Review: Cannibal Man


A very misleading American title for what turns out to be a very ‘non-cannibal’ Italian film. ‘Cannibal Man’ or ‘Week of the killer’ (its more apt original title) is bundled with the cannibal/gore classic ‘Mountain of the cannibal god’ on Anchor Bay DVD, this, from what I could gather, is the only uncut version you can get without resorting to VHS. Like so many other films the renaming of this film is purely to make the sale and unfortunately it really does paint a rather bland picture of this films content and by no means does it justice.

‘Week of the Killer’ as I am going to call it from this point onwards is a film whose seemingly simple plot is tightly woven into a film which demands a lot more from the viewer than it gives. That’s a good thing in this case. Basically, when a man accidentally kills a cab driver after a dispute he intends on covering it up, having seemingly got away with it. Unfortunately his Mrs has different plans and insists he turns himself in, in a bout of madness he then does away with her. Basically more and more people get too close to his secret and one by one the body count mounts up. Eventually he finds himself having to hack them up and disposing of them in a big soup making machine located at the abattoir in which he works.

As I said the plot really makes the film sound a lot more simplistic than it actually is. What makes the film that little bit more special is that it is pitched, not at showing gore, blood etc, but at the emotions of the man himself and gives the viewer reflection time over what they might be feeling if they had the misfortune to be exposed to a similar situation. To begin with he is very traumatised over what he has done and the first couple of murders do not seem to settle too well with him, but, as time goes on they seem to become slightly more impulsive. You are left asking, is it because he enjoys it? Or more likely, is it that he has gone past the point to go back and is more frightened by the consequences of being uncovered? – it is quite metal by the end you realised that all of this occurred because of an accident and one which was quite conceivable too!

The murders themselves are suitably graphic and as a result the emotions are portrayed all the more poignantly. Various methods are used including a graphic cleaver to the face and whilst the body count is kept relatively low (6 or so I think) the effects used are quite typical of Gialio films of the same nationality so don’t pull any punches.

Overall, as I have said if you are expecting another cannibal romp through the jungles of South America then you will be disappointed. Cannibal man is a more of a drama than a horror. It really gets you thinking, what would you do? How far would you go? And once you have killed once would it really matter how many other times you did it? – This film does make it quite difficult to answer those questions at times. I’m not sure it’s the sort of film you would want to watch over an over again but should you come across it I think you will see that this film has a lot more to offer than your average cult film (in terms of getting you to think anyhow!)  and infinitely more than Mountain of the Cannibal God, with which it is sold with. Enjoy.

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