Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 16th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1972
Director: Eloy De La Iglesia
Writers: Eloy De La Iglesia, Anthony Fos
Cast: Vincente Parra, Emma Cohen, Vicky Lagos, Eusebio Poncela, Fernando Sanchez Polack, Charlie Bravo, Rafael Hernandez, Jose Franco, Goyo Lebrero, Ismael Merlo, Valentin Tornos
DVD released: November 13th, 2007
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: An accidental death leads a man to commit additional murders to cover up his previous murders.
This film’s title The Cannibal Man, is kind of a misleading title, since there never is any clear indication or proof that the films lead Marcos eats human flesh. There is however one brief scene, which alludes to possible cannibalism in the film. And even this moment doesn’t fully expose Marcos or anyone else for that matter as a cannibal.
The Cannibal Man was co-written and directed by Eloy de la Iglesia, whose other notable films include, Glass Ceiling, The Priest and a “A Clockwork Orange” clone, titled Clockwork Terror. Key collaborators on The Cannibal Man include, screenwriter Anthony Fos (The Vampires Night Orgy, Death Will Have Your Eyes), cinematographer Raúl Artigot (The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The Pajama Girl Case) and composer Fernando García Morcillo (Dr. Orloff’s Monster, Django, a Bullet for You).
The narrative is very simple and to the point. Only a handful of locations are used. With the primary one being Marcos’s home, where most of his murders occur. The way the plot evolves and use of mainly one location is reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion.
Visually the film at times looks gritty, especially when we are at Marcos’s home. And then there are times, when things just light up, like the scene where Marcos and a neighbor named Néstor, go swimming late one evening. It also happens that this neighbor in a “Rear Window” like way, has been watching Marcos commit and subsequently try to cover his crimes.
The spying neighbor Néstor is also a homosexual and he tries to seduce Marcos. With the scene, where they go swimming together, being a perfectly orchestrated game of foreplay between the two men. Marcos at this point is so far gone psychological and because of this he does not pick up on Néstor’s infatuation with him.
The murders scenes are well executed. With the most extreme moment of bloodletting, being the scene where Marcos murder’s his brother. Ultimately, despite its dark subject matter and un-sympathetic killer The Cannibal Man is a captivating story which only gets better with each new viewing!
Over the last year Blue Underground has been re-releasing several titles which had been previously released on DVD by Anchor Bay. It has been reported on most occasions that these are direct ports audio/video/extras and nothing new has been added. Blue Underground’s transfer for The Cannibal Man looks better then I remember with details remaining sharp throughout. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look faithfully accurate. The transfer is anamorphic and it has been flagged for progressive playback.
This release comes with one audio option a English Language track which is free of any audio defects. The only extra included with this release is the films English language trailer. In the end Blue Underground’s re-release of The Cannibal Man is on par with the Anchor Bay. Now those who missed this obscure gem the first time around can finally add it to their collection.