The Internet becomes a virtual shopping list for a man with an obsessive fetish for eating his fellow man. The technically inclined cannibal places a cyberspace advertisement for a willing victim, and his marketing efforts pay off when the gruesome madman receives a reply from eager prey. This macabre drama is a reenactment of the true story of Armin Meiwes, who was convicted of killing and eating his voluntary victim, Bernd-Jürgen Brandes. Written by
While it would be unfair to draw a direct comparison with the Italian exploitation pictures ("Cannibal Holocaust", "Cannibal Ferox" et al), Marian Dora's shot-on-film "Cannibal" is perhaps the ultimate cannibal movie. An unflinching view into what drives one human being to devour another, this beautifully crafted production is an incredible achievement and it's a joy to see it released on DVD in the USA by the ever-reliable Unearthed studio. This based-on-real-life-events film has fared less well in Germany, where it is banned as a result of its no-holds-barred content and will therefore be seen in its home-country only as a result of imported DVDs and bootlegs.
The story will be known already to most viewers. In 2003, a man advertised on the internet for somebody to eat. Following a successful application, the scene was set for one of the most grotesque "crimes" to hit the media for many years. It's a genuinely interesting film as you wonder not just what would drive a man to eat another but what strange desire would make a man want to be eaten?
This is a film that may astound even the seasoned gorehound. The camera lingers on sights that you wouldn't expect to see on the screen, particularly up-close. Without a doubt, this is the bloodiest film I've seen for some time - Dora's film is a canvas of body fluids. The effects work is flawless and its realism will impress even the most critical of viewers.
The actors playing The Man and The Flesh deliver extremely realistic performances. This is a chilling, fly-on-the-wall recreation of real events, delivered in a sympathetic, non-judgemental way. There's a psychological level to the film as well as the visceral impact of the proceedings. Dialogue is kept to a bear minimum in the film but the relationship between the two men is both very believable and bizarre.
An important movie and one that deserves tracking down, I've given "Cannibal" a 9. I can't see how the subject matter could have been dealt with any better than this. Lovers of true-life crime will be in their element but horror fans expecting a non-stop gore-fest will be disappointed. This is an atmospheric, well-paced film that's more art-house than horror. Not a million miles from the pleasures of Nacho Cerdà's "Aftermath", this film is a "love it or hate it" production. I'm firmly in the first camp.
18 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?