Friday, May 12, 2006

Cannibal Man (1971)

Sort of a strange movie- it reminds me of the clasics of Italian neo-realist cinema with murder and mutilation thrown in for good measure. You can feel the grit and squalor of eary 1970s fascist Spain in this story of a poor slaughterhouse employee who develops a taste for killing everyone who enters his hovel. There's a strong indictment of Franco hidden here, with a main character who is dirt poor and on the run from the law, and vaguely homosexual. Director Eloy de la Iglesia went on to direct a number of films with more overt gay themes. This one is subversive in that it's picture of Spain is just as bleak before the killing starts. We start to wonder if his capacity for violence is a result of his environment. Worth watching for students of the era, and fans of strange horror films. Not for most other viewers. Also, a warning for animal lovers- the slaughterhouse is shown doing what it does. And, not to be pedantic, but the title is a bit misleading because the killer throws some people into the meat-grinder for the stew, but doesn't actually eat anyone.

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