Anthropophagus (1980)

I laughed at the foetus-eating scene. Which I’m sure makes me a bad person, but despite that I can still take comfort in the fact that at least I wasn’t the person who thought it up in the first place. I’m not that bad a person. Joe D’Amato, then. I actually do have some small acquaintance with a couple of uncle Aristide’s films, although I think this is probably the first time I’ve brushed up against one of his “big” films. Though to be sure the film’s probably only “big” because it wound up on the legendary “video nasties” list in the 80s, largely on account of two rather hilarious gore scenes in the last reel (the infamous skinned rabbit “foetus” and the even more glorious scene depicted in the poster art)… unfortunately the film seems to have widely circulated without those two bits of business, and if you take them away the film doesn’t have an awful lot more going for it. Such gore as it otherwise has is kind of crap (especially the head in the bucket), and it’s not the most engaging narrative either (bunch of not hugely interesting people get stranded on an island where a flesh-eating psycho is running rampant and has already killed pretty much everyone else on the island). No, if people still give a shit about Anthropophagus, it’s because of those two bits at the end. Actually, I laughed at both of them, not just the foetus chomp, because, well, what the hell else can you do? They’re both so berserk and so frankly silly—especially the climactic intestine munch—that laughing at them seems to be the only viable response. I doubt Joe would’ve cared too much how people responded as long as he got paid, anyway. Only intermittently entertaining, yeah, but still, two good laughs is more than I’ve got from some films that were meant to be funny…

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