Plot: Julie (Tisa Farrow) is seeking passage to a remote island, so when she happens upon a group that is about to set sail, she hitches a ride and persuades them to visit the mysterious locale. The crew soon arrives at the island, but as tourists, no one seems to know much about the isolated location, though an absence of people in a town raises some eyebrows. The village is an eerie place in normal conditions, let alone abandoned and foreboding, but the group pushes ahead and tries to find some answers on what has happened. As it turns out, not everyone in the town has vanished and a couple of folks remain, though snooping around points to some kind of dark, horrific presence that lurks in the area. Soon a violent, hulking menace begins to stalk the group, who now find themselves stranded on the island. Can anyone survive this cannibalistic assault and what drives this bloodthirsty maniac to kill?
Entertainment Value: Who doesn’t love a movie that centers on a cannibalistic George Eastman with what looks like oatmeal all over his face? Anthropophagous is such a movie, with Eastman on the rampage and as the film’s reputation suggests, some nice bursts of blood and guts on showcase. The narrative is simple enough and lines up a parade of victims for Eastman to prey upon, but that’s about as in depth as the story goes in this one. So if you need twists and turns or more than a basic set up, you’re out of luck in this case. Instead of a rich narrative tapestry, Anthropophagous focuses on scenes of characters wandering from one place to another. That might not sound great, but it is kind of silly how little effort went into the story, which adds some humor, while the locales are beautiful. At least there’s some of nature’s eye candy between stalking scenes, so no complaints there. To be fair, the movie is slow to gain speed and doesn’t have a lot of scares or generation action, but when Eastman is on the prowl and strikes, things heat up in a rush. So while Anthropophagous doesn’t dazzle often, it packs a punch when it does and those moments are more than enough to make this a movie that genre fans need in their collections. I mean, if nothing else, Eastman’s oatmeal coated madman makes this easy to recommend.
This one doesn’t have much sleaze, but we do have one topless scene and a blood soaked, thinly clothed woman in another sequence. I know, a Joe D’Amato movie with minimal sleaze seems unlikely, but Anthropophagous is more focus on violence and travelogue elements to dish out the nakedness. The movie delivers on the bloodshed front however, with infrequent, but highly memorable torrents of violence and scenes that have become genre lore. Eastman and his cookie dough face unleash some serious woes upon his victims, from forcible fetus removal to face shredding and even a hatchet to the dome, as well as some more minor, but still crimson soaked incidents. You just don’t see a fetus torn from the womb and feasted on often enough, but Anthropophagous makes sure it comes through. But the most iconic scene finds Eastman disemboweled, but determined to die with dignity, even if it means devouring his own innards. This is a case of quality over quantity however, so don’t expect a constant flood of gore, just some well timed, memorable slices of violence. The dialogue has some bright spots, with dysfunctional and angry banter at times, but the kind of wild, consistent flow of wackiness I would have liked. Shut up, Carol! On the craziness front, Eastman is a ridiculous lunatic and the gore set pieces are over the top, but the movie overall is too slow and doesn’t pile on the ludicrous elements like it could have. I would have loved more outlandish dialogue and wild shit to fill out the slower sections, for example.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
The Disc: This Blu-ray version from Severin Films boasts a 2k scan of the uncut cut of the movie and Anthropophagous has never looked this impressive. The print is super clean and the detail really shines in high definition, especially fine detail like hair and textures that spring to life here. The colors appear natural and contrast is smooth as well, so the image just puts all previous incarnations to shame. In other words, this is the edition you want on your shelf. The extras include several interviews with cast & crew members, so you can hear about the shoot, the special effects, the editing process, and more, with a lot of insightful comments. But as always, Eastman is the real star and he is in fine form here, revealing his disdain for the movie and sharing various other memories, so his interview proves to be the highlight.