Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 19th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: 2006
Director: Marian Dora
Cast: Carsten Frank, Victor Brandl, Tobias Sickert, Joachim Sigl, Carina Palmer, Dora Bernd Widmann, Manoush
DVD Released: December 5th, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Unearthed Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
(This review contains spoilers)
The events depicted and reenacted in Cannibal are based on actual events about a man named Armin Meiwes who had a growing obsession with which involved eating human flesh. Meiwes posted an advertisement looking for a victim willing to be the one who would be willing to let him eat them. Several people replied as willing participants with Meiwes finally choosing Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes as the person he would untimely eat.
In March 2001 videotaped the final moments of Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes life including the moments where Meiwes amputated Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes penis. After the penis was amputated both men attempted to eat it. Later Meiwes would carve his victim up and store his body parts in a freezer and he would eat them over the next few months. Not satisfied with eating just one person in late 2002 Meiwes would attempt to find a second victim again via the internet and this time he would be caught by the authorities.
Cannibal treads familiar ground where a film rips a shocking event out the headlines and either uses part or the entire story to make a film. Director Marian Dora strives to recreate the events as they happened and the minimalist soundtrack and low key lighting suit perfectly compliment the subject matter at hand. Visually most of what appears on the screen is disturbing and at times grotesque. The story which is very simple and to the point is not that engaging which may test many viewers will power to finish the film. Ultimately Cannibal might just too avant-garde and down right bizarre for your average exploitation movie fan.
Cannibal is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. This film looks like it was shot on video and during some of scenes that are dimly lit the details’ are harder to make out. The image is clean with no major flaws and colors and flesh tones look accurate. There are no problems with compression, artifacts or edge enhancement.
This film comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix which sounds full and evenly balanced. The soundtrack contains mostly ambient sounds and music and what dialog is spoken it is easy enough to understand. There are no problems with distortion, hiss or any other sound defects.
Outside the main feature and a basic menu which includes three options play, chapters and trailers there are no extras that are specific to the main feature. The trailers included include Frankenhooker, Bone Sickness, Nails, Das Komabrutale Duell, Lethal Force and City of Rott. All of these titles are currently available or soon to be release on DVD by Unearthed Films.
Cannibal is a not an easy film to recommend not only because of its dark subject matter but also because of it’s non traditionalist approach to narrative makes it a difficult to totally immerse yourself into. The lack of any real extras is also a downer. Those film fans that have a strong stomach and are adventurous are in for unique viewing experience you will not forget anytime soon.
For more information about Cannibal visit Unearthed Films here.