Plot: What’s it about?
Marcos (Vincente Parra) seems like a normal person, he works a butcher, has a girlfriend, and has never gotten into much trouble. But a darker side lurks inside of him, just waiting to be unleashed at the proper time, with horrific results. The point of no return comes when he gets into a fight with a taxi driver, then kills the man by accident. He tells his fiancee there’s no reason to fret, but she panics, he tries to calm her down and she demands to inform the police of the event. He has no intentions of letting that happen, so he kills her also and hides the corpse. This could have been a crime of passion, but Marcos finds himself spiraling out of control, toward even more brutal and awful crimes, often just to hide the previous ones. As people begin to wonder about his fiancee, including his own brother, Marcos starts to slash them also, to ensure that his prior murders remain unknown. But the bodies keep piling up and sooner or later, Marcos needs to find an outlet to dispose of the corpses, without being discovered. His options seem rather limited, but when he starts to butcher them in his shop, he may have found the perfect solution to his problem.
This might seem like just another slasher picture, but Cannibal Man has some deep rooted themes, very cool ones too. The road taken by the main character is a normal one at first, but as he spirals out of control, we’re able to take a good look inside his head. So instead of just using the storyline to dole out buckets of gore, the filmmakers actually explore the premise, which is terrific news. As you can imagine, the nature of story demands lots of violence and blood, which Cannibal Man delivers and then some. In truth, this is a very dark & disturbing film, even more so than most horror related pictures, due to the approach taken to the material. The audience is never spared the details or distanced from the brutal killer, we’re right by his side, which changes our perspective on the events, to say the least. It moves a little slow at times, so keep in mind this not your usual slasher, this is well made look inside the ruination of one man. This release from Anchor Bay marks the first time we Americans have had a real edition here and of course, they’ve made sure it is complete & uncut, as intended. This film is too dark and memorable for most mainstream audiences, but if you like well made horror, Cannibal Man is a must see title, to be sure.
The burden on the shoulders of lead actor Vincente Parra is a great one, but he fares very well and carries the film without much trouble. His role is much more complex and understated than most horror killers, so he has to put a lot more effort into his turn, as opposed to playing a mindless killer or masked maniac. When we first see Parra’s character, he is a normal enough person, but he slowly ventures down a darker path, which Parra must make each step of clear to us, not an easy task by any means. He doesn’t stumble too much however, with a strong presence and he never goes too far, so his character remains realistic, which is vital here. You can also see Parra in such films as Soft Skin on Black Silk, Varieties, Punisher of Murderers, Tramway to Malvarossa, and No One Heard the Scream. The cast also includes Emma Cohen (Cross of the Devil, Cut-Throats Nine), Vicky Lagos (Bohemian Nights, The Girls in Blue), Lola Herrera (Hail Hazana), and Eusebio Poncela (The Winter in Lisbon, Cake of Blood).
Video: How does it look?
Cannibal Man is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As expected, the materials show some flaws, but this is still a tremendous transfer, I never counted on results this clean & sharp. The print used has some slight defects, but looks eons better than expected, with minimal flecks and grain, very impressive. The colors look a shade washed out, but still solid, while contrast is crisp and never obscures detail. I am very pleased here and I am sure other fans will be also, another terrific visual treatment from Anchor Bay here.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release uses a mono option and as far as mono goes, it is a more than adequate track at all times. I heard no traces of harshness, distortion, or hiss, which often surface on older mono options, especially with lower profile flicks like Cannibal Man. But no real issues here, a basic, but effective treatment all around. The dialogue is clean at all times, while the other elements are well presented also, with no volume balances errors to report.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.