Cannibal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cannibal Reviews

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February 5, 2016
I haven't the slightest idea how to rate Marian Dora's "Cannibal." I'll get that out of the way right off the bat - I do not have a rating for this picture. It simply defies any sort of rating scale or rating ideas, much like John Waters' early films. I wouldn't even be able to tell you what I would give it if I had to. All I could tell you is...

This is a sick, repulsive experience. It is perhaps the most gut-wrenchingly grotesque experience I've ever had with a film (or any other form of media, for that matter). I've seen crime scene photos that were less effective in turning my poor, chocolate-filled stomach. Zero stars, right? Well...

I couldn't seem to pull myself away from it. The film grabbed me from moment one and honestly I never once allowed myself to shut it off or take a break. Yes, I admit that I did look away a couple of times (I was gagging and just couldn't take it), but that didn't stop me from turning right back around and watching the horrors in wide-eyed amazement. The gore effects in this film are impeccably well-done. I was shocked and horrified, thinking I should perhaps research the film further for information on whether or not they were allowed to use real cadavers, or if perhaps a man really was castrated, beheaded, eviscerated and eaten for the filmmaker's artistic (?) purpose(s). Highly unlikely, yes, but if you see the film, I think the question will enter your mind as well.

I must also mention that there is a great deal of frontal male nudity in the film, certain portions exhibiting erections, what must've been some very painful, bloody fellatio (okay, so it's not fellatio - it's just a consensual attempt at castration with one's teeth) and graphic sex. We are also treated to urination from a man's castration stump, excrement from his dying bum - honestly, about 45 minutes of the most disturbing, graphic and shocking scenes I've seen in my 25 years.

One aspect of this particular auteur's approach which I did not appreciate in the slightest was the tendency of his camera to linger, whether it be on the two actors' genitalia or the graphic slaughter which follows the grueling castration scene. Yes, this is meant to be effective, and it is, but it makes no sense that the director offers zero insight into these disturbed minds. He just wants to show us what happened without taking a stand or showing us what he thought might have been going on in their heads. It's honestly just an up-front, in your face smearing of grotesqueries on display - the sort of thing you can hardly bare to read about, let alone witness.

Why is this not a zero? Well, the film is based on fact. Look up information on Armin Meiwes, the Rotenburg Cannibal. This is his story. While I wish they had delved a bit more into these poor, unfortunate souls' psyches, it was an experience I'll never forget. Do I recommend you see it? No, not really. Did I enjoy the experience of watching it? No, not really. Will I ever forget any bit of it? No, not really. In fact, not at all.

Grade: N/A
½ July 13, 2015
A real video nasty from Germany. You have really got to question the motives of the people behind a film like this. It is a dramatisation of that story where a bloke advertises on the internet for somebody to eat. There is really only one moment in this film that burns a hole in your head because it looks so realistic, don't get me wrong, the whole film looks so realistic that you sometimes wonder what you are really watching here. Credit for that at least but the big question is still why?
½ May 24, 2014
Don't let my almost 5-star rating fool you. I never recommend this movie to anybody, unless I know for certain that their tastes lie in the extremely dark and morbid. Otherwise, its probably going to either bore them or make them uneasy (men uncomfortable with themselves often seem to revert to verbal homophobia to cope with their unease), or I run the risk of losing a friend or acquaintance. But if your cinematic tastes are firmly in the WTF-realm, this truly is a brilliant film to behold. It will replay in your mind and profoundly disturb you for quite some time afterwards. Visually, audially, emotionally, spiritually and digestively shattering. A monster of a ride, but not one you're likely to jump right back in line for.
May 17, 2014
Warning:
Mutilation
Cannibalism
Blood
½ July 19, 2013
Disgusting and uncomfortable to watch. I'll make it so fast and faster if I want to watch this again.
September 26, 2012
Allegedly true story of man meets man, man EATS man. Very little dialogue adds to the visceral horror that unfolds in front of your eyes. The first film in a long time I half-watched with my eyes covered. And that's hard to do.
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2012
Might gross out some. I thought overall it was okay, although the true story aspect certainly heightens the entire experience.
½ June 9, 2012
Cannibal is a difficult film to rate and an even more difficult film to watch. I will admit that I turned it off about twenty minutes before it was over due to the twin feelings of boredom and revulsion, a pair of feelings that I am not sure I have experienced before while watching a film. For starters, Cannibal is not for the squeamish or homophobic. On the other hand, if you seek out the transgressive in your cinematic experiences, then Cannibal might just be your thing. Although again, even though I am neither squeamish nor homophobic, I still found the film to be boring and disgusting without ever developing any real point or meaning the journey worthwhile. In general, when I watch exploitation, transgressive, or horror cinema, I expect it to use the disgusting elements of the plot for one of two reasons: the film must either have a point or it must be entertaining to watch. Ultimately, I cannot rate Cannibal very highly because it fails on both these fronts. It is not fun to watch in any sense of the word and it never uses its disgusting elements for any purpose unless it perhaps to explore the darker side of human desire, fetishism, and obsession.

All that being said, I still admire Cannibal for its guerrilla attitude towards filmmaking: it never holds back or censors itself neither on the aesthetic or gruesome level. It's aesthetic is rather striking. I follows in the vein of the minimalist, clinical films of Michael Haneke, particularly films like The Seventh Continent, Benny's Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, Funny Games, and The Piano Teacher. It also reminds me of Takashi Miike's Visitor Q, a similarly difficult film to sit through but one that ultimately has an underlying object of critique that makes it worthwhile. But most of all Cannibal reminds me of the films of Jorge Buttgereit: Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2, and Schramm. But ultimately, Buttgereit's Nekromantik films are grossout, Freudian comedies that lampoon art films as they simultaneously participate in their aesthetic.

Dora adopts a very similar aesthetic approach to Buttgereit: dialogue is minimal while sounds and the score take up most of the sound space. Also, Like Haneke Dora adopts a clinical perspective on its subjects: the camera never seems to judge the actions of the characters--it simply depicts them to the audience. Furthermore, Dora adopts an extremely methodical pacing that almost never seems to cut away in order to condense time. We experience major events in almost real time, which is probably what ultimately makes the film so hard too watch. Dora never allows us to take our eyes away from what is happening. The camera stays on the butchery. But ultimately, Dora's aesthetic aspirations fail because the film just becomes boring as we wait for something to happen and what happens is relatively a minimal series of actions that are simply prolonged past the point of bearing.

Cannibal doesn't feature anything that I haven't seen elsewhere--well, one thing--it runs through the list of exploitation staples: castration, defecation, evisceration, cannibalism, etc. Plus, it very unabashedly depicts male nudity and gay sexuality in a way that would never be seen in American cinema, although the film's inclusion of its extreme form of fetishism (cannibalism as a sexual act) makes the sex scenes difficult to watch as well even if you are not homophobic because the film conflates acts such as fellatio with the actual eating of the penis. I am not averse to films that feature such elements. Some of my favorite films are Irreversible, Thriller, Cannibal Holocaust, Salo, etc. But those films either have a purpose or they are at least fun to watch. Cannibal is exploitation with aesthetic aspirations, but it ultimately fails to do anything meaningful, which makes it just an unbearable hour and a half of cinema. I do admire it for its balls-out attitude towards filmmaking, but I cannot genuinely recommend except to those, like myself, who crave the more extreme ends of transgressive cinema.
June 9, 2012
A squeamish homophobes worst nightmare. "Cannibal" pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin, but with added extreme genital mutilation for good measure. The atmosphere is unnerving, as is the dubbing (although dialogue is thankfully sparse) and the gore FX are fantastic, the fact the film is based on the true case of Armin Meiwes is just the icing on the disturbing cake.
June 9, 2012
Allegedly true story of man meets man, man EATS man. Very little dialogue adds to the visceral horror that unfolds in front of your eyes. The first film in a long time I half-watched with my eyes covered. And that's hard to do.
June 9, 2012
Cannibal is a difficult film to rate and an even more difficult film to watch. I will admit that I turned it off about twenty minutes before it was over due to the twin feelings of boredom and revulsion, a pair of feelings that I am not sure I have experienced before while watching a film. For starters, Cannibal is not for the squeamish or homophobic. On the other hand, if you seek out the transgressive in your cinematic experiences, then Cannibal might just be your thing. Although again, even though I am neither squeamish nor homophobic, I still found the film to be boring and disgusting without ever developing any real point or meaning the journey worthwhile. In general, when I watch exploitation, transgressive, or horror cinema, I expect it to use the disgusting elements of the plot for one of two reasons: the film must either have a point or it must be entertaining to watch. Ultimately, I cannot rate Cannibal very highly because it fails on both these fronts. It is not fun to watch in any sense of the word and it never uses its disgusting elements for any purpose unless it perhaps to explore the darker side of human desire, fetishism, and obsession.

All that being said, I still admire Cannibal for its guerrilla attitude towards filmmaking: it never holds back or censors itself neither on the aesthetic or gruesome level. It's aesthetic is rather striking. I follows in the vein of the minimalist, clinical films of Michael Haneke, particularly films like The Seventh Continent, Benny's Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, Funny Games, and The Piano Teacher. It also reminds me of Takashi Miike's Visitor Q, a similarly difficult film to sit through but one that ultimately has an underlying object of critique that makes it worthwhile. But most of all Cannibal reminds me of the films of Jorge Buttgereit: Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2, and Schramm. But ultimately, Buttgereit's Nekromantik films are grossout, Freudian comedies that lampoon art films as they simultaneously participate in their aesthetic.

Dora adopts a very similar aesthetic approach to Buttgereit: dialogue is minimal while sounds and the score take up most of the sound space. Also, Like Haneke Dora adopts a clinical perspective on its subjects: the camera never seems to judge the actions of the characters--it simply depicts them to the audience. Furthermore, Dora adopts an extremely methodical pacing that almost never seems to cut away in order to condense time. We experience major events in almost real time, which is probably what ultimately makes the film so hard too watch. Dora never allows us to take our eyes away from what is happening. The camera stays on the butchery. But ultimately, Dora's aesthetic aspirations fail because the film just becomes boring as we wait for something to happen and what happens is relatively a minimal series of actions that are simply prolonged past the point of bearing.

Cannibal doesn't feature anything that I haven't seen elsewhere--well, one thing--it runs through the list of exploitation staples: castration, defecation, evisceration, cannibalism, etc. Plus, it very unabashedly depicts male nudity and gay sexuality in a way that would never be seen in American cinema, although the film's inclusion of its extreme form of fetishism (cannibalism as a sexual act) makes the sex scenes difficult to watch as well even if you are not homophobic because the film conflates acts such as fellatio with the actual eating of the penis. I am not averse to films that feature such elements. Some of my favorite films are Irreversible, Thriller, Cannibal Holocaust, Salo, etc. But those films either have a purpose or they are at least fun to watch. Cannibal is exploitation with aesthetic aspirations, but it ultimately fails to do anything meaningful, which makes it just an unbearable hour and a half of cinema. I do admire it for its balls-out attitude towards filmmaking, but I cannot genuinely recommend except to those, like myself, who grave the more extreme ends of transgressive cinema.
½ June 9, 2012
This movie is just utterly most disgusting and not at all disturbing except the gay parts! Seeing naked gay man through out the whole film is not what I want to see. Also the cinematography of this film had a unique style to it but was just right out not what this film needed...

If you are here to watch and learn more about Armin Meiwes then this is NOT the film for this film was most utterly inaccurate!!!
June 9, 2012
This 2005 movie directed by Marian Dora is one of the most disturbing and horrific movies I've ever seen. It's based on the real life event surrounding Armin Meiwes, the "Rotenburg Cannibal" who posted an online ad searching for someone to volunteer to be mutilated and eaten. This movie version stars two people, the The Cannibal and The Flesh. As TC searches for some individual to literally give his body, TF shows up and is more than willing. In fact, he is by far the aggressor, as he wants to end his life, and wants TC to eat every single ounce of him. Both gay, they meet and before long the movie turns into a kind of gay orgy between the two, and little is left for the imagination as UNEARTHED FILMS presents "Cannibal" totally uncut in all its gory beauty. There is very little dialogue in the movie, only a few lines said between the two, but the visual images are among the most bizarre and graphic you'll ever see. In a way, it's a beautiful movie, but then that's me of course. I found it extremely disturbing, as it should be, and as the movie moved into it's darkest regions, what is depicted is enough to make many hardcore gorehounds turn away. Very well made, extremely well acted, and the video is flawless. It's hard to say I enjoyed the movie, but I did enjoy experiencing the movie, and the thought that this actually did happen. "Cannibal" is only for a very select audience, that wants such events to go ALL THE WAY. This movie does JUST that.
June 9, 2012
A very heavy and harrowing movie...orientated at the real trial of Armin Meiwes, the "Cannibal of Rothenburg", who searched, killed, and ate his victim (by the victims own will)...this movie reveals everything what the movie "Rohtenburg" doesn't show...the first part is a bit strange, very silent and you can get a look in the life of the protagonist and how it all began...then the victim appears, the so called "flesh" and the movie turns into some kind of lovestory that is completely out of the real world...the two man meet and they tumble into a storm of passion, sexuality, pain and finally death...the whole movie doesn't allow you to be judgemental, you will be drawn into the long desired ritual of the protagonists and you don't have any time to catch your breath...the end of the movie is full of authenticity and you are drowned in the bizarre mind of the cannibal and it is impossible to understand his motivation...
June 9, 2012
I'm sorry but I don't find watching two men have sex with each other & walk around naked for the first 50 minutes of the movie to be very interesting or exciting. It is certainly horrifying and gruesomely disgusting once the slicing and eating begins but this film is one that I can not recommend to anyone. I'd rather watch A SERBIAN FILM a second time before I'd even consider putting myself though this one again. I guess the moral of the story is that you should not have sex with your food & vice versa before you kill & eat it.

I gave it three stars only because it did manage to shock & horrify me which is extremely rare.
June 9, 2012
Very shocking scenes & extremely gory tours the end.
June 9, 2012
I'm sorry but I don't find watching two men have sex with each other & walk around naked for the first 50 minutes of the movie to be very interesting or exciting. It is certainly horrifying and gruesomely disgusting once the slicing and eating begins but this film is one that I can not recommend to anyone. I'd rather watch A SERBIAN FILM a second time before I'd even consider putting myself though this one again. I guess the moral of the story is that you should not have sex with your food & vice versa before you kill & eat it.

I gave it three stars only because it did manage to shock & horrify me which is extremely rare.
June 9, 2012
Low budget, thoroughly disturbing, but well done nonetheless. Not for the weak...
June 9, 2012
Tremendous make-up/gore effects, gorgeous photography, and a unique storyline are hurt by horrible music video-style editing.
½ June 9, 2012
another of my unearthed films favorites, i lent this a friend who texted me half way through saying 'this gay film you lent me just got real nasty' after it finished the next text i got read ' i'm no longer hungry and i feel like crying'
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