Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cannibal Man (1973)

A chance argument during a cab ride leaves the cab driver dead at the hands of a poor meat packer. After nearly getting away with murder, Marcos decides the only way to ensure his freedom is to kill the girlfriend that was with him that night and anyone else that comes too close to the truth that is collecting flies in his guest bedroom. CANNIBAL MAN is an extremely misleading title, referencing a single scene where the character uses the meat grinder at work to dispose of the bodies, only to accidentally find himself eating the end product at a local pub. It is cleanly shot, with de la Iglesia implementing many of the same camera and stylistic devices as the Italians. Considering there is only a little gore, the film relies entirely on the strength of its performances to build and maintain a steady tension. Thankfully, Vincent Parra and his surrounding cast portray sincere and empathetic characters even in their darker moments. Marcus is a reluctant killer that kills out of necessity and not enjoyment. This makes his actions that much more disturbing and personal, while his resolution to feed the meat to the grinder is both vile and disgusting. De la Iglesia sets a somber mood through the grim slaughterhouse floor and barren Spanish desert, externalizing Marcos' lonesome and futile struggle to avoid the discovery of his crimes. CANNIBAL MAN is a sad character study sharing much more in common with CHRISTMAS EVIL or THE DRILLER KILLER than the similarly titled Exploitation films.

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 4/10.
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