Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cannibal Girls (1973)

Seeing as how Ivan Reitman has spent most of his career directing family-friendly comedies, it’s odd to realize that the Canadian filmmaker was heavy into horror during his early years. In fact, his first project to gain a stateside release was his sophomore directorial effort, the shabby gorefest Cannibal Girls. Generously described in some quarters as a spoof of horror flicks, the movie plays straight simply because neither the characterizations nor the storyline has sufficient wit to produce reactions other than boredom. The only reason Cannibal Girls isn’t a total snooze is that Reitman periodically displays blood or breasts (if not both simultaneously). There’s also some novelty value stemming from Reitman’s involvement and the presence of future comedy stars Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin, whose roles are only quasi-comedic in nature. However, Cannibal Girls is perhaps best characterized as an embarrassing rite of passage that each of the participants had to endure on the way to better things. Set in rural Ontario, the picture follows young lovers Clifford (Levy) and Gloria (Martin), who stumble into a small town where three young women are reputed to be cannibals. Meanwhile, Reitman depicts the adventures of the young women, who woo men back to their remote home, kill the men, and eat their flesh. The women are under the thrall of Reverend Alex St. John (Ronald Ulrich), a loon who spews nonsense about extending life by consuming people. Eventually, Clifford and Gloria end up in the killers’ lair, with nasty results. Cheap-looking, clumsily edited, and filled with forgettable performances, Cannibal Girls probably spends too much time on dialogue scenes to keep gore mavens interested, and it offers nothing to beguile general viewers. In sum, Cannibal Girls offers scant evidence that just one decade later, Reitman would masterfully blend comedy and horror in Ghostbusters (1984).

Cannibal Girls: LAME

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