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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Cannibal Terror/Devil Hunter (Blu-ray)
Cannibal Terror/Devil Hunter (Blu-ray)
Severin // Unrated // August 18, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted August 27, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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Devil Hunter / Cannibal Terror:
Despite second billing on the box, Cannibal Terror gets pole position on the disk. Does it deserve it? Who should win in a battle between Idi Amin and Pol Pot, I ask you. Cannibal Terror is low, like late-era Bruno Mattei low, as far as cannibal movies go. Turgid pacing, woeful acting, a mere two scenes of cannibal mayhem, and the absolute worst tribe of cannibals ever put to film mark this as a gut-munching movie only a blind, mentally incompetent mother could love. Yes, it's that good.

Starring 'le petite Annabelle' as Florence, the little girl who gets things rolling, Cannibal Terror opens with breezy scenes of petite French thugs botching a break-in. Sadly, while boozing it up with their '80s glam moll, they hatch a scheme to kidnap a wealthy businessman's daughter, eventually holding her hostage with a buddy who lives happily on the edge of 'cannibal country'.

But nothing is happy on the edge of 'cannibal country'. While killing lots and lots of time in the jungle, raping their host's wife, (good move) and playing classical guitar to impress each other, the thugs eventually run afoul of the cannibal tribe, leading Florence to learn how to play with grapes amongst the chubby cannibal children. I challenge you to find any other cannibal movie featuring fat cannibal children playing with grapes.

It's right to end the review here, so I won't have to mention that cannibal tribe, or what they do to the people. Nonetheless, imagine if you will, closing time at a Gallic Biker Bar, filled entirely with dudes. They're pretty sauced, can barely walk, and at some point some idiot decides to hand out brightly colored makeup pencils and blotter acid. Faces are painted, muttonchops and pompadours teased out, clothes are shed for loincloths in a frenzy of hammered stupidity.

Then along comes director Allan W. Steeve (Alain Deruelle) saying, "OK you man-jacks! We're filming a cannibal movie! Mug for the camera! Shamelessly! More Shamelessly! You think it's funny?! I'll show you funny! Why don't you cut open this pig, tear apart its entrails, and fondle them wildly! More frenzy please! Now! Hop up and down for 2 hours! I want to see that flop sweat!"

"Oh yeah, here's a plastic skull to focus on for an hour ..." [drops microphone]

These horrid minutes of naked depravity and embarrassment are so emotionally damaging, so unconvincing, yet so disgusting (on numerous levels) that Steeve plugs them into his illegitimate, hemorrhaging wreck of a movie twice. But you also get tons of footage of a stream, and stock images of a stork for your trouble. The cannibal kids get grapes.

Then what the hell are we supposed to do with Devil Hunter? Spoilers notwithstanding, if Al Cliver can subdue your God, then what good is he? And why in the name of ALL that is holy do we even need to have this discussion regarding a Jesus Franco movie? (For you not in the know, Jess (Jesus) Franco is a European director of some twenty thousand exploitation films infused with a 'free jazz' vibration. I love jazz, I get what free jazz is about, and I leave you to draw your own conclusions, specifically about this certain movie.)

Which is this: (like in Cannibal Terror) some toughs kidnap a young thing, about 19-years-old this time, and decide to hang out in the jungle to await their ransom loot. The only difference is that in Devil Hunter, there is no real threat of cannibalism, only the threat of a slightly more realistic tribe that worships an asthmatic dude with Ping-Pong-ball eyes who wanders naked in the jungle looking for hotties, upon whose hearts he likes to sup.

For your trouble, you the viewer, you get one-hundred-minutes of narcotic jazz style visuals, the likes of which any non-drugged-out-of-his-or-her-mind producer should have declared unusable. But it's Jess Franco, so what the heck, right? The Prey, Ursula Fellner, is quite delicious, and the God is built like a brick lighthouse, so what if you have to watch a total of 45 minutes of the god wandering the jungle, wheezing in echo-chamber asthma-style, so much so that you'll want to tear your ears out by the roots? At least you get to watch his hot acolytes writhe naked on the ground, with cameras helpfully focusing on their groins. What you won't find in Devil Hunter is an abundance of gore.

By a nose-hair, Devil Hunter beats out Cannibal Terror in the Eurotrash Sweepstakes, but only because its single-minded artistry represents something more than the total insane ineptitude of Terror. Otherwise, there is little to nothing to recommend Devil Hunter. Its wheezing POV shots often include the lame God to which said POV is supposedly attributed, so there's that. Plus those sounds and out-of-focus shots are psychically trying at best. Beyond that, there's Al Cliver, possibly just wanting a check for ... something ... and dark skinned chicks writhing nakedly while, at the very least, convincing dudes bang the congas for a soundtrack that languishes between percussion and jungle sounds: hypnotic, mesmerizing, and ultimately, unintentionally vapid.

The DVD

Video:
Both movies come on a single BD disk, in 1.85:1 ratio full HD 1080p transfers, and both look decent. Cannibal Terror especially looks put together from a few different sources, with the title sequence showing print damage, as well as minor damage here and there throughout. Except for the titles sequence, however, the damage is mostly non-intrusive. Colors are robust in both prints, and film grain is evident. Devil Hunter often looks a bit dim and/or under lit, which is odd, but not too troubling. Transfers are otherwise free of compression artifacts or troubles.

Sound:
Cannibal Terror comes with English and French 2.0 PCM uncompressed Audio, though the French language track has no English subtitles. Both tracks are dubbed, and both sound good, with a little bit of dimensionality and a decent mix between dialog and other elements, even the frenetic theme song. Devil Hunter arrives with English and Spanish 2.0 uncompressed audio tracks, (though it is listed as having a French language track) again, with no subtitles. I experienced a little glitchiness trying to set up the audio options from the on-screen menu. Neither movie is going to wow you sonically, but both are acceptable, except for the horrible sounds the Devil God makes.

Extras:
Cannibal Terror includes an interview new to the Blu-ray, The Way Of All Flesh, An Interview With Alan Deruelle, in which the director discusses for 20-minutes the bulk of his career, with of course an emphasis on Terror. A Spicy Deleted Scene ported over from the DVD is a minute of a hottie dancing topless. The Theatrical Trailer rounds things out. Devil Hunter ports over from the DVD a 17-minute Interview With Jess Franco, Sexo Cannibal, in which the director callously disses his actresses and the cannibal genre. Fun for Franco fans, for sure. The Theatrical Trailer is included, as well as a new interview, Spirit Of The B Hive, An Interview With Bertrand Altman, in which the stuntman discusses for 11 minutes his career and position in the exploitation universe.

Final Thoughts:
Cannibal Terror and Devil Hunter both previously released by Severin on DVD, get something of an HD upgrade with this Blu-ray release, placing both woeful films on one disk. Neither film is great, in fact they're both aggressively bad, poorly acted and constructed, and insulting to the viewer. Terror features 'cannibals' with mutton chop sideburns and disgusting pig-gut munching, while Devil tortures you with the most wheezy and annoying nude Devil God you'll ever hope to meet. These trash classics hardly merit even one viewing, unless you're a real gourmand of crap, while the new transfers and minor upgrades in Extras really don't merit a double-dip. However, if you haven't screened these clunkers before, please pony up to the trough! (Just tell all your level-headed friends that you chose to Skip It.)

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

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