'Antropophagus' Review

Antropophagus (1980)by Chris Wright, MoreHorror.com

Bring on the cannibalism! A title not so simply called Antropophagus made its way to the “Video Nasty” list in the UK. In horror fans language, the video nasty list means it should be watched! This movie had controversy at the time due to how realistic the gore looks. It was released in the U.S. in 1981 under the Monterey Video title “The Grim Reaper”, though heavily edited. This movie has numerous alternate titles half of which make no sense. This movie is also known as “Zombie 6: The Grim Reaper”, which is misleading as this is not a zombie movie. Even the title “The Grim Reaper” makes no sense as the killer doesn’t take souls. If you can find the Monterey Video release, grab it fast as it is rare! If you can find this movie uncut, you are game!

The plot of Antropophagus is confusing as ever in the first 15minutes. The first five minutes lacked any English dubbing! Essentially the plot is, tourists arrive at a deserted Greek Island and suddenly thereafter they are killed off one by one by a raving lunatic. The only person seemingly alive is a blind girl who is lurking around the Island. We don’t see the killer up close until about 45 minutes in.

The characters themselves are fairly likable even with the modest dubbing in English. Character development in this particular film I didn’t mind as much since I was curious where this crazy guy came from. As the film so generously cut to in the middle of a scene, his family was stuck on a boat and he killed them to survive. Nikos Karamanlis, the killer, went insane after eating his wife and son to survive. The actor who portrayed him did a good job of appearing crazy along with the stellar makeup on his face since he had very poor hygiene.

The gore is phenomenal and exceeded my expectations after the horribly cheesy music and horrible movie intro. From the first meat cleaver to a random guys face to hangings to throat slashings, the movie delivers realistic gory goods. From what I have seen so far, Italian gore exceeds any piece of current American CGI. Even the part where he bites one of the guys throat and rips out a piece is very well done. The goriest scene is the ending where Antropophagus eats his own intestines after having them roll out! The controversy came at the infamous “fetus eating” scene. He has a pregnant girl and her husband in his cave of dead folks and attacks her. He kills her and pulls the fetus out of her through her uterus and takes a huge bite out of it! It looked very realistic as the close to dying husband looks in terror. The director had to come out to say that it was a dead skinned rabbit covered in blood and not an actual fetus after the out cry ensued. Don’t you just find it weird that current movies are supposed to be edgy yet movies like this have fetus eating scenes? I am of the club that believes movies of the past are more edgy than anything out now.

This movie was far from perfect as the main complaint I have is the cheesy music. I don’t know what it is but I have seen a lot of European horror movies with music that doesn’t fit the mood. This one perfected that. I almost didn’t want to watch after the horrible first five minutes with no English dubbing. For what it is worth, this movie has a 5.3/10 on IMDB and the gore is worth a watch. For me, anything put on a banned list deserves a watch in the horror community. If you can find a copy of this forgotten movie, check it out.

Antropophagus (1980)
Directed By: Joe D’Amato
Written By: Joe D’Amato & George Eastman

Starring: George Eastman (Nikos Karamanlis), Tisa Farrow (Julie), Saverio Vallone (Andy), Serena Grandi (Maggie), Margaret Mazzantini (Rita), Mark Bodin (Daniel), Bob Larson (Arnold)

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