Antropophagus - Antropophagus(Blu Ray) [Severin - 2018]Antropophagus stands as one of the more reserved, creepy, and bleakly moody films from notorious euro-horror/ sleaze director Joe D'Amato - though itís still managed to get on the UK video nasty list, and got accused of been snuff movie. Here from Serevin, we get a recent region free Blu Ray of the film- offering up a new 2k scan, and some juicy new extras.
Released in the year 1980 Antropophagus( aka The Grim Ripper, Man Beast, The Savage Island) was the 33rd film directed by D'Amato, and though it certainly has itís roots & grounding in sleazy & gory euro-horror, thatís more than a hint of classic & more darkly atmospheric horror running through the film- as much it's runtime relies on foreboding & building atmosphere, and classic monster tropes giving some more sleazed 80ís touches.
The film opens with a German couple on a beach- the women goes out for a swim, and comes across a boat- fairly soon sheís pulled under in a cloud of blood, then her headphone wearing boyfriend is dealt with by a faceless killer who wedges a meat cleaver in his head. Next we see a group of friends in Athens, taking a cable car- one of the party nearly breaks the camera of a young women who is traveling on the cable car, so in return she asks if she could possibly hitch a lift on their boat to a small & remote Greek island, where she due to work looking after & teaching a deaf-mute girl. Fairly soon the group set off on their way, and the initial campy/ light vibe of the film is replaced by a feeling of dread, which is nicely enhanced by gurgling & throbbing synth soundtrack. When they reach the island, one of their party a pregnant woman sprains her ankle- so she stays on the boat while the others go inland, and fairly soon she is dragged off. As the party reaches the main village of the island- they find the place is complete deserted, and they see that unfortunately, the boat has drifted out to sea leaving them standard as the light is fading. From here on the group move from a series of creepy houses- at first in dusk light, then candlelight. Onto lightening lit woodland, a cemetery & then an underground crypt. The film's flow is punctured by the occasional gory murder, but really much of its runtime is about dread filled atmosphere.
Antropophagus( played by Luigi Monterflori aka George Eastman), when we finally see him in the films last quarter is a lumbering & pale male figure with thinning long hair & rancid bearded- it turns out heís a cannibal, and along the way he eats a fetus, and his own guts- which gave the film such a notorious name. Eastman managers to play the silent ghoul very effectively- and as mentioned early thereís a real nod towards the classic monsters, but of course with a sleazed 80ís edge. The rest of the cast are serviceable, by euro horror standards.
I first saw Antropophagus ten, maybe fifteen years back on a very murky & cut budget print- and even then it had an impact on me. So itís great to have this new scan of the film- sure in places itís still a little murky, but at least you can see what's actually going on. The uncut gore looks good too; though as mentioned early the film is more about atmosphere than blood & guts.
Extras wise we get a selection of five recent & stand-alone interviews- these each last between five & fifteen minutes. We have an interview with Monterflori/ Eastman who also co-wrote the film, and Iíd say this was the most interesting of the bunch as he discusses the script, his playing of the beast, and when he went to see the film in the cinema back in the day. After this, we get an interview with lead actor/ hero Saverio Vallone- and again we get some worthy titbits/ info on the film's production. Next, we get interviews with FX artists Pietro Tenoglio & Editor Burno Micheli. Lastly, we get an interview with actress Zora Kerova-who will be known to euro-cult fans for her roles in Cannibal Ferox, The True Story of the Nun of Monza, & Warriors of the Wasteland. Finish off the extras we get three different trailers, these each feature a different title variation & slight different scenes. So all in all, a good selection of worthy extras.
So in concluding- if youíre looking for a more moody & creepy slice of Euro-horror, that has the occasional moments of gore- then youíll be satisfied with the film. And the new scan & extras nicely enhance the whole watching experience- so all in all another winner from Severin. Roger Batty