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Going into Cannibal I was aware of a few things. I knew that it was
based on a true story that involved two German men and cannibalism. I
also knew that there was a good amount of gay sex and lots of weiners
flippin and floppin all over the place. Well, the movie is indeed about
two Germans with a incredibly rare fetish and it is also full of sex
and male nudity. But I also came to realize that this movie has some of
the best gore fx I've ever seen. So if any of this stuff itches you the
wrong way, the best path to take is to avoid this movie. But if you're
looking to widen your horizon and/or just check out an extreme, yet
very well made movie, this is definitely a must see.
Like I said the movie is about two German men, 42-year-old computer expert Armin Meiwes and 43-year-old engineer Bernd Brandes. Armin through his accomplished computer skills and perseverance sets out to find someone who would help assist him accomplish his deepest desire. Through hard work and many meetings with people he eventually finds Bernd. From the moment they meet face to face you instantly realize that this movie is gonna get serious, fast. Reason why I'm saying this is the first thing Bernd says to Armin is "I'm your flesh" and then an intensely sexual yet loving stare follows. Remember what I said above with the extreme subject matter? Well, that's what follows. For many of you the reason you're watching this film is to get a better idea of what transpired between these two men. And believe you me, you'll get the idea. One thing I didn't expect from this movie was the way they chose to tell the story. I was expecting the film-makers to show them in a different tone, a tone more fitting to this type of subject manner. I came away from the movie with a sense that I just saw a love story, one of the grossest love stories I've ever seen, but a love story. I really only have two gripes with this film. One of them being the dubbing was kind of weak, and two I would have enjoyed a follow up after the closing scene, telling us exactly how the true-life story ended. Minor nit-picking, but it would have upped my score.
Cannibal was directed by first-time director Marian Dora. And I have to take my hat off to him, he did a really nice job. The shots of the movie were intense, the dialog was minuscule yet powerful. The acting seemed inspired, the gore fx were unbelievable. The movie brought home the bacon and fried it in the pan....big time. Cannibal is an incredibly strong flick that should appeal to many people, even though most will be scared away by the penis shots and sex. Truthfully, there's so much nudity in it, after a while you're not even noticing it anymore. If you like strong flicks and aren't afraid of a little sex and blood, check this baby out. 9 outta 10.
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.
Sparse, economical, and surprisingly affective, this film wisely
eschews exploitation to instead attempt an oddly serious and almost
artistic analysis of the famous Meiwes case. Almost in 3 clinical acts
(the hunt, the seduction, and the consumption), the film
minimalistically explores the theme of sex as predation, consummation
as consumption. It also superimposes Meiwes' favorite Grimm tale of
Hansel and Gretel onto it as a frame, creating an odd fairy-tale for
It is not an entertaining or pleasant film--but it works very ingeniously. With little to no dialog, the film creates a sense of unease and distaste in the audience through the simple use of frank male nudity, homoeroticism (which for some will seem more disturbing than the violence), and ritualistic slaughter and cannibalism implied cheaply and brilliantly with what appears to be almost no real special effects. Much of what we see is most likely the carcass of a pig, and yet we will feel like we are seeing much more.
The film also creates a sense of an actual relationship between the two men--not that they loved each other, but that they understood each other and each other's desires. The way they interact seems genuine and a part of the paradox of this case.
Shot using the simplest and cheapest of home equipment and with only 2 real actors, the film is also a testament to how successfully done an independent film can be. So little was needed to create this, and it all comes together very well.
Unlike American films like "Hard Candy", which try to moralize its themes to death, this film is far superior in its provocation. I'm not sure who else the audience for this film is, but for those to whom it works--it works almost perfectly.
"Cannibal" by Marian Dora is based on a gruesome criminal case of Armin Meiwes.Meiwes,the self-confessed cannibal from Rohtenburg admitted that he had met a 43-year-old Berlin engineer Bernd Brandes,after advertising on the internet and had chopped him up and eaten him.Meiwes cut off Brande's penis and fried it for both to eat,then stabbed his in the neck with a knife and dismembered the body.Over the next few weeks he defrosted and cooked parts of Bernd Brandes in olive oil and garlic,eventually consuming 20kg of human flesh before police finally turned up at his door."Cannibal" is very graphic and filled with scenes of rough homosexual activity.There are several truly revolting images including penis chomping and later castration scene that made me squirm in my seat.The evisceration and dismemberment of Brandes is shown in unflinching detail.The direction by Marian Dora is flawless as is the acting of two main characters.The minimalist score by Jim Thirwell creates truly oppressive atmosphere of darkness and despair.Overall,"Cannibal" is a grisly and very disturbing shocker that is recommended only for fans of extreme cinema.9 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So I FINALLY got my copy of CANNIBAL and I gotta say, I dug it quite a
bit. I will say that this film will by all means not be for everyone.
If you are not one of the more jaded "extreme" film fans and happened
to grab this one blindly, you may very well not be prepared for it.
CANNIBAL is based on the true-crime story of Armin Meiwes, the "Rotenburg Cannibal" who posted an online ad searching for someone to volunteer to be mutilated and eaten. Unlikely as it may seem, someone actually replied. The film shows a fictional portrayal of the meeting between the cannibal and his victim/participant, they're homosexual relationship, and the eventual mutilation and murder of said victim.
I had read a few reviews, and am glad that I was aware of the amount of dong on display in this one ahead of time as that may have put me off a bit otherwise, though honestly, with the amount of sick fetish-porn I've seen, this one was pretty tame by comparison. There's not much (other than the copious wang shots) to complain about. The photography is well-done and "dark", which works well considering the subject matter, and the gore scenes that everyone has been talking about really are very well done - so much so that I don't think the average film-goer will be ready for this one. I also found the score/sound-design perfectly matched to the film. My only gripe production-wise was the HORRIBLE dubbed vocal tracks, though the film only has about 15 lines of dialogue anyway, so that's not a huge issue.
CANNIBAL is definitely an art-house type of film that relies heavily on visuals and atmosphere as opposed to dialogue. Normally, I'm not a big art-type film fan, but it works for this one. Although many will probably say that the scenes leading up to the gore are "boring", I found the build-up to add to the overall tension of the film and wasn't bored by any of it. Fans of stronger, sicker material will more than likely dig this one. Again, if you have a major problem with seein' some cocks, then you'd probably be better off cutting to the last 30 minutes or just skipping it altogether, otherwise - if you've got a strong stomach - give CANNIBAL a look...8.5/10
P.S. - anyone else notice the irony of the junkie in the beginning of the film shooting up while wearing a MINOR THREAT shirt???
This 2005 movie directed by Marian Dora is one of the most disturbing and horrific movies I've ever seen. It's based on the real life event surrounding Armin Meiwes, the "Rotenburg Cannibal" who posted an online ad searching for someone to volunteer to be mutilated and eaten. This movie version stars two people, the The Cannibal and The Flesh. As TC searches for some individual to literally give his body, TF shows up and is more than willing. In fact, he is by far the aggressor, as he wants to end his life, and wants TC to eat every single ounce of him. Both gay, they meet and before long the movie turns into a kind of gay orgy between the two, and little is left for the imagination as UNEARTHED FILMS presents "Cannibal" totally uncut in all its gory beauty. There is very little dialogue in the movie, only a few lines said between the two, but the visual images are among the most bizarre and graphic you'll ever see. In a way, it's a beautiful movie, but then that's me of course. I found it extremely disturbing, as it should be, and as the movie moved into it's darkest regions, what is depicted is enough to make many hardcore gorehounds turn away. Very well made, extremely well acted, and the video is flawless. It's hard to say I enjoyed the movie, but I did enjoy experiencing the movie, and the thought that this actually did happen. "Cannibal" is only for a very select audience, that wants such events to go ALL THE WAY. This movie does JUST that.
The first thing that I would recommend to anyone who wants to see this
movie is to read up on the actual true life case - there's plenty out
there on the web.
When you are familiar with the story you will get a lot more out of this film, the main reason for this being the limited dialogue. If you know what is supposed to be happening then you'll be able to follow the story easily.
There are only two main characters in this film, the cannibal and the 'Flesh'. The story picks up pace when the Flesh is introduced to the story. From here we witness the build up to the inevitable conclusion. Let me just warn you that there is a lot of male nudity and several scenes of a sexual nature. Whereas this is not a problem for myself or many other viewers, there are numerous posts on these boards that complain, so there you go, you have been warned.
You will soon witness the journey that this odd couple take, the torment the cannibal goes through when he briefly questions if he will be able to go through with things. The Flesh stating that it is his deepest desire.
There are some shots that will have you squirming in your seat. The last half hour or so will please fans of exploit/extreme/gore and may be a little bit hard core for the average cinema fan. This is no Saw movie, these things really did happen! Get yourselves a copy of this movie, turn down the lights, kick back and enjoy the ride!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start off by dispelling a myth that I heard about this movie
before watching it. This film is by no means pornography. Though it
delves deep into the homosexual tendencies of the killer, calling this
movie a porno because of that would be like calling Halloween or Sliver
a porno. If your a mature person who can sit through the sex scenes,
what follows is something that could only be called the greatest
cannibal movie ever put to film.
Everything done in this movie is done for a reason, it all contributes to our understanding of the characters and makes the horror that follows far more shocking then it would have otherwise been. To go into some detail, the first twenty minutes or so in the movie are virtually dialog free. There is a short part at the beginning where a story is told but aside from that the viewer is left to rely on sights and sounds to explain whats happening. The beginning is setup to show us the killers quest for the man who will be his victim. What follows once the dialog starts is meant to expand on the characters we've met and it does so fantastically. Showing us how they feel and think, what their desires are and how desperate they are to fulfill them.
The sex scenes, like the rest of the film are unflinching. Shown in more detail then I would have ever expected to see in a film, but those scenes like everything else are there for a reason. They show the killer and the victims ultimate uncontrollable desire to be "one". They expand on the characters and show the almost primal desires that lie within them. Anyone who continues to watch the movie following these scenes can see how essential they were, how much they added to characters and to the effect the movie has on it's viewer.
The film runs about an hour and a half. Roughly fifty minutes or so into the movie it becomes truly horrific, taking us even deeper into the mind of a madman and his quest to satisfy his hunger. The gore at this point in the film will truly make you squirm. I've been watching horror movies since I was ten years old, I have never truly felt taken aback by what I've seen. I have never felt that I could label a film as truly brutal, realistic, honest and straight forward. Until now. I've seen Cannibal Holocaust and it's sequels, Cannibal Ferox and countless other cannibal films. More horror movies then I can remember, all of the Faces Of Death series, countless examples or real autopsies and many things I wouldn't care to mention. This movie is truly the best cannibal film I've ever seen and I can't imagine anything ever comparing to it.
I think calling it a cannibal movie is perhaps a little unfair, the term almost simplifies the film when there is so much more to it and it is so incredibly well done. The entire movie has a dark and foreboding feel, the camera work and music add to a great story which, as others have said, if it wasn't true no one would believe it. I am a fan of all types of horror from North America, Japan, Europe and just about everywhere else. I never judge one type of cinema against another. I'm not the type to say "if Hollywood could make a movie like this, it would truly revive North American horror". However I'm going to say exactly that. Perhaps the closest thing we have to this type of film making in North America right now is Rob Zombie, but even he doesn't push the limits like this. I have to wonder if he would, if he thought he could actually get it released in US and Candadian theaters.
If your a mature horror fan this is a must see and you will not regret it. If it isn't already clear though, keep the kids (or your parents as the case may be) out of the room for this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At a recent horror movie convention I was browsing the dealer's tables and came across this film. The person selling the film saw fit to add a "cautionary label" to it which read "Warning: This is by far the sickest movie you will ever see" Of course copies of the film flew off the shelf. Everyone who passed by the table picked it up. I had read previous reviews on this film and was interested to see it so I quickly purchased my copy as well. When I finally brought it home and viewed it, to say that I was shocked,appalled,and disgusted by what I saw would be a gross understatement BUT I was also very intrigued by what I was viewing because of the way that the film was shot. This is an art-house style depiction of a most heinous and grotesque case. If it were not a true story no one would ever believe it in a million years. A man becomes obsessed with the idea of killing and consuming another man (justifying this at one point by saying that women were too important in the evolution of mankind) he runs advertisements on the internet for a "victim" and unbelievably gets numerous responses which do not pay off for him. Until he meets "The Flesh" a man who is not only a willing participant but who is even more eager and fascinated by the whole idea than the man is. When it gets down to time to actually follow through with the act, what follows is a series of grotesque acts to vile to describe in print. Absolutely NOTHING is left to the imagination and the viewer sees every aspect of what occurred. From the initial first night of sex and intimacy, to the mutual consumption of the Flesh's most personal of private parts, to the eventual disembowelment, decapitation and consumption of the Flesh. When all is said and done, one has to truly wonder, was this a crime? In an attempt to exonerate himself of any wrong doing the Man filmed the acts and it becomes very obvious that the Flesh was not only a willing participant who encouraged the acts but that in some ways he was even more perverse than the Man was as he screams out at him during the course of one of the acts "You can't do it, can you...your too weak!" The viewer is left to answer this question on their own as the trial and ultimate conviction of The Man is not discussed in this film. This helps to preserve this film as a work of art and not an exploitation flick or a cheap "true crime" documentary. This is a powerful film which will be etched in the viewer's mind for a long time to come.
When I first saw that the title of the film was "Cannibal", my first
instinct was to let my curiosity get me to watch the film.
The start did not get that much attention from me, but as the movie progressed, I found myself in a maelstrom of emotions-- disgust, sadness and pity.
The movie's brilliant cinematography was something worth praising. It definitely captured the film with that sort of dramatic angling. The lighting and art direction was also astounding.
The scenes where The Flesh begins to die was somewhat gruesome. It almost had me puking, but anyhow, as an art form, it was brilliant. That gore was captured so dramatically. The scene where the man gave his final goodbye to The Flesh had me cry a little.
All in all the movie is not for the faint at heart. As an art form, it has exceeded the genre of abstract.
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