ANTHROPOPHAGOUS (1980). Review by Steve Kirkham

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ANTHROPOPHAGOUS (1980)

3 stars
88 Films. UHD+Blu Ray. 8th July

The notorious video nasty with the bizarre name – ANTHROPOPHAGOUS (or is it Anthropophagus? The onscreen title here is The Savage Island) – is back as part of the 88 Films Italian Collection, in 4K no less… though having been shot on 16mm it is perhaps questionable quite how much better it can look with the increased resolution. It is grainy and there is some slight print damage in various scenes.

It opens with a young couple, German tourists, relaxing on the beach. As her boyfriend kicks back and listens to music on his headphones, the girl swims out to a small boat and is attacked and killed by something. He is oblivious to this – that is until it is too late and he gets a meat cleaver in the head!

Having established it’s gore credentials we then cut to another group of visitors to Greece – Arnold (Bob Larson) and his very pregnant wife Maggie (Serena Grandi), Daniel (Mark Bodin) and Carol (Zora Kerova), who all meet Julie (Tisa Farrow, sister of Mia) who asks if she can tag along with them as they visit the Greek islands. With the agreement of their other compatriot Alan (Saverio Vallone) they travel to where Julie wants to get to – only to find the whole place deserted. Carol declares “There’s evil on this island. An evil that won’t let us get away”.

She proves to be right as they wander around trying to find any sign of life – it’s about an hour before our bonkers killer, played by George Eastman/Luigi Montefiori (who also penned the script) starts his bloody mayhem, though to be honest it’s difficult to see why this got caught up in the video nasties debacle. I suspect it is for a couple of gore-soaked cannibalistic scenes that really go for it, which I won’t spoil here. As it is, Eastman makes for a suitably creepy, scabrous killer, and the setting adds to the atmosphere, whilst some of the make-up fx are a bit rudimentary. However the whole affair is sometimes undercut by the often odd electronic score by Marcello Giombini.

There are two versions on the disc – English (Extended) and Italian.

Also known as the aforementioned The Savage Island; The Grim Reaper; Anthropophagous: The Beast; The Zombie’s Rage

This is available as a web store exclusive direct from 88 Films with extra bits which you won’t get with the standard version available elsewhere: Limited Edition slipcase with Original VHS artwork; A3 double sided poster; 40 page book with writings by John Llewellyn Probert, Zoë Rose Smith; David Flint; Daniel Burnett

Extras
4 stars

On the UHD: Audio Commentary by Eugenio Ercolani and Nanni Cobretti (English Version). This is on both the UHD and Blu Ray; Trailer

On the Blu Ray:
A great collection of extras put together by Eugenio Ercolani
Resurrecting the Monster – An Interview with Dario Germani (12 mins). Talking about creating the first official sequel Anthropophagous II in 2022; The Sacrificial Lamb – An Interview with Zora Kerowa (23 mins). Talking about working in Italian cinema, working on this film, working with Fulci, going to conventions and discovering her works was considered cult; The Grim Reaper – An Interview with Luigo Montefiori (16 mins). About working on the film, the script, the cast plus the sequel that wasn’t a sequel Absurd, plus other works; Joe, The Monster and Me – An Archive Interview with Luigo Montefiori (15 mins); Deleted Scene with Introduction by Eugenio Ercolani (3 mins); Visual Essay by Eugenio Ercolani (25 mins); Various Trailers

All wrapped in a reversible sleeve featuring new art by Graham Humphreys and original Italian poster

Steve Kirkham