Ravenous (1999)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

In 1847, many Americans made the journey across our continent in search of gold. Many failed to complete the journey or see their dreams come to light. Capt. John Boyd (Guy Pearce) found his way here thanks to an act of cowardice during the Mexican-American War; he has been banished to a desolate military outpost in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Upon his arrival, he is greeted by a rag-tag group of soldiers manning the fort: Hart (Jeffrey Jones), the despondent commanding officer; … More

Rating: R (for considerable gore and strong violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Ted Griffin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 18, 2001
Runtime:
20th Century Fox

Cast


as Captain John Boyd

as Colqhoun/Ives

as Colonel Hart

as Toffler

as General Slauson

as Martha
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Critic Reviews for Ravenous

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (16)

Imagine a film that makes A Modest Proposal-style satire out of Dracula's gothic horror tropes in the spaghetti western milieu of The Great Silence. It's a pitch-black comedy about Manifest Destiny and cannibal frontiersmen.

Full Review… | June 17, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

It's a layered and very unique satire on America's consumption of the world...

Full Review… | June 25, 2014
Cinema Crazed

'He was licking me!' That plaintive, disgusted wail is pretty unforgettable once you've seen this one-of-a-kind tongue-in-cheek/blood-in-mouth historical horror movie that has garnered an appreciative cult audience...

Full Review… | June 6, 2014
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Ravenous is unlike anything else, and even if it's not to my own specific taste, I have great respect for its unrepentant weirdness.

Full Review… | June 3, 2014
Aisle Seat

Audience Reviews for Ravenous

Unjustly maligned upon its release, 'Ravenous' is a unique, atmospheric and stingingly funny horror-comedy with a splendid ensemble cast. Cannibalism is a subject that can cause nausea in most people but it is handled with a deft comedic touch in Ted Griffin's shrewd screenplay. Despite the production troubles, Bird is firmly adept at scenes of high-voltage action (such as the final duel between Boyd and Ives), quirky humor (Toffler's zealot shtick is always amusing) and grandiose horror (the descent into the catacombs is genuinely nerve-racking). The quixotic tone is set immediately with a food-related quote from Ben Franklin followed by the anonymous citation "eat me". Carlyle was such a preening disappointment as a Bond villain in 'The World is Not Enough'. However, he is unfathomably urbane and demonic as Ives who feigns insanity in order to lull his hosts into a false sense of security before he voraciously devours them. The wintry landscape of the outpost seamlessly heightens the isolationist dread. With a bevy of wry one-liners ("Breakfast. Lunch. Reinforcements.") and unsettling themes about the "wendigo" power of replenishing one's lifeforce, 'Ravenous' is a unsullied jewel in Griffin's work.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

"If you die first, I am definitely going to eat you, but the question is, if I die, what are you going to do? Bon appétit... Eat or die."

Captain John Boyd's promotion stations him at a fort where a rescued man tells a disturbing tale of cannibalism.

REVIEW
Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) has just arrived at Fort Spencer, a "reward" of sorts for his display of cowardice during the Spanish-American war. The fort is manned by a drunk, a pothead, a Native American woman and her brother, a goofy young chaplain, a nonchalant Colonel and a half-crazed soldier named Reich. Shortly after Boyd's arrival, a frostbitten man appears one night out of the snowstorm and is taken in. After a quick and miraculous recovery, the man, a Scotsman name of Colqhoun, tells a harrowing tale. He and a party of five others had been stranded in a snow storm and took refuge in a cave. When their food ran out, they turned to cannibalism. Colquhoun claims to have escaped before he too could be eaten. The men of Fort Spencer quickly mobilize and, guided by Colqhoun, they head off to search for survivors. But, too late, they discover that there are no survivors. Colqhoun is a ravenous cannibal, and may possibly be a mythical beast called Wendigo. Only the cowardly Boyd survives the bloody ambush...but will he conquer the cannibal, or join him?

This is a bitterly black comedy, a weird combination of the Donner Party tragedy, the legend of Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean and the 1978 version of Dawn of the Dead with its comments on consumerism. This film did poorly at the box office due to bad advertising, which is a shame because it's a very well made, well acted and well scripted movie with a cleverly insane soundtrack to boot. Everyone delivers quirky, standout performances, especially Robert Carlyle as the cannibal, playing him as an unhinged Charles Manson type one moment and a cultured, elegant gentleman the next. His performance is totally riveting and shockingly funny at times. The humor in this movie will not be to everyone's taste (no pun intended). It is still a movie about cannibalism and features some bloody, gross-out gore, so be warned. But, if you have a strong stomach and a sick sense of humor, you won't want to miss this film.

LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

A completely psychotic take on the windigo story. The cannibal aspect was really interesting and made the story all the more creepy. Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle were great, especially their scenes together. The music was really different, but went well with the tone of the film.

ythelastman89
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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