come from any other slasher movie and sees a couple viciously savaged while trying to relax on a picturesque beach. This sequence sets exactly the right tone for the film; as while it's derivative of a huge number of slasher movies; it's clear that sleaze director Joe D'Amato is going to take this one further than we're used to going. The plot is splendidly simple, and sees a group of tourists arriving on a remote island after suffering boat problems. They soon realise that the local population has disappeared, and there's something sinister on their tail...and this is one psychopath that is never going to listen to reason!

    The Greek island setting is superbly realised and the uninhabited settings make for a great location for a film like this to take place. You would expect this movie to suffer from poor production values, but actually that isn't the case. Despite the largely very poor acting (from esteemed cult figures such as George Eastman and Tisa Farrow), the film is well shot and D'Amato utilises a series of macabre elements, which ensures that the film works as a horror movie as well as a grisly shocker. The killer at the centre of the movie really is a great creation and something far different from the norm. While the murderer is a definitely beast, D'Amato gives him a human quality and some attempt is made to show how he became what he is - which overall makes the whole thing much more shocking. This film is notorious for a scene that involves The Beast and a pregnant woman, and it lives up to its reputation of being sick beyond belief. However, you've got to respect D'Amato for this; as merely having the balls to show it is something that most director's lack. The ending of the movie is superb, and provides a great climax for the title character. Overall, I highly recommend this movie to fans of Euro horror...just so long as you've got the guts!
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