Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Robert Ulrich
What's it about
A young couple ventures into a small town for vacation only to encounter a Manson-like cult with sexy girls who love cannibalism. Things only get weird from there.
Is it good movie?
I always think of Ghostbusters as a premiere piece of filmmaking. I love that movie. Everything, from the comedy to the effects to the use of New York, is picture perfect. So itís funny to think about the work director Ivan Reitman did before he was famous. Some stuff was good while others were less than quality work, namely 1973ís Cannibal Girls. Itís about as quintessential cheap as 1970ís horror can get. Blood, oodles of naked girls, a variety of weapons, tense moody sets and atmosphere. Everything about this flick is crappy, but it's soooooo 70s that it's tough to not enjoy the stupidity of it. Or at least some of it. In particular it's great to see (besides the wonderful nude ladies) a young Eugene Levy and his giant fro, who are by far the most entertaining aspect of the movie (besides the wonderful nude ladies). Either he had no idea what he was doing as an actor or he was ashamed to appear in the film sporting dark sunglasses, thick muttonchops, and a fluffy mustache. Dude looks like heís undercover and hiding out from the Canadian mob in a bad movie. Even though Levy never really seem comfortable in the role, it's just funny watching him bumble around saying a few funny lines.
Now Iíd be lying if I noticed any early, hidden Reitman talent in Cannibal Girls. I didnít see any. Sure, enjoyable moments pop up here and there, but are they really the result of the director? Donít think so. Iíd be more apt to give credit to the goofiness of the era, the lame story, and the quirky overtones that hang, well, over everything. The movie feels and plays like a quick exercise in gore and nudity than it does a well-structured movie. I'm not knock it for the loose feel...just saying it's not a tight flick that really stands out beyond director and the star. Everything here feels so cheap and undeveloped that it works on some level. That type of filmmaking ain't gonna work for everyone...but just for those who love a train wreck of 1970s goodness.
Video / Audio
Video: A grainy, old school Widesreen presentation. And in color!
Audio: Presented with the power of mono sound.
Cannibal Guys: An entertaining conversion with two successful fellas looking back on their career -- Reitman and co-writer Daniel Goldberg. Reitman, in particular, seems to really enjoy revisiting the movie as he can't wipe the smile off of his face.
Meat Eugene: The interview was shot in a meat shop, and Eugene looks a little uncomfortable at times, but it doesnít matter. The dude is a pro. A really funny pro.
I wouldnít call this a great flick, but Iíll recommend it for anyone who loves the 1970s. And Eugene Levy. And naked girls who like to eat people.