Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bringing on the Fear: Part 4: Cannibalism!

1980's Cannibal Holocaust
No discussion of what scares me could be complete (and no, this series is not yet complete) without mentioning my extreme distaste (sorry, couldn't help it) of people eating other people.   Yes, I'm talking about cannibals.  I am utterly terrified of being consumed.

There are a whole lot of films out there about cannibals, it's actually quite amazing.  A staggering list of movies from C.H.U.D. to Bad Taste to the infamous Cannibal Holocaust - movies in which people eat other people, or at the very least a few of their parts, are absolutely everywhere.  There's no way to make a mention of all the cannibal movies I've seen over the course of my life.  I am distressed, distraught and downright disturbed pretty much every time I watch one.  I can't look away, however.  It's a curse.  Like everything that scares me, I seek them out. 
And so, a list of some of the films that have caused me mental anguish over the last couple of decades.

One of the "loveliest" cannibal films out there has to be this piece of joy
from 1980.  I saw it not too many years ago for the first time, I don't
know how I missed seeing it all these years.  Well, actually I think
I was just avoiding it.  Can't imagine why.

Jennifer's Body
While I think quite a bit of this movie is simply silly, the truth is
that Megan Fox is eating her male classmates in order to
keep her demon self alive.  Somewhat scary if you're say,
sixteen and wanting to date that hot chick in your Physics class.

Cannibal Ferox
E-gads, this is one nasty piece of film.  Just the fact that the
alternate title is "Make Them Die Slowly" should speak volumes
about its content.  Besides, I always get a lump in my throat
when I see folks eating the grey matter.  Ugh.

Dawn of the Dead
Zombie films are their own brand of cannibal films, aren't they?
I mean, all zombies want to do is consume the living, which
when you think about it, slaps them smack dab in the middle of
cannibal-central.  And this one... classic.

In My Skin
This is a very disturbing movie from France a few years ago that
I really couldn't wrap my head around.  A woman becomes
so obsessed with a wound on her body that it escalates into self mutilation
and consumption.

True Blood (tv)
Always pushing the envelope, True Blood pushed it as far as
it ever had when Tara and Eggs were fed a scrumptious pot pie
made with a human heart.  Pass the salt.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Even though it's a favorite of mine, the scene in TCM where they
are all sitting around the dinner table still makes me want to yack.

I can't even bring myself to discuss this film.
Google it if you want to know more.

Soylent Green......
...is people....
The Silence of the Lambs
Truly one of the best films I've ever seen, its distressing content
cannot be denied.  After all, the dude is Hannibal the Cannibal.
Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

...in which Anthony Hopkins makes Ray Liotta eat his own brains.
And without the Chianti.

Hostel 2
In which there is a spot-on, truly inspired cameo of Ruggero
Deodato, the director of the godfather of cannibal films:

Cannibal Holocaust
The 1980 trendsetter, if it can be called that, is not only a
 "video nasty", but just a downright gross experience, if for nothing else
but the actual animal deaths that we are forced to watch.
I've only seen it a few times, and truth be told, I can't envision
a scenario in which I need to see it again.  If I need to see naked
undiscovered tribes going about their business, I'll just turn on
the National Geographic Channel.  Thanks.

Night of the Living Dead
One of my favorite films of all time, NOTLD was ridiculously ahead

of its time, and got some serious censoring because of it. 
And though it is in black and white, it is no less agitating when
the mindless living dead start ripping out intestines for dinner.

City of the Living Dead
Speaking of intestines, this is probably one of the very first scenes
of people eating the insides of someone (or in this case of
themselves!!) that I ever witnessed.

I was appalled, disgusted, flustered, and provoked.
And then I re-wound that VHS tape immediately.

Grimm Love
My most recent viewing of a cannibal flick is this one from Germany
(also entitled Rohtenburg) which tells the true story (embellished
a bit I'm sure) of Armin Meiwes, the guy who advertised online
for a victim to consume.  And he found one.

"You are who you eat"

Motel Hell
A dark comedy on one hand, cannibal film on the other, this is
a movie I watched with my teenage friends at slumber parties all

those long years ago.  It's ridiculous and utterly campy, but
everyone should see it at least once.  Mmm, Mmm, Good.

Sweeney Todd
Yep, the story's been told dozens of times but it still packs
a wild punch with every incarnation. 
Mrs. Lovett is grinding up bodies and putting them into
her meat pies, people!  When you actually think about it,
it is just genuinely upsetting.  (Even with Johnny Depp on board)

Angel Heart
Consuming people's hearts to gain power.  It's been done many
times in film, but Angel Heart is an elite example of it.
Just what was going on in that hotel room?  Ask Mickey
Rourke and Robert DeNiro.  They know.

And lastly, I couldn't not mention the film based on a very true
case of cannibalism.  Those brave souls on that doomed jetliner
 had to make the most difficult decision that we can't even fathom -
and sure the hell wouldn't want to. 
This movie got to me more than any of the above mentioned
fictional tales.  Because that shit's real.
And THAT scares me the most.

And now, I'm off to have a plate of pasta  :)


The Film Connoisseur said...

Great list, you reminded me that I need to see Antropophagus, though Im in no big hurry! This types of films Im not in a big rush to see...but some times there comes that feeling of wanting to be shocked, so I cave in and watch them.

Another one you could add to the list is The Tenderness of the Wolves (1973).

TheGirlWhoLovesHorror said...

Ugh. Cannibalism freaks me out, too, but then I'm also strangely (morbidly) fascinated by it. Armin Meiwes, Albert Fish... what brings these people to do this?

Great film choices, I haven't seen a lot of those.

Anonymous said...

The movie 'Feed' isnt really about cannibalism, but there is just a tiny-little bit in the 1st 10min of the film... but its ok, because its a mutual thing!

Anonymous said...

Thus far, I've managed to avoid "Cannibal Holocaust" due to my abhorrence of animal cruelty. That being said, I may have to give in and watch it as it's such a seminal film in the horror genre. Had to smile at your comment "I've only seen it a few times, and truth be told, I can't envision a scenario in which I need to see it again". A few times? Is someone periodically tying you to a chair and tossing the DVD in the player? ;-) Tasty list, btw. Fruit Chan's "Dumplings" is definitely a favourite of mine.