Starring Natalie Cardona, Devon Peter, Melisa Cardona, Mitsu Bitchi, Arinn Dembo
Directed by Andrew Shearer
The screener of Cannibal Sisters it arrived with an attached letter that quickly explained the true story that inspired the film. In 1992 a girl was murdered while visiting a local ATM in Atlanta, Georgia. The killer was never apprehended, and the case went cold. Unfortunately that left a group of friends with unanswered questions surrounding the death of their beloved companion. It also left them filled with volatile emotions concerning their loss. Because they could not take their aggressions out on the perpetrator of this heinous crime, they instead discussed the ways in which they would punish the guilty individual themselves if they were to find him before the authorities.
With this heartrending thought in mind, I slipped the DVD into my player and prepared myself for an emotional journey into the anguishing minds of a group of angry teens. My preparations never would have readied me for what I was about to witness. What started out as a simple “Look in the backseat!” story turned into one of the strangest films I have ever seen.
Like in the true-life event a woman stops at an ATM machine to make a quick withdrawal. Unbeknownst to her, she picks up more than twenty bucks! While her back is turned, a man slips into her backseat through the rear door, which for some reason she has left open. This whole scenario made me scream internally because I am the type that checks my backseat in broad daylight, let alone the dark of night.
As the girl arrives at her home, the man, who has been patiently lying in wait, puts a gun to her head and forces her inside. He ties his hostage to a chair and sets off to ransack the home. To his surprise and dismay he finds that the residence is lacking anything of value … to him at least. As he searches, he makes a grisly discovery hidden beneath the bed. Human body parts! While he is demanding an explanation from the bound girl, he himself becomes the victim!
The man wakes in a pool of his own blood, hands tied, and totally at the mercy of a group of female siblings who live in a state of utter poverty. Orphaned due to ghastly circumstances, these little down on their luck girls have developed a taste for the ultimate “Take-Out”. Let’s just say that it would be wise to politely decline any invitations to join this close-knit family for supper; otherwise you may find it difficult to keep more than your elbows off the table!
The sisters themselves are a disturbing bunch of characters. Even the brief glimpse you get into the workings of their family unit is enough to make you fully aware that these girls are all seriously fucked in the head! From phone sex hotlines to a breast-feeding scene that comes close to rivaling that of Burial Ground’s nipple mutilation for inducing a stunned audience response (and you never even see a breast), you are visually and mentally assaulted for the entirety of the film, which mercifully only lasts twenty-five minutes.
Although the actual event that this film is based on is a tragic one and should be taken in absolute seriousness, the film itself is anything but. Cannibal Sisters is a silly, no-budget romp of experimental gore effects and camera work. The acting leaves a great deal to be desired, but this is possibly due to the amateur dialogue. Furthermore, the film is set up more for shock value than entertainment. It almost seemed like the story was hurried so that the actors could get their hands bloody sooner.
Cannibal Sisters is a remake of a 2002 film of the same name. It was put out by Gonzoriffic Films this year. The original film has acquired its own cult following, and the remake is well on its way to doing the same. Andrew Shearer is the director of both versions, and from reading other reviews of the film, I have learned that he has grown as a filmmaker since the original was shot.
I’m not sure what I expected from this film. With a title like Cannibal Sisters, one should be happy with what they get … a family of female flesh eaters! Unfortunately, I think knowing the back story made me want something a bit more on the somber side. One way or the other people will either love Cannibal Sisters or chalk it up to another crappy independent film with no budget and no talent.
Personally, I’m on the fence with this one.
1 1/2 out of 5
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