Horror Movie Review: Anthropophagus (1980)

From director/co-writer Joe D’Amato comes the 1980’s horror Antropophagus or Antropophagus: The Beast. Does the name sound familiar? It should do as this low-grade Italian horror is one of the more infamous video nasties.

The story surrounds a group of young adults who are out touring some Greek islands when they meet a woman who asks for a ride to a specific island. She’s going there to take up work and with the island being one of the more remote ones her options to get there are limited.

The group agree to take her with them, figuring they can check the island out too.

Once there, they find it mostly deserted save for a woman in black who watches them from a window. As they explore they find nothing but it’s not until the discovery of a corpse that alarm bells start to ring.

The group rush back to the boat but see it floating away. They’re trapped on the island and night is falling. That’s the least of their worries though as the island is home to cannibal madman who is ready to greet his new guests.

Antropophagus tells its story well, setting up the cast and building tension towards the reveal of the villain. We get to know the characters and their relationships which makes for much more investment in their plight. The same goes for the villain who is given a bit of backstory with a flashback to how he became the monster he is now. It doesn’t quite warrant some of his actions but it is refreshing to see a video nasty with a villain who has a few more layers to his character.

Those expecting a gorefest might find themselves surprised as Antropophagus doesn’t splash the red stuff around often. However, when it does it does so in extremely violent ways including one scene that is pretty infamous.

For ages you’ll be watching Antropophagus and wondering what on earth made it a video nasty. This does apply to most of the list these days but here it’s particularly noticeable until we reach the aforementioned scene. It’s extremely bad taste, quite graphic and liable to turn some stomachs.

It’s not the only reason to check Antropophagus out though as it delivers a solid cast, decently paced story and classy finale. Easily one of the video nasty highlights.



  • Carl Fisher

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