A retired F.B.I. Agent with psychological gifts, is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him, is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.
Mischa and Hannibal, baby brother and sister, are inseparable; it is their love for each other that ties their bond. Their companionship is forever binding, until, with their family, while hiding from the Nazi war machine a twisted set of circumstance sets the pace for a most vicious attack on the future of one Hannibal Lecter for the sworn vengeance for the brutal killing of his baby sister. Years later, we find Hannibal, the teenager, setting up in Paris, and living with his aunt Lady Murasaki Shikibu and studying at medical school here he finds his forte. Still searching for his sister's murderers, still bitter and still ever hopeful of satisfying his desire for retribution. This chance arrives, and soon we are to learn that for a pound of flesh lost a pound of flesh must be repaid. This is the horrific tale of justice and honor, a young man's growing pains that will have the guilty paying with more than just flesh and bone. This is the up and rising tale of the young Hannibal, ... Written by
Hugh Dancy was screen tested for the role of Hannibal and would later go on to star as Will Graham in the T.V. show "Hannibal" which acted as a prequel to Red Dragon. Even then he still didn't get to play the famed cannibal, the role went to Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. See more »
Cartridges do not fire their bullets when burned, as shown when the Stuka is on fire. They rupture, and their brass casings pop off. But nothing is launched like a bullet from a barrel would be. See more »
Yes this movie was a technically well made French film and had a seemingly original setting and plot. Young Lector is a Lithuanian child, son of a nobleman, caught in the retreat of 1944. He and his sister are holed up in a hunting lodge after a fight between a Russian tank and a German Stuka wipes out the rest of his family. There are also the evil SS Germans with local Lithuanian helpers, just as bad but cruder. They end up holed up there in the lodge too as the Russians drive out the retreating Nazis. So as they all starve in the cold, these disreputable knaves decide to feast on the Hannibal's baby sister, not good for a well adjusted childhood. As a result, he goes mute and ends up a prisoner for eight years in a Soviet orphanage set in his family's old house. An older trustee boy torments him but Hannibal escapes but passes up a chance to slice him up. But he snuck into his mother's old room, and after eight years of enemy occupation, the bundle of letters his mother left in the top drawer are still there untouched and unread. Considering what the Soviets did to the Lithuanians, you'd think he would have some reason to get some revenge on them as well as the Nazi collaborators.
After a hair raising escape over the Soviet frontier, which includes a rather uneventful hobo journey through Communist Poland and East Germany, he makes his way to France to look up some French count uncle and his Japanese wife he had a picture of. Naturally, they take him in, but Uncle is dead and his Japanaese wife, a real looker, is still around to provide some well needed maternal, and later more, care to the young waif. Her family was wiped out in Hiroshima so there is that bond, though why Japanese get a pass when they made the Nazis look like amateurs with their depravity in China and other locales is amazing. That topic wasn't expanded but she is also a daughter of some samurai family and ends up teaching young Hannibal all sorts of killing and other martial and discipline skills to further his career. Gver me a break, female ninja in 50s France, did the writer watch "Kill Bill" or read too much anime? She also breaks his mutism down and gets him to speak again, but he still has his horrible nightmare about what happened to his little sister in that lodge when the Lithuanian Nazi collaborators ate her, natch!
Hannibal draws first blood on some fat rude butcher who insulted his aunt/samurai instructor in the market. He is crude, ugly and bigoted, as well as a former Vichyite, so when Hannibal dices up and decapitates him samurai style we can only applaud this well deserved piece of revenge. See a pattern! But this brings us to our Inspector Jaubert, Clarissa Starling detective called Popiel, played by the only actor I recognized, Dominic West.
Then he goes to medical school in Paris where he learns more about human anatomy and nature, especially after helping out in an execution of a Nazi collaborator. Then he dopes himself with truth serum so he can remember the names of the brutes who did his sister in. He remembers they left a bag of loot which included German dog tags in the lodge when they beat a hasty retreat in the face of the Red Army.
Now this is where it gets stupider. Somehow he managed to not only wrangle a French passport but travel unimpeded through two Soviet satellites to Stalinist USSR, where they let this waif in without any scrutiny so he could roam around Lithuania looking for evidence and revenge. Mind you, all visitors to the paranoid, xenophobic Soviet Union better had good reasons to be there and were closely watched. Also, he was an escapee from the country and orphanage yet the only one who noticed him, he is using his original Hannibal Lecter moniker, is a local police chief who was also part of the gang of sister eaters. No other official had any inkling he was an escaped citizen of the worker's paradise up to possible counter revolution or espionage?
Now he turns the table on this police chief, who unwisely confronted him unarmed and alone at the derelict lodge, where he engages in his first act of human gourmet. Now it's all downhill, he has all the identities of these hoods, who had conveniently relocated to France, to get his revenge. In James Bondian fashion, he turns the tables on his would be pursuers, who now know he is after them. Meanwhile Inspector Joubert is still poking around, he knew what Hanny did in Lithuania but vows the guillotine for him if Hanny kills in France, fat chance.
So it is just a bunch of overly clever revenge killing of totally despicable Nazi collaborator, white slaving, drug dealing scum who no one could ever feel sorry for. He is just a clever, erudite avenging angel cleaning up the mess that Nuremberg missed. Hannibal comes out a little daft but otherwise utterly justified and principled and skilled guy, with his Japanese lover now to defend too.
Mr. Harris obviously wrote this as a rejoinder for the cannibal fan club, to make this creep look like a real mensch and man of letters too. As a film by itself, unconnected to the Hannibal saga, it would have been an interesting but ultimately routine revenge flick. But it is a sick,backdated excuse for one of cinema's favorite bad guy, who we are supposed to imagine was a good chap after all. Whether this is a bad thing in any grand moral or cultural way is not addressed in this cheap cash out prequel of the Hannibal saga. Most damning, one can not imagine that this Hannibal turned into the one we all know
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