Cannibal (Video 2006) Poster

(2006 Video)

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Dinner is served
Warning: Spoilers
And it's not a quality dinner, but something you'd throw into the garbage can right away, also in terms of the cinematic quality we have here. "Cannibal" is a German German-language movie from 2006, so it has its 10th anniversary this year. The writer and director is Marian Dora and he is certainly known to fans of gore and splatter films for his approach to movie making. This 90-minute movie we have here is among his most known works and it deals with the story of Armin Meiwes, a German who was sentenced to life in prison for killing and eating his "victim". I write "victim" because the other guy willingly agreed to what Meiwes did to him. So it is definitely an interesting story that deserves its own movie. But not in the way it was done here. Dora does not focus on quality filmmaking or writing, but only wants to make it as vomit-inducing as possible, for example with the very graphic scene where the protagonist cuts off the other guy's penis. The two lead actors are Carsten Frank and Victor Brandl and admittedly they aren't very memorable at all, especially Frank is entirely forgettable despite playing a character that really could have stayed in your mind with the right actor touching the role. The overall thing looks fairly amateurish I must say from start to finish and this does refer to the physical quality of the movie as well as the pretentious Hansel and Gretel voice-over by German horror film acting legend Manoush, As a whole, this film does not do the subject any justice at all. The filmmaker's attempts to make this something like a romance movie look very clumsy and do not work at all in the face of all the violence depicted graphically in here. And after all, if this is a love story film then it is about the most normal thing in the world, isn't it? But then it goes completely against the idea of being special enough to turn it into a film. There is no other motivation behind these 1.5 hours than to shock as many people as possible. I don't recommend the watch. Thumbs down and a major one indeed.
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Great movie, but not for the faint at heart!
Darktragedy13 April 2016
I have watched a lot of horror movies, underground and the what not...but this is one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen...I don't know why...but it really bothered me.

The movie is well done, but it actually made me sick to my stomach, lol...just they way it is done, I guess...which is very well to have bothered me like that. I am not giving any spoilers, just be prepared if you watch this, this is NOT a date night movie, lol.

It has been a few years since I have seen this, but I know I will not go back and watch it...I actually broke the DVD after watching this because I did not want my kids or my husband to watch disturbed me that much. Maybe it was just me, maybe it was my frame of mind at the time of watching this, who knows...

I would recommend this if you can stomach it, it is very well done.
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If I Like Cannibal Does It Mean I'm Depraved?
redrobin62-321-20731121 February 2016
Oy! Marian Dora's went and done it again. That's two for two - movies that can shock the daylights out of people - this one and 'Melancholie der Engel'. Of course, if you're like me and you watch lots of actual beheading/dismemberment/suicide/animal attack videos on the internet, 'Cannibal' won't seem like much of a stretch.

No need to repeat the synopsis here because it's already well known. Even though this movie was shot on video, that makes it apropos for this kind of snuff-like film. The 'original' was captured on video anyway so this retelling doesn't stray too far off the mark.

Some parts of the movie were not visually clear; a lot of images seemed washed out and, like 'Melancholie der Engel', there really isn't that much dialog, either. However, I gave the movie a relatively high rating because of the boldness of the material, the direction, editing and bravery of the actors involved. This is probably what a video by Ed Gein or Jeffrey Dahmer would look like if they were filming their own exploits. You may not learn a lot about why they do what they do but their depravity will make your stomach turn.

Be warned. For fans of August Underground, the New French Extremity and Lucifer Valentine only.
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Well acted and directed
bees89321 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie by Marian Dora comes with a reputation. It is the true story of a couple of men meeting on the internet. One wants to eat another person and one wants to be devoured. From the opening credits the viewer can tell it's well filmed on a moderate budget and the props used in the credits are successful in leaving an unnerving feel. The film feels right for an extreme horror – grim tone and totally devoid of any humour. The intimate scenes between the two men show a tender side to the two personalities that feel very real and the lack of dialogue really works throughout the film due to the good use of sound. The film has gore and sexual scenes but at nearly an hour and a half some of the scenes appear over-long or unnecessary. A good, if not very entertaining film that deserves a watch for extreme horror fans but most would decide not to revisit it.
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A film to test the mettle of even the most committed fan of extreme horror.
BA_Harrison11 July 2014
Marian Dora's 'Cannibal' is based on the real-life case of German sicko Armin Meiwes, the Rotenburg Cannibal, who killed and ate Bernd Jürgen Brandes, the willing 'flesh' he found via an online forum. Sparing no detail in its depiction of the gruesome crime, the film is one of the most gruelling viewing experiences I have ever endured, easily rivalling such disturbing works as August Underground Mordum and Aftermath.

Those who successfully make it past the film's scenes of man-lovin' will be confronted with some of the most disgustingly realistic and gut-churning scenes ever committed to film, including a penis severing guaranteed to leave men squirming in their seat, the nauseating sight of the almost-dead victim vomiting and emptying his bowels as he is carried to a barn for slaughter, the prolonged butchering of his corpse by his naked killer (including time out for a bit of entrail fondling and stump licking), and the final consumption of the meat.

While it's hardly what I would call an enjoyable experience (it certainly won't be getting a re-watch from me anytime soon), Cannibal is an effectively disturbing piece of no-holds-barred film-making that succeeds in reminding the viewer what a messed up world we live in. For being so balls-out (rather too literally at times), I reckon it's gotta be worth at least 7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
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Very dark, very disturbing, very real.
gunslinger8617 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When i first read about this film on the unearthed films coming soon page i was interested to say the least. The description said and i quote" Make Salo 120 days of Sodom look tame in comparison". That being said i was more nervous than anything during my first viewing, thats a bold statement and to back it up is a task in and of itself. Anyways i did my homework and the film was based on the Armin Weiwes case, the cannibal who found a willing victim. Anyways i had to sit through this film three times to fully get a grasp on just what it was that bothered me. I can say it wasn't the gore, or even the homosexual content although on most blogs referring this film that was one of the biggest complaints.

anyways what really got me above all things was how realistic everything was and not just effective special effects. The film was cast perfectly. Carsten Frank was frighteningly believable as Armin, He had this incredibly dark way about him you could almost believe he was a real deviant. The actor as the victim he came off as a very slow and easily suggestible with the same sense of deviancy as the latter. The two really feed off each pun intended.

All this cycles an incredibly troubling court ship complete with a scene of homosexuality that could only be topped by hard core gay porn, honestly having seen Dora's other work and seeing what they did in those i wouldn't be surprised if Carsten Frank and the other actor actually had sex. This all leads to some absolutely vicious series of gore scenes including castration, gutting and finally cannibalism. Personally the castration scene made me curl into a ball. Finally the actual death scene has to be the most disturbing part. The way the body was being carried, everything seemed to be in place, there was small puddles of chunky vomit, bowels were voided...all in detail. All in all this film once really taken in and processed is so much more than whats taken at face value. It felt to me almost like and mind you this is all based on actual events, i was watching some perverse tragedy, there was something not only grotesque, but dark, sad,and perverse. Couple that with the minimalist piano score, which is almost become Hallmark to extreme German cinema.

If you like horror films think twice about this film, however if you are a gore hound, or have a serious interest in true crime stories than go ahead. Be forewarned.
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Needs To Learn How To Eat With Mouth Closed...
maxwellbruhn199214 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film has very little dialogue, very much male nudity, and is gross, but not in the way you would think... Basically the gore is good not great, the actors do a good job making us believe they are mentally unstable, but the main thing that irked me in this film, and its a LITTLE thing... but the guy cant chew with his mouth closed! Wine spilling, food falling, slopping sounds, its ANNOYING AND JUST NASTIER THAN THE CASTRATION. Also the actors will do these gasps that sound like they are coming from the back of their throat and not their lungs, which is gross too, its just a dirty movie and possibly the CLEANEST scene is the castration... Thanks for listening 5/10.
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Once opening this door, it's impossible to shut behind you (Part 2 of 3)
TheHrunting19 June 2011
This reminded me of a two man version of "In the Realm of the Senses" in regards to focusing primarily on the physicality of a relationship than a layered story or strict narrative. Going with that, "Cannibal" is probably THE most twisted "love" drama out there in the wide world of cinema. While it doesn't succeed in the normal sense, it's a film for most that is going to be incredibly difficult to watch, not because it's overly sad or intentionally going for terror, but because as you're witnessing the bizarre events unfold you realize this was based on a real life encounter between Arwin Meiwes and Bernd Jurgen Brandes of Germany only five years prior to the film being released. The filmmakers included their own poetic license but left the rest up to our two friends to fill in the rest with their piece of strange history committed.

This is paced very slowly, at a purposeful rate and with extremely tight close-ups to the point of where it's hard to focus on what's going at moments. Communication wise, this goes for subtlety and tone rather than a reliance on dialogue. The music gives more mood towards sentiment than ominous overtures to come like in a typical horror movie going for suspense. This definitely has the potential to be shocking but the filmmakers leave that up to the viewer, as everything is shown point-blank, as is, no acceptance or dismissal of it: it was what it was. I found it downright uncomfortable, as it plays on odd and unfamiliar fetishes between two men that includes frequent kissing, fondling, tender touches and insertion. Not to mention it treats the material extremely personal without a hint of cutting away. There's no break here, except if you count dining on some privy body parts, lounging around completely nude with unsightly appendages dangling this way or that, or soaking up the sun while feeding a garden with left over human remains.

This won't make tops of lists of items to watch again, nor is it a film to invite others over to see with you. That is unless you've got time on your hands with some explaining to do, or you're playing a daring game of who can keep their eyes on the screen longest without covering up or looking away. It's hard to call this a "good" film. Though in the basic and unconventional framework that it delivers in it's an effective one. I haven't had to take a break when watching a picture since seeing "Salo"; this is even over no story exploitation pictures like "The Devil's Experiment" and "Aftermath" where I've killed a party and had other people leave the room, never to let me put on another film again. I can't say I agree with anything I seen here but the filmmakers were able to display a certain event without even having to inject little horror-like scares, but by just showing the audience what happened behind those walls that you'll wish never came down. If you didn't take the hint: get out now. This isn't scary, as you'll probably win the lottery and get struck by lightning in the same day before it happens to you. Except for maybe giving hope to those strange folks who's irregular interests stunt dating, the regular viewer won't be put in their shoes and there are no real relating points that are emphasized here, such as with the movie "Grimm Love" about the same subject and the whole sentimental approach and look into their background.

In the end there isn't a big purpose as it leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, guy soiling himself as he's missing his member and then leaking out the other end as he's dying and all. They squeezed in some tie-ins to "The Brothers Grimm" for some ambiguous meaning that seems a lost cause, though it doesn't appear like there is anything to ponder about here, except maybe why they would do this with each other and have the other one so willing to be a participant, or even how two guys like this lived so close? Is it just a modern thing, is the Internet the accelerator? There aren't going to be any heroes or villains, story arcs, layered surprises, just a non-stop candid look up to, during and briefly after these mens' interaction. Nothing fundamentally more, nothing sincerely less. (See my profile and click chronological for the first review "Grimm Love" or the third review of "Downloading Nancy.") (Also submitted on
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trashgang26 November 2009
I just watched the controversial movie Cannibal. It's a weird story that happened in real life in Germany a few years ago. Due the fact that it was all real this movie was banned as soon it came out. Just before it was retracted from the shelves I was able to buy it in a regular DVD shop over here. Now it is available again with the green cover but heavily cut. I have the yellow cover so it's full uncut. That's the story so far about the release. The movie itself contains for some people too much gay performances. If you knew what happened then you should know that it was between two guys, if you can't stand that go watch some Disney flicks. You know what I mean. But indeed, let's say the first hour is all about the love between the two guys. They are indeed naked all the time and all of their bodies is shown, even in close ups. But it never is erotic, you know what is going to happen after wards. The last half hour the disturbing part starts, and it is indeed disturbing. The movie is slow and contains maybe 20 sentences. The rest is on some weird score, if you know that Alexander Hacke was involved then you should know what to suspect. For those not into alternative music, he's from Einsturzende Neubauten. I can understand why it was banned due the extreme gory performances and the gay performances. Be sure to catch the uncut version, surely not for the squeamish. Eat it!
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Shocking and Terrible
sonicbrew527 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Let me first say that I did my research on this film before I watched it. As a fan of true crime I was enthralled by the comments and reviews of this film which peaked my curiosity so I had to watch it. MISTAKE!!! It is a well-shot, unapologetic, and real look at what probably actually transpired between these two men but for anyone who is not a fan of extreme cinema, I can't see how anyone could recommend this. There has forever been a spot burned into my brain from this movie. The homosexuality didn't bother me as there was only 1 real scene which was hard to watch and after the initial shock of all the wang shots wore off, it was almost as if I was used to seeing it so I didn't even notice it. I was completely uncomfortable the whole time I watched this movie and couldn't wait for it to be over. I then had to watch 30 minutes of the Disney channel to try and get the images out of my head. The gore in this movie is wonderfully done but the scenes of the "penis stump" being licked and tongued was a bit much. The actual castration scene was terrible as well as the camera is right there, up close and personal, so there is nothing left to the imagination. I had to look away during a few scenes due to them being too much to watch. The visuals in this movie are things that no-one should ever see. I can't recommend this movie to anyone and cannot understand how anyone could enjoy this. It's hard to rate this film due to it not being like anything I've seen before and I actually set in silence for about 5 minutes after the credits rolled trying to get a grasp on what I had just witnessed and what I thought about it. I can see how some people would say that this represents what really happened and can applaud the director for his unflinching realism but for anyone that is not of fan of extreme cinema, I would recommend finding a book on the case study instead of watching this. But if your like me and your curiosity gets the best of you, let me warn you. It's not pretty and you will be scarred.
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Like 'Pink Flamingos', this is less like a film, and more like an experience
FunkyDan12 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing I noticed is how beautifully shot this film is. Seriously, it looks excellent(to quote Alex Delarge, "like it was done up in Hollywood"), and I'm surprised that an independent film of this nature could achieve that. It's also the only film distributed by Unearthed Films that doesn't clearly look like a set(such as the Guinea Pig movies, which were clearly shot on sets). I was also quite surprised how much it was able to accomplish without the use of dialog throughout the first half-hour, and the beautifully artistic, haunting, and minimalistic score throughout. I'm sorry, I'm just having trouble getting over how aesthetically pleasing this film is. The cinematography should've won some awards, and I bet if it was about an orphan trying to cope with life, it would've.

Anyway, when the talking started, I was shocked to hear how feminine Armin's voice was, but that soon came to pass. Something I found quite interesting about the second act was how it depicted The Flesh as the one in control, as opposed to Armin. The eerie role reversal of power worked on many psychological levels, and actually gave off a more disturbing air than the infamous gore did, especially when Armin was gutting his carcass. To think that the slab of ribs that Armin toys with was once the dominate one in their brief relationship really gave me something to think about.

Now, you're probably wondering how I felt about the gore. Well, I found the effects to be top notch, and was quite surprised to find that absolutely nothing was left to the imagination. However, the weirdest thing is: none of the bloodshed I saw really got under my skin. Not even the castration(which I blame on the fact that I've seen the rare mondo flick, The Last Savage, which has a penile castration that would give the Pain Olympics a run for its money). Also, I thought that the emphasis on gore made the third act drag quite a bit. Do we really need to spend 20 minutes on seeing a guy's carcass get cut up? This part felt less like a gripping gore film, and more like a how-to video on how to gut corpses. But like I said, some of it does actually add a layer of uneasiness when put in context with the film's prior events. Still, they should've spent a little less time on this.

All in all, this is a hard film to rate, as it's less like a film, and more like an experience. Do I recommend it? Only to those with strong stomachs, and/or those curious about the Armin Meiwes case. It's a well-made film, and is rewarding in its own special way, but I can see 95% of viewers turning this off the moment The Flesh's penis starts to bleed.
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Like a Fine Wine..........
arcticlvr19 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Look, this is a brutal movie and at the same time could possibly be the best horror film ever made.

---contains heavy spoilers----

"Cannibal" is not your typical horror film and I am glad of it. Over the years I have been watching all this garbage come out with cookie cutting teenie boppers and have gotten sick of it. So I pulled up and looked on the net to find movies that would appeal to me. I like gore and I like straight horror. And I have found it.

This movie as stated in other reviews plays out in 3 distinct acts; searching for "the flesh", meeting and the relationship with "the flesh", and finally the killing and consumption of "the flesh".

Acts 1 and 2 may seem boring to some, but it is a great build up to the actual gorefest part of the film. And as stated before, there is a lot of male nudity and gay love in this film. In fact, the whole killing and consumption the main actor is nude.

For y'all that may not be able to stomach it, act 3 is the gore. And my friends, there ain;t a film out there more gory than this one. That is a promise. The consumption starts out with the severing of THE FLESH'S penis. This looks real and there ain't no cutaways. In fact, after he fries up the penis and he and his lover share it, that is the one part I had to pass through because of the noises of the eating. After that he takes the flesh into the bathtub to bleed out and die so he can butcher him into steaks. This scene is great and creepy. After that he takes the dying body down to cut up and there is a nice watery crap scene that should make you sick. There is some barfing, the body is then hung and gutted in great detail.

----end of spoilers----

Anyway, this is a film that not everyone will like and I would not say that watching it with family members would be good either. This is something to watch by yourself so you can absorb what is happening. The score is great, the acting is great, and the gore is above and beyond anything I have ever see. So buy it, put it in the DVD and sit back and try to watch it straight through. And keep telling yourself it is only a movie.
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A horrible movie. Disturbingly gratifying.
dewit_jacco3 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has found it's place among the five best movies I have ever seen. And this for a couple of reasons. 1. It's graphic, very graphic. 2. It does not pretend. 3. It actually did happen. 4. It left me empty.

In short, some comments on the above.

1. The effects are so good, that you actually forget they are effects. They're THAT graphic. And I appreciate good graphics when it comes to gore (then again, I just loooove gore).

2. This movie does not try to hit all the major screens. It knows what it is and thereby knows that it will not be embraced by a large audience, but it is filmed beautifully in it's way and it gets the message across. And this message is a disturbing one. I will not go into any details, but I can say this: if you are interested in how a person that want to actually kill and eat another human being thinks, watch this. You will not be disappointed. The human psyche is well spotlighted, as is the gore.

3. It happened for real.

4. After watching this movie, I had no thoughts for quite some time. On the one hand I was enjoying all the gore I had witnessed, but at the same time I felt a bitter emptiness for the cannibal. His loneliness is portrayed so good, it almost hurts.

Gruesome, true. But bizarrely beautiful.

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An unbelievable yet wondrous piece of art
unapalomablanca11 March 2008
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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Very Brutal
Michael_Elliott26 February 2008
Cannibal (2005)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Based on the true story of Armin "Rotenburg Cannibal" Meiwes, the German man who posted a wanted message on the internet looking for someone who was willing to be killed and eaten. Directed Marian Dora has created one of the most vile, repulsive and disgusting films I've ever seen. Having seen all the Italian cannibal films I thought I could handle anything but that wasn't the case with this film. Just how bad was it? I actually had to stop the film and throw up once. Reluctantly I went back and watched the film and just grew sicker and sicker. The film leaves nothing to the imagination and shows us everything. The director has only around ten lines of dialogue and everything else is just built up with atmosphere and mood. This atmosphere is of pure nastiness and this comes through in the final third of the film where the killing and eating actually starts. Apparently this film follows the real events very closely and lets just say it starts with a penis being cut off, fried and then eaten. This is where I lost it but the film keeps going. It's hard to rate this film because it's technically well made but I really can't recommend it to anyone due to the subject matter and brutality.
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Crosses Every Line There Is To Cross
videozombi10 January 2008
Warning: 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.
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Audacious horror film is courageously revolting
fertilecelluloid11 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Strong stuff. A man who craves sweet human flesh meets another man who wants to be devoured. "Cannibal" details their blood-soaked courtship. Director Marian Dora's craft is not coy. He portrays this unusual relationship with sensitivity and in explicit detail. Innards are pulled from bodies. Penises are removed in bloody close-up. Bodily fluids soak the screen. We are never left in any doubt that the relationship we are witnessing is consenting. This is what makes what we are watching so strange and interesting. Although the two participants are hesitant to proceed with their fantasy at first, watching their inhibitions erode is part of this movie's grotesque charm. Dora's style is pure art-house with unconventional exposure, strange angles, and a disturbing soundscape. The special make-up effects are convincing, as are the central performances. Not easily forgotten, this is audacious, courageous film-making with a unique, European perspective. It is a breath of fresh air and stunningly revolting at times. Is that not what horror should be?
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Beautiful.. bizarre... A must for every Gorehound...
Indyrod29 October 2007
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.
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Weirdly effective
peedur25 July 2007
Watching this film is quite an odd experience. On the one hand, "Cannibal" is a very amateur affair. From a technical point of view, it appears to be shot on DV and transferred to 24fps. The storytelling at the beginning is frustrating. Blandly sophomoric with overly long takes, overuse of close ups, forcefully lingering on irrelevant details - the cumulative effect of which points to poor writing. The play of events is a by-the-numbers copy of the reported facts, verbatim. In fact, reading Lois Jones' "Cannibal," seems to bear this out since it mirrors the movie very accurately. The movie places moody bridges between the reported moments where we see the protagonist struggling or reveling with feelings or wandering around town, looking for love. All of this is shown with no sense of filmic structure and almost entirely without dialogue. All of this sounds terrible and, to be blunt, the beginning of the film, while accurate, is not worth mentioning.

But what the film lacks in storytelling flair, it more than makes up for in its depiction of the key events, which are ghastly in the extreme and quite explicit. The attention to gore and detail is stomach-turningly impressive. It should be added that the performance of how these two men actually went about killing and being killed has the desperate, awkward stamp of authenticity to it; the actors achieve a haunting, passionate fervor. Also, the sexual nature of their relationship is captured in a way that the news reports could not approach. A good deal of screen time in the second half of the film is given to the complex texture of their very physical relationship, sexual and otherwise. It seems perverse and insane, yet resonates as true somehow. While there is no exploration as to the nature of either men's internal cues, the film displays the horrifying aftermath in detail. There is real curiosity given to the ambivalence that the protagonist has about flesh, organs and blood.

What I found most impressive about "Cannibal" was perhaps unintended - it looked simply awful, in every way. Had a more accomplished crew made this film, it may have achieved glossy or professional sheen (like Hostel, for example) and reduced Messrs Miewes and Brandes' appalling ordeal into commercial horror. As it is, the aesthetic result translates into art quite well. i.e., It is difficult/contradictory/message-less - easier than a commercial film to read as metaphor, as well as its effective display of pathological attachment/need since there is no "character-arc" grafted on to it. It also shuns overt commercial appeal while remaining compelling. Thankfully, it also seems impossible to imagine a sequel.
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I ate his PENIS… with some Fava-beans and a nice Chianti
Coventry26 May 2007
Well, here you have it ... The most grueling, sickening, disturbing, controversial, unbelievable and shocking horror movie EVER made, and yet it's all real. "Cannibal" is the ideal motion picture to state that the hard facts of reality will always surpass fiction. If this film had simply sprung from the imaginative mind of any random horror scriptwriter, it probably would have been laughed at, because surely nothing as vile, grotesque and far-fetched like this is ever likely to happen in our sophisticated society, right? The factual case of Rohtenburg cannibal Armin Meiwes is unquestionably one of the most perplexing crime cases in the history of mankind and, even though you know it's all true, you're often still staring at the screen in total disbelief. Even though the case is only a couple of years old, it already inspired no less than FOUR long feature films. Marian Dora's version is the first one I watched, but I sincerely doubt that any of the other three will defeat "Cannibal" when it comes to truthfulness, shocking impact or the explicit depiction of mutilation & manslaughter. This film is indescribably hardcore, with a continuously gritty & devastating atmosphere as well as graphic imagery that will undoubtedly disgust even the toughest and most experienced horror fanatic. Strange and surreal as it may sound, "Cannibal" primarily is an unconventional love-story and a portrait of two men who're social outcasts due to their unacceptable sexual desires. They're not crazed psychopaths or heroine-addicted losers, but introvert gay men with sexual needs only the two of them comprehend. The film soberly opens with Meiwes persona (though nameless in the film, as well as his victim Bernd Brandes) carefully looking for male company but always returning home alone again. He then finally meets his 'soul mate' via the internet and they promptly begin a fairly passionate relationship. Then soon follows the actual reason why the two met each other, namely the killing and 'consumption' of The Flesh. The victim is castrated at his own request and they both eat the penis before he's killed and eviscerated in extended and horrifying details.

If watching "Cannibal" initially feels awkward and uncomfortable, don't immediately think you purchased the wrong movie. It has to be said, the first 40 minutes of the film are ... um ... due to the lack of a more fitting term: extremely GAY! The two protagonists constantly walk around naked, fondle each other and Morian Dora eventually even includes rough footage of homosexual intercourse. Admittedly this is all quite uncomfortable to watch, but it does help a great deal to make the two characters more convincing and at least it provides them with a more likable background, rather then to simply portray them as maniacs. Also very impressive and unforgettable during these first 40 minutes are the uncannily grim photography and especially the chilling musical score. Dora compares the case of the Rohtenburg cannibal with the legendary fairy-tale of Hansel & Gretl, which results in a truly atmospheric into sequence and a handful of brilliant hidden gimmicks, like the sounds of opening doors resembling Hansel cage in the Brothers Grimm's story. Then, when the actual horror starts, "Cannibal" turns into the most stomach-churning movie I ever beheld, and that honestly isn't an exaggeration. The make-up effects are incredibly realistic and deeply disturbing. The already-notorious castration sequence is nearly unwatchable and the dissection of the victim's body near the end of the film goes on uninterrupted for eighteen whole minutes (make sure you purchase the uncut version!) and it's by far the most shocking thing ever captured on film. If you think movies like "Hostel", "Saw" or that ridiculous "Murder-Set-Pieces" were cruel, "Cannibal" will damage your stomach beyond repair. The acting performances of Carsten Frank and Victor Brandl are excellent, but the English dubbing is a total disaster. Luckily enough, there only are about 15 lines being spoken throughout the entire movie, and they're rather primitive and simply phrases like "I'm your Flesh" or "You're too weak to do it". All I can say is that this is a extraordinary and unforgettable experience to behold. Very few people will be able to sit the whole film through, but it's an absolute must-see for avid collectors of extreme cinema and warmly recommended to everyone who's sick and tired of goody-goody mainstream horror films.
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coastalconst25 May 2007
I found myself dry-heaving while watching this movie. It was so repulsive I thought for sure it was a snuff film. However, every time I went to press stop on the DVD remote, I found myself pressing pause long enough to have my stomach settle and then my morbid fascination wanted see what happened next. I have read numerous reviews on this movie , many found it to be a dark love story. The only thing I could see , besides a spider waiting to catch a fly, was a man who wanted to live out his ultimate fantasy. Too me his love was the flesh not the man in it. Anyone wanting to watch something gut wrenching, this is a movie for you. Also for the ones that are not ready for something this extreme the movie "FEED" is a fun, yet twisted movie, but it is much easier on the stomach. One question to all that own cannibal, what does the picture on DVD case have, is it the man standing in front of the house or he is kneeling behind the man in the bathtub with outstretched arms (this is the one I have)? I am sure they are the same movie I just like the other cover better.
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Cannibal - definitely worth a watch
Circ8120 March 2007
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!
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Unbelievable if it weren't a true story!
alanmora15 March 2007
Warning: 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.
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Brilliant...until the last 20 minutes or so.
ecwaenigma10 March 2007
"Cannibal" is reminiscent of Jorg (Nekromantik) Buttgereit's work, but far more emotional. As other reviewers have said, it is a stark film with VERY little dialog. It doesn't need it. Obviously if you are watching this film, you have sought it out and know exactly what you are in store for. You know the story, you know about the gore. What you don't know is how emotional and tragic the love story is. While certainly not a date movie, it is oddly touching and sad in it's depiction of two men who belong together. While I certainly don't think this is a healthy relationship, it is tragically beautiful and poetic. Is it hard to watch? Absolutely. If you're homophobic or can't handle unshaved European body hair, look elsewhere. The scene where they share the Flesh's body is disturbing, but essential to show their emotional connection and the sadness the men both have inside their souls. Once the "butchery" begins, I thought the movie, only from that point until the final shot, became exploitive. If you've ever scene slaughterhouse footage, you've seen the last 20 minutes of this movie. (Hey, I love meat as much as the next guy, but I don't want to know how it got to my plate. You'll think the same thing as well.) If it would have focused the last 20 minutes on their last meal together and the Man's coping of the consummation of their love, it would have been perfect. Unfortunately, we're left with a brilliant, but flawed, tale of tragic love. Don't watch it expecting "Cannibal Holocaust" and go in with an open mind and you will be well rewarded.
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Shocking but well constructed
bawjawz15 February 2007
In short, the previous review sums this movie up perfectly.

It's almost like a snuff movie, so get it seen before it's banned. You will be shocked and may not even think you can watch the whole movie, just watch it, it's all theatrical but extremely extreme.

As I said, the previous review sums it all up perfectly, and I have just been warned not to pad out my comment. As a result of this warning, I am trying to think of bettering the previous review. It is hard because, as I said the original review is perfect.

I was close to turning off this movie, due to squeamish reflexes of the natural kind, but continued to watch it with unabated breath.

If you like horror movies with lots of American kids, and a bad guy that gets killed at the end then this film is NOT for you.

If you want to see a harrowing account of 2 lost souls, one who had nothing to live for, other than being literally eaten by someone who loved him to death: By a person who had a life so mundane, that all he wanted to do was eat someone who wanted to be eaten by one who loved him so much to be physically devoured in the literal sense.... then watch this movie.
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