Cannibal (2006)

DVD Cover (Unearthed Films)
Marian Dora Marian Dora
Carsten Frank Carsten Frank
Victor Brandl Victor Brandl
Tobias Sickert Tobias Sickert
Joachim Sigl Joachim Sigl
Carina Palmer Carina Palmer

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Biopic (Feature), Cannibal Film, Drama, True Crime
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Review by Chad
Added: January 02, 2007
Back in 2003, a German man named Armin Meiwes placed an ad on the internet in search of a consenting male partner to go along with his fantasies. Having a homosexual one night stand with a special someone was part of what Armin was looking for, but the main thing that he was seeking was someone who would allow themselves to be butchered and eaten. Pretty far out there, right? Seemingly so, but a man named Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes eventually answered the ad and the two got together. These men videotaped their evening together (although this footage has never been made public), and this video showed exactly what went down after they had finished having sex. Armin first attempted to bite off Bernd's penis, and when that didn't work out as expected, he cut it off with a kitchen knife. Then, he cooked it and the two men ate it together. Bernd eventually bled to death, and at this point, Armin hacked up his corpse, stored the meat in his freezer, and dined on the remains for the next couple of months. He then went back to the internet in search of another partner, but was discovered by the police before he could actually find one. The rest, as they say, is history.

This was all over the news when it happened, but for those of you who may not have heard about it, everything written in the above paragraph actually happened - Marian Dora merely pulled those facts from the news and put together a movie about it. Yes, as hard as it may be to believe, someone actually thought to themselves "You know, I'd like to be the main course at some random guys' dinner tonight" and traveled across the country in order to follow through with that plan. This movie is basically a recreation of these events, beginning with Armin's search for the perfect meal man and ending with a dinner fit for a king.

Potential viewers should be aware that this really isn't a horror film in any sense other than the excessive blood and guts found towards the end. It falls more into the drama genre than anything, and those of you who just want to see some gore may be disappointed as that portion of the movie only consumes about a third of the total running time. The minimal storyline is also told with a lot of artistic shots and settings, so those of you looking for a conventional film will probably be put off by this fact. Honestly, there's only a small portion of viewers who will truly enjoy this film since it takes about an hour before we get to the red stuff and the story is fairly minimal, but as disgusting as it was, I was one of them.

The first thirty minutes showcases nothing but an unnamed man (Carsten Frank, portraying Armin but not actually labeled as such) carrying on with his daily routine while looking around on the internet from time to time. During this time, we do not hear anyone speak so much as a single word: the only audio comes from the background noise (footsteps, Armin typing on a keyboard, etc.). It goes without saying that there's not a lot going on during this portion of the movie, but it was interesting how the director set up the story without using any words; I knew about these events before watching the movie, but it's easy to put the pieces together if you didn't due to how the events are shown. I do have to admit that this style of shooting started to wear out its welcome after a while, but arthouse fans will find a lot to praise here.

The next chunk of the movie begins when "Flesh" (Victor Brandl, and yes, he was actually credited as "Flesh") shows up. We then witness the sexual relationship that these two men had, and the acts that we see here makes Brokeback Mountain look like an episode of Sesame Street by comparison. Lots of saliva and tongue is exchanged between the two completely nude men, and no hole is sacred during these acts: trust me, nothing is left to the imagination. Some of the men out there who aren't entirely comfortable with their sexuality may be put off by this series of scenes, but I actually enjoyed it for the simple fact that it told a story other than "they sure like to fuck a lot." What began as two strangers getting together to fulfill mutual desires turns into a full-fledged relationship, and once again, the director didn't have to use words to convey this message.

The final act of the movie is likely what most will pay to see, and although there's so much more to be found in this film, I have to say that it will not disappoint the gorehounds. The violence is shown in all its glory, and much like the sex that these two men had, nothing is left to the imagination. The camera lingers on every cut, every stab, and every ounce of blood that pours from this man's body, and I will go on record as saying that no movie has ever disgusted me as much as this one did. I watched as many of the "Video Nasties" as I could get my hands on, I sat through all of the Guinea Pig movies, I've seen most of the Faces of Death presentations (and the many knock-offs), and I've been watching horror movies for about twenty years: nothing in my experience compares to the nausea-inducing brutality witnessed here. Everything looks extremely realistic, the audio portion of these scenes are exactly what you'd expect tearing flesh and splattering entrails to sound like, and aside from the professionalism of the camera-operator, it's hard to believe that this isn't the actual footage that Armin filmed.

It's hard to recommend this movie, since - as I mentioned - it's definitely not for everyone. If the above review sounds interesting, or if you just want to see some of the nastiest things you'll likely ever see committed to film, then you'll enjoy the presentation. Just remember that the violence is only one act of the film and is far from being the main attraction, but when it gets to that point in the movie: wow. 8/10.
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Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #1: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 08/09/2007, 02:02 AM
My mouth was agape for the entire uneasy and disgusting latter of the film.
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