Cannibal Flesh Riot! (2006)

DVD Cover (Mad Creator Productions)
Genres: Black Comedy, Cannibal Film, Creature Film, Horror
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Gris Grimly Gris Grimly
David Backus David Backus
Vince Buckley Vince Buckley
Bud Campbell Bud Campbell
Erik Campbell Erik Campbell
Shanna Cistulli Shanna Cistulli

8.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: May 06, 2007
Almost since the day I started writing for this site, I've been receiving review requests from various filmmakers and distributors. It's actually pretty commonplace for me to get up in the morning and find a couple of emails along the lines of "Hey, I just made a movie, would you review it?", and I've grown used to receiving random packages in the mail with movies I've never heard of from people I've never talked to. That's fine, and I'm certainly not complaining: a large chunk of these movies will never find their way onto store shelves and I would have missed out on some real gems if it wasn't for this site. However, there's a good reason that a lot of these will never see the light of day outside of screeners and MySpace trailers: at best, they're simply not very good, and at worst, they're painful to sit through. That is not the case with Cannibal Flesh Riot!. I enjoyed the hell out of this film, and in fact, it's almost guaranteed a spot on my year-end top ten list.

The storyline follows two redneck ghouls by the names of Stash (David Backhaus) and Hub (Dustin Loreque) who have plans to spend the evening like any other: raiding the local graveyard in search of a relatively fresh corpse to dine on. Stash, the brains of the operation, is pretty much what you'd wind up with if Marilyn Manson and Kid Rock had a bastard lovechild, while Hub is the hard-working hunchback of the group. Along the way, the two chat with one another about topics ranging from which condiments go best with bodily organs, how to deal with snooping officers of the law, and unfortunate traumatic experiences induced by cartoon commercials, but the conversation winds down when they find a fresh grave to rob. However, this night will not go like so many others before it have: the dead aren't happy about having their resting places defiled on a nightly basis, and tonight, it will come to an end.

The first thing that I have to point out about this is the look and style of the film. It's nothing less than beautiful, and even if everything else about the movie had been awful, I'd have still given it an overall rating of five or six based on the look alone. Using a combination of stop-motion animation, CGI (I think - I honestly couldn't tell, and that's how good CGI should be done), and a keen eye for lighting as well as plenty of Tim Burton'esque imagery, the film can be enjoyed based on the visuals alone. Shot in black-and-white and using various image aging techniques, the film looks both modern and ancient at the same time - a type of visual that has been attempted many times over, but never executed as successfully as it was here. Screenshots simply will not do this one justice - it has to be seen to be believed.

I mentioned that I would have rated this movie in the average range even if everything else about the production hadn't been worth the plastic the DVD was printed on, but thankfully, that wasn't the case. The story is wonderful and the leading men (both the characters and the actors) are excellent, and when the credits rolled, I found myself wishing that the guys responsible for this film had stretched it out to feature length instead of the thirty'ish minutes (depending on the cut you view) that it ran for. I particularly enjoyed the musical score accompanying the film. Provided by Peter Sandorff, former guitarist for the psychobilly band Nekromantix, the music found here is the perfect accompaniment to the visual treat that is the film: haunting, brooding melodies are the order of the day, but the musical side of things never outweighs the film itself as one may expect when a rocker is involved.

If you couldn't tell already, I loved this movie and found it to be a flawless offering. Mixing together elements of the old Tales From the Crypt comics with touches of black humor, Lovecraft-inspired imagery, and visuals as seen through the drug-addled eyes of Tim Burton, Cannibal Flesh Riot! is a film that shouldn't be missed. 10/10.
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