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Cannibals (1980)

DVD Cover (Blue Underground)
Action, Adventure, Adventure Drama, Cannibal Film, Horror
Jesús Franco Jesús Franco
Francesco Prosperi Francesco Prosperi
Al Cliver Al Cliver
Sabrina Siani Sabrina Siani
Jérôme Foulon Jérôme Foulon
Lina Romay Lina Romay
Shirley Knight Shirley Knight

3.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Tristan
Added: December 16, 2007
To say that cannibal films are my favorite sub-genre of horror would be a lie. Zombies will forever hold that place in my heart, but cannibal movies come in at a close second. However, in a battle of the ratio between good and bad zombie movies, and good and bad cannibal movies, cannibals win by a landslide. There are too many zombie movies to count, and only a handful are good. There are only a handful of movies starring our living flesh-eating friends, but I think it's safe to say that pretty much all of them are good. At least all the ones I've seen.

Genre favorite Al Cliver is Dr. Jeremy Taylor, a specialist on tropical diseases. For some reason, he thought it would be suitable to bring his young daughter Lana and wife (Pamela Stanford) along on a trip to the Amazon. It's a nice gesture, but not when you're going into unchartered territory, where cannibalism is rumored to still occur. As you might have already guessed, cannibals do in fact exist in these parts. After attacking the boat they leave the captain dead, Dr. Taylor an arm short, his wife devoured and they kidnap his daughter who they worship as a "white goddess". I love a good family expedition, don't you?

Years later, Taylor returns to the island to rescue his daughter from the savages. He's not short handed though, as this time he brings along his nurse (Lina Romay), Barbara Shelton (Shirley Knight), the woman who funded his first expedition, her boyfriend, and several of their other rich friends. It turns out that none of them believe his story, and are interested in tagging along to see the beautiful Amazonian jungles, while humouring Dr. Taylor. They're in for a bit of a surprise however, as Lana (Sabrina Siani) has grown up, and assumed the position of tribe leader. It is up to Taylor to see if he can reclaim his daughter from these savages, and at the same time, keep him and the rest of his party off the lunch menu.

Call me crazy, but cannibals wearing wedding bands seems a little ridiculous. It could be that they wear them as trophies from the men and women they've killed in the past, but I'm willing to bet this is just an overlooked mistake. There's also a handful of continuity issues, plot holes and some pretty horrendous dubbing. It's also pretty funny how Lana went from a dark haired Italian girl to Brigitte Nielsen in Rocky IV in just a few short years. I honestly don't think I can think of a redeeming factor in this movie, aside from a couple of funny death sequences. I guess I got some laughs out of it, but for the wrong reasons entirely.

When I heard that November 13th marked the release of this and Cannibal Man, I couldn't have been happier. Two classic cannibal films released on the same day, what more could a boy want? A lot more, as it turned out. Cannibals was one of the most disappointing films I've ever seen, on any level, and of any genre. If you're a fan of this type of movie, watch it once for the sake of seeing it. If you're not a fan, stay far, far away from this one.

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