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This movie was almost hard for me to watch and that's saying something since I feel I can watch anything. I've never seen gay porn before so watching this movie kinda reassured me that I'll probably not go that route, but again, I'll watch anything.
Based on the true story of the crime that shocked the world, two men meet through the internet and wilfully play the roles of cannibal and victim. This is one of the ugliest films I've ever watched in my movie viewing years. This movie is not for the faint of heart. Cannibal wins "Banned Film" title in Germany...think about that.
Another version of the Armin Meiwes story, except this one IS the ground-breaking film I expected from this story.
The mix of sound and image is positively hypnotizing, and the little dialogue there is has been expertly placed. Once we do get dialogue, this is the high caliber of it:
"I'm your flesh."
This is the film Grimm Love aka Rohtenburg wanted to be (see my review of it for more info). Where Grimm Love failed with minimalistic dialogue and scenes that attempt to convey unspoken layers of emotion, this film exceeds expectations. The connection between the two actors is nearly tangible, and I'm glad that there is a version of this story wherein the director is not afraid of male nudity and gore, especially for the crucial biting scene. The castration and cooking scene are even more explicit, enough to satisfy my sick curiosity about this story. And my question of "did he cut off just the dick or the balls as well?" is answered. I was disappointed that there was no dialogue about the penis being overcooked, but both characters suggest it by their dislike of the taste and inability to chew the meat. The bathtub scene is strikingly simultaneously tender and disturbing and a brilliant cinematic achievement. The butchering scene is the pinnacle of disturbing cinema.
The settings are unbelievably realistic and the room where the main event occurs is a perfect amplification of the anxiety, despair, and desire between the two characters.
This is the definitive extreme film with male homosexuality. This is on par with "Trouble Every Day" when it comes to the sublimely troubling mixture of sensuality and cannibalism. Never before has a film been so grotesquely beautiful.
"Hot Gay Sex" commentary: yet another selection where the steamy sex happens alongside a MUCH more severe taboo, this time of cannibalism
"So Fucked Up" highlight (this film has quite a few): vivid penile bleeding after the unsuccessful biting, the fluids flowing into the jar immediately following the castration by knife, carrying the leaking and defecating nearly-dead body through the house, the butchering scene with the cannibal sensually worshiping the internal organs, the "morning after" breakfast
Natural performances, horribly realistic gore and makeup effects (including an extremely close-up and detailed partial amputation of penis by knife) and creepy music score do not make this a successful film. Based on a true event, the film doesn't seem to be saying anything about the human condition, least of all offer any psychological insights or even dramatic narrative. Things just gradually progress and escalate. The film ends peculiarly and abruptly, and without any contextualisation the whole piece feels largely pointless. There's talent both behind and in front of the camera but nothing is achieved beyond an advancement in graphic realism. The flawed drama-documentary The Man Who Ate His Lover is a much better insight and is far more chilling than this exercise in brutality.
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