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Antropophagus

Film poster
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Produced by Joe D'Amato,
George Eastman
Written by Joe D'Amato,
George Eastman
Starring Tisa Farrow,
George Eastman,
Saverio Vallone
Music by Marcello Giombini
Distributed by Shriekshow Entertainment
Release date(s) 1980
Running time 90min.
Language Italian
Budget Unknown
Followed by Anthropophagus 2

Antropophagus, released in the UK as Anthropophagous: The Beast and in the US as Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper, is a 1980 Italian language horror film, directed by Joe D'Amato and co-written by D'Amato and George Eastman, who also starred in the film.

The film also starred Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Margaret Donnelly, Vanessa Steiger, Mark Bodin, Bob Larsen, Simone Baker, Mark Logan, Rubina Rey and Zora Kerova.

Anthropophagous: The Beast was released in the United Kingdom in 1980 uncut by VFP. It soon became one of the infamous titles to feature on the goverment's Department of Public Prosecutions list (DPP), better known to the tabloid press as the "Video Nasty" list. It was later successfully prosecuted under the obscene publications act in 1984. Anthropophagous: The Beast also saw another release in the UK, prior to its banning from a very small video company known as Videoshack. This release, although cut, is highly collectable amoung fans today due to its extremely scare existence.

A highly cut version was sold in the US as simply The Grim Reaper.

Contents

Plot

A group of tourists arrive on a small Greek island, only to find it almost completely deserted. It seems that the only person still alive there is a blind girl who does not know what has happened to the rest of the town, but is terrified of a man who she describes as smelling of blood.

As members of the group disappear or are murdered by a mysterious man, the survivors search for clues as to what is going on. They find a diary, which tells the story of a man who was shipwrecked with his wife and child. In order to survive, the man was forced to eat his dead family. This act drove him insane and he went on to slaughter the rest of the island's inhabitants.

In the film's most notorious scene, the killer strangles a pregnant woman while pulling the fetus from her womb and then devouring it (in reality the fetus was a skinned rabbit covered with fake blood). The effect proved so convincing that the filmmakers were attacked and questioned as to whether they really extracted a human fetus from its mother's womb. In the end, the killer is dispatched by means of a pick axe to the stomach, but before he dies he attempts to devour himself, chewing violently on his own intestines before finally dying.

Background

Antropophagus was director Joe D'Amato's first "straight" horror film, having previously made erotic horror films such as Emmanuelle in America and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. D'Amato and co-writer Luigi Montefiori were long-time associates, and Montefiori often had lead roles in D'Amato's films, usually under the pseudonym of George Eastman.

In the documentary Totally Uncut 2 D'Amato stated that the film was solely made for foreign markets; both the director and Montefiore claim that even though the film did very well in other countries it was a flop in Italy. Montefiore also revealed that he has never liked the movie, though he did enjoy making it.

Alternate titles

As well as Antropophagus, the film was known in by several other titles, including:

  • Anthropophagous (French title)
  • Anthropophagous: The Beast (UK title)
  • The Grim Reaper (original U.S. title, censored)
  • Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (US DVD re-release title, uncut)
  • Man Eater
  • The Savage Island

In the UK, the film was placed on the DPP list and classified as a video nasty in 1984. This was due mainly to the infamous fetus-eating scene. In reality, the fetus was a skinned rabbit. This did not prevent the film from being falsely described as a snuff film, a story which was even featured on BBC News. It is now available in the UK in a cut form, under the title The Grim Reaper.

Follow-ups

  • D'Amato followed up this movie with a pseudo-sequel, Absurd (1981, also known as Zombie 6: Monster Hunter).
  • An unofficial remake was created by German horror director Andreas Schnaas in 1999, entitled Anthropophagus 2000.

External links

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