aka: Anthropophagous: The Beast, Anhropophagus: The Grim Reaper, Man Eater, The Beast, The Grim Reaper, The Zombie’s Rage
Director: Joe D’Amato
Starring: Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini, Mark Bodin
It’s not fear that tears you apart… it’s him!
Anthropophagus starts with a young couple walking through a small village and going to the beach. The guy stays on the beach, listening to his high-tech Walkman while the lady tests the water. The woman is attacked in the water and the monster emerges from the water in a very Godzillaesque fashion. Whatever music the young bloke was listening to would also be his last and this opening scene sets off this notorious shocker of a movie.
We then get familiarized with a group of tourists who get stranded on an abandoned island. When one of them (a pregnant one I might add) disappears, they suspect that there might be someone else on this island. Who is it, what does it/she/he want? And is it the reason why this entire island is abandoned?
The “monster” is played by George Eastman (who has been in so many great cult movies it’s hard to choose where to start!) who both look and acts great. Tisa Farrow, mostly known by cult fanatics from Zombie Flesheaters, plays Julie. You can also spot Serena Grandi from Delirium, Mark Bodin from the italian fun fest Alien 2, Bob Larsen from Toxic Zombies and Zora Kerova from Cannibal Ferox. The first hour of this movie mainly focus on the characters and since they are pretty much just your average tourists and it’s hard to even tell the characters apart which does get a bit boring and slow to watch.
Antropophagus has a reputation for being a low budget italian output with some extremely shocking gory scenes. It is however not really a gore movie. The few scenes that contains human… intestines is extreme, but with the crystal clear view we get in today thanks to DVD’s, the fakeness of it makes it more cheesy than disturbing. The filmmakers should get credits for the creativity of the scenes gore scenes though. The backstory of the monster was also interesting and eerie.
The settings of the movie is probably the best part of it. There’s a lot of nicely lit corridors, great outside scenery and the atmosphere is well done by seasonal cult movie veteran Joe D’Amato. The cinematography is also very well done, which is no surprise if you are familiar with D’Amato movies. I’m surprised that he didn’t throw in a few sex scenes in the first part of this movie to spice it more up, considering sex is something usually present in D’Amato movies. In this one, it would also be very welcomed. The music, by Marcello Giombini (Enter The Devil, Panic, Erotic Nights of the Livind Dead) is very typical for italian horror movies and works well.
While Beyond The Darkness is a more interesting movie in the sleazy and gory section of D’Amato’s filmography, Antropophagus has some good parts in it and is worth watching but expect to be bored for an entire hour before things start to pop off. It has a better reputation than it frankly deserves, but is a decent movie to watch.