Mr. Joe D'Amato is a name known and loved by gore-hounds and Euro-trash enthusiasts the world over. By and large lame special effects and a lack of coherency are the hallmarks of his movies. Not so Anthropophagous! Though the action starts a bit late, and the overall execution is not always great, this is a must-see for the right crowd, and one that had escaped my TV, (though not my attention) lo these many decades from its release. As they say, 'every bookshelf has a few missing volumes', but this one will now take its rightful space, in this uncut-for-the-first-time-in-America, 2K edition from Severin Films.
Only Uncle Joe would start a movie with a sudden, clunky zoom-out shot, from a bunch of cacti to a castle, but that's how he chooses to set up the vacation of a bunch of hapless bourgeoisie. The original title card reads The Savage Island, the destination for our heroes and a hitch-hiking hottie on her way to meet some friends. Of course things go quickly and inorganically wrong from the get-go, as the pregnant vacationer twists her ankle the second she gets off the boat.
Omens abound, but cognizant viewers won't really care. Just bring on the gore already! To espouse such an attitude misses the point, slightly, as D'Amato (Aristide Massaccesi) cranks out not only a serviceable plot with some solid ideas, but also a raft of pretty good performances! In particular, Zora Kerova (who has done more than her share of horror) shines as intense psychic Carol, bringing well more than its share of verisimilitude to the role. Tisa Farrow and good old George Eastman also show up, among others, meaning that if the movie takes half its run-time working up a head of steam, you probably won't even notice!
Then Eastman (Luigi Montefiori to his countrymen) shuffles on in, the cursed patriarch of another unfortunate family to visit the Savage Island, and the ragu starts flying. There's a thunderstorm! There's a jump-scare, with a cute kitten no less! And the romantic subplot that might have actually sucked you in, spits you out again, right in the face of some lovely throat-chewing, impromptu obstetrics, and confused gut-munching. Seriously, the look on Eastman's face as he tucks in to the offal indicates a performer taking it to the absolute limit. Which is what Anthropophagous does, well earning its status as a 'Video Nasty'. It's sleazy, sloppy, sickening, and Highly Recommended.