CANNIBALS (1980)
posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
Jesus Franco

Starring:
Al Cliver ... Jeremy Taylor
Sabrina Siani ... Lana
Jérôme Foulon ... Safari member
Lina Romay ... Ana

Country: Spain, Italy, France
Runtime: 90 min
Original title: Mondo Cannibale
AKA: White Cannibal Queen,
The Cannibals
       
 
 
       

I had heard Franco's name tossed around for a while and so I figured he had to be at least a man that makes interesting films. Luckily there was a 20 minute interview with him on the DVD. After five minutes I shut it off and began to write this review. Oh God, I can’t believe that he actually thinks this shit is a worthwhile ride. The movie reeked. I thought it was low quality, careless and utterly devoid of talent or merit. I like the type of B-movies that are so bad that make you laugh and detest the ones that make you feel as if you were giving childbirth in a dungeon. This movie we have here would invoke the latter. I mean even if you know your setting out to make a B-movie for lack of funds or talent, well at least put your heart into it and work hard. Cannibals was cheap, fake smelly trash and I am truly stupefied as to how Franco talks about this picture as if it was a classic cannibal film. Well, at the very least I will remember it as the first movie I award the frightful red death coffin.

For those that still care about the story, here goes... A scientist who specializes in tropical diseases heads out to some jungle to do research. His wife and small girl accompany him on the boat. Suddenly three or four cannibals attack the boat and gang-eat the scientist’s wife. This, like the two or three other cannibal feastings is poorly directed with extreme close-ups, slow motion, idiotic music (of which the film reeks of) and as Franco states himself: a handful of tenderized blood steaks. These cannibalistic frenzies are shot so close-up that you see a mouth, then a breast, then a mouth chewing a steak, then some hair. Oh God, and these things run for several hypnotizing minutes. I’m so glad it’s over. Later on the scientist’s arm is chopped off, he manages to escape his captors and he’s picked up and taken back home to a hospital. His daughter is found floating by the river and is raised and worshipped by the cannibals as the "white goddess".

Now six or seven years later "one arm" wants to go back to rescue his daughter. Wouldn't’ he presume that a young white girl would have been dinner for the cannibals? Well, he organizes an expedition of forgettable characters to find his baby girl. It’s funny seeing "one arm" tote a rifle and manage the trek single handedly (pun intended). Soon enough the tribe shoots arrows through some of the crew and feeds off the others leaving "one arm" and a friend. They get the daughter, a hot young naked blond, and escape. Somehow she understands English cause hell the cannibals speak it too. There’s a laughable one on one showdown between the one armed scientist and a seasoned cannibal warrior to see who gets to keep the "white goddess". The cripple wins and gets the cannibal’s respect along with the right to take home his naked, bimbo daughter. You see now how I am understandably upset!

- Jorge Antonio Lopez

 

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