Directed by Eloy de la Iglesia
Distributed by Blue Underground
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. That sums up Cannibal Man. Oh! Wait! Forgot to mention “gay.” Yes, this film has that special kind of homosexuality that can only be found in a film like Freddy’s Revenge. Not exactly what you were expecting out of a film with such an inviting title?
Cannibal Man promises a lot according to the theatrical trailer. Back in 1972 this may have been quite the ride, but by today’s standards it is just another drawn out and quite boring piece of work that hardly lives up to it’s title.
A man has been killed accidentally, and a local slaughterhouse worker (Vincente Parra’s Marcos) is to blame. Instead of coming clean to the police, he starts down a dangerous road and his sanity isn’t along for the ride. As more people find out about Marcos’ past, the fast he has to dispose of them. But where do you hide the growing pile of dead bodies? Why, in the slaughterhouse grinder!
No one notices the heavy bag Marcos brings in each day and leaves next to the grinder. There must be no FDA organization in this part of the world either as the human meat, bones and hair go totally unnoticed during the meat processing. Hell, even the police can’t make the connection between all the local missing people and the last person they were seen with. On a good note, Marcos’ neighbor is taking a strange liking to him.
Here’s where the film stopped being a horror movie (and a very thin one at that) and became a homoerotic love story. Though no one ever comes right out and confesses their love, it is plain as day. All that was missing was a leather bar scene and maybe a Rob Lowe poster. This isn’t to say homosexuality is a bad thing in movies (it worked so well in The Covenant), but it totally derails Cannibal Man when you’re expecting lots of suspense and gore.
On top of that, the movie just ends with the revelation that the bathhouse buddy of Marcos has been spying on him the whole time. This Peeping Tom has witnessed most of the horrible acts that have gone on throughout the film, but there’s no clear reason why he keeps his mouth shut (gay). It makes even less sense why a man would just randomly spy on another man’s house with binoculars (double gay). Was it so taboo in the ’70s just to come out and say, “This man loves this other man even though he is a murderer!”
If that line had been blurted out at the end, this film would have gained another couple of knives. Being as it is Cannibal Man is barely an OK film. It is touted as being up there with Polanski’s Repulsion and other greats like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but this one never hits the mark. With so many great character study films out there, why not stick with those instead?
If you go into this film expecting cannibalism, awesome scenes of mutilation and bloodshed you will be disappointed. However, if you were a big fan of the first Nightmare on Elm Street sequel then there are many laughs ahead for you. Hit the shower!
2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5