Captain John Boyd receives a promotion after defeating the enemy command in a battle of the Mexican-American War, but because the general realizes it was an act of cowardice that got him there, he is given a backhanded promotion to Fort Spencer, where he is third in command. The others at the fort are two Indians, George and his sister, Martha, who came with the place, Chaplain Toffler, Reich, the soldier; Cleaves, a drugged-up cook; and Knox, who is frequently drunk. When a Scottish stranger named Colquhoun appears and recovers from frostbite almost instantly after being bathed, he tells a story about his party leader, Ives, eating members of the party to survive. As part of their duty, they must go up to the cave where this occurred to see if any have survived. Only Martha, Knox, and Cleaves stay behind. George warns that since Colquhoun admits to eating human flesh, he must be a Windigo, a ravenous cannibalistic creature. Written by
Scott Hutchins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Spencer's last film. Between its release and his death from a heart attack in December 2005, he eschewed any movie roles due to his full-time job playing Leo McGarry on The West Wing (1999). See more »
In 1848, Ives says "I reached Denver that spring ..." (of 1847), but Denver wasn't founded until 1858. See more »
The film begins with a famous quote by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): "He that fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster." Nietzsche's surname is misspelled as 'Nietzche'. Shortly after, a comedic quote appears below Nietzsche's: "Eat Me" - Anonymous. See more »
I don't know whether the previous comments on this film show how badly the film was marketed (I never saw any advertising for it) or whether they're a terrible condemnation of just how tunnel-visioned people can be. This is only a horror film in the sense that Macbeth is or The Godfather. It's about the horror of monstrosity, particularly the monstrosity inside ourselves. It's not about cannibalism, nor is it a black comedy. It has those things in it, but they are not it's raison d'etre. It's about the horror of war, conquest, taking things which don't belong to you with the sole justification that that's how you get ahead in life. You have what the other man has literally by consuming it. The hero of this film is branded a coward when really all he's done is preserved himself from the madness going on around him, a fight in which he has no part, just like this one. And yet, I see reviewers here referring to his 'cowardice' as a given. They haven't even got to first base about questioning whether he might not actually be a coward in the first place. It looks like everybody's checked their brains in at the door with this one. I'm glad I never directed this movie, it would be soul-destroying to be this misunderstood. It's a great movie. Savage, brutal,poetic. You watch the whole thing with your mouth hanging open in sheer disbelief. It's a feast for the eyes and ears and has one of the most fey, eerie qualities I've ever seen in a film. It's a masterpiece and I would urge anyone out there who can leave their preconceptions and genre expectations at home to see it. Give yourself a treat - be amazed.
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