Titles: Antropophagus (The Grim Reaper, Anthropophagous: The Beast and in the United States , Zombie 7)
Release Date: August 1980
Tagline: " It's not fear that tears you apart ... It's him."
Stranded on a deserted island in greece, a group of tourists are attacked by a repulsive cannibal.
A pair of Germans visiting a remote Greek island go to the beach, and are slaughtered by someone who emerges from the ocean. On the mainland, five travelers are preparing to tour the islands, and are joined by Julie, who asks for a ride to an island that some friends of hers live on. The only one who objects to this detour to the island (which Julie explains has only a few permanent residents, and only sees tourists a few months out of the year) is Carol, whose tarot cards convince her that something bad will happen if they go to the island. The group sails to the island anyway, and while disembarking the pregnant Maggie hurts her ankle, so she stays behind on the boat with its owner. A man attacks the boat, ripping the sailor's head off, and abducting Maggie.
The others explore the island's town, discovering it in disarray, and abandoned with the exception of an elusive woman in black, who writes "Go Away" on a dusty window. In a house, a rotting corpse which appears to have been cannibalized is uncovered, prompting everyone to rush back to the boat, which is adrift. With no other options, the group goes to the house owned by Julie's friends, where they find the family's blind daughter, Henriette. After wounding Daniel in a panic, Henriette is calmed down, and rants about there being a madman who smells of blood prowling the island.
To stop Daniel's wound from becoming infected, Andy and Arnold go into the town to search for antibiotics. Carol walks in on Daniel flirting with Julie, and goes into hysterics, running off into the night. Julie goes after Carol, but loses her, and meets up with Andy and Arnold. Back at the house, the disfigured killer breaks in and rips Daniel's throat out, but leaves Henriette alone and flees as the others return. In the morning, everyone treks through the island, and find a mansion belonging to Nikos Karamanlis. Julie mentions that she read that Nikos, his wife, and their child are assumed dead, having been shipwrecked, a tragedy which caused Nikos's sister Irina to become unhinged. Irina (the woman in black from earlier) watches the group enter the building, comforts the sleeping Carol, and hangs herself.
After waking Carol, Andy and Arnold look out a window, and see that the boat has drifted close to shore. The two men go to secure the vessel, and Julie finds a partially destroyed journal among the objects in the mansion, and it reveals that the killer is Irina's brother, Nikos, and that the bodies of all of Nikos's victims are in a hidden room. Andy and Arnold split up, and the latter reaches an abandoned church, where he finds Maggie, and is confronted by Nikos. Nikos has a flashback that reveals he and his family were stranded in a raft after being shipwrecked, and that Nikos accidentally stabbed his wife while trying to convince her that they should eat the body of their dead son to survive. Nikos then ate his wife and son's corpses, driving him insane.
Nikos regains his composure, stabs Arnold, and rips out and eats Maggie's unborn child. At the mansion, Julie uncovers the room where Nikos's victims are, and skims another diary she finds in it. Carol stumbles into the chamber, and drops dead from a slit throat. Nikos then attacks Julie, who locks herself and Henriette in the attic after a short chase. Nikos breaks through the ceiling and kills Henriette, and is then knocked off the roof and into a well by Julie. Nikos attacks Julie when she peers down the well, but she is saved when Andy appears and stabs Nikos in the stomach with a pickaxe, causing the cannibal's intestines to spill out. As a last dying act, Nikos gnaws on his own innards.
- Anthropophagous: The Beast was released on video in the United Kingdom in 1980 uncut by VFP. It soon became one of the infamous titles to feature on the government's Department of Public Prosecutions list (DPP), better known to the tabloid press as the "Video Nasty" list. It was later successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in 1984
- Anthropophagous: The Beast also saw another release in the UK, prior to its banning from a very small video company known as Videoshack. This release, although cut, is highly collectible among fans today due to its extremely scarce existence. The film would be released theatrically in America as The Grim Reaper around fall of 1981 from former independent distribution company Film Ventures International, in a dubbed and heavily edited version for an R rating.
- Antropophagus was director Joe D'Amato's first "straight" horror film, having previously made erotic horror films such as Emanuelle in America and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. D'Amato and co-writer George Eastman were long-time associates, and Eastman often had lead roles in D'Amato's films.
- 5.5 / 10 imdb rating (summer 2014)
- George Eastman as Nikos Karamanlis
Looking back these days at the movies on the list of Video Nasties drawn up in the early 80s by the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions, one is often left wondering what all the fuss was about. In the case of "Antrophagus: The Beast" AKA "Antrophagus: The Grim Reaper", with its infamous ripping-out-a-fetus-and-chomping-on-it scene, it is easy to see. However, fetus grimness aside, 'Antrophagus' is a disappointing horror which neither lives upto the hype of its infamous set-piece or the promising first act of the movie.
The film begins with the slaughter of a young couple on a pleasant beach on a remote Greek Island by something which emerges from the sea. Sometime later a young group of holidaying tourists (friends of the slain couple) arrive and find the island deserted Mary Celeste style. They begin to investigate, catching glimpses of a mysterious woman before they finally stumble upon a hysterical blind girl who tells them of a monster whose presence she can smell from the odor of blood it carries. From there the members of the group are gradually picked off by something which is eventually revealed to us to be a disfigured and insane George Eastman.
Unfortunately, while the first third establishes a convincingly uncomfortable atmosphere courtesy of the island and the house, and the build up to the monster's reveal is quite well done… after this the film deflates quite quickly. For all its hype there is actually very little in the way of action/gore and after the plot has revealed itself we still have to suffer a lot of shots of people walking around like they have done for the whole of the film upto that point. However, it should be noted that the film does attempt some modicum of character development and has some only-just-sub-par acting in order to carry the viewer through the boredom…even though it falls short of the mark. And then, the fetus eating scene (in fact a skinned rabbit)! Sure, this is a gruesome and repugnant idea, but to be honest the scene isn't shot that well, doesn't really make sense, fails to repulse, and so ultimately disappoints.
It's a shame really as every now and then you catch glimpses of what could be a great movie, but the editing, the acting, and (to be honest) the monster, let it down and (while it's much, much better than the follow up 'Absurd') still bores where it should scare, and elicits yawns where there should be screams.
- review by: Roman James Hoffman from United Kingdom 3 December 2012
Cast & CreditsEdit
- Tisa Farrow as Julie
- Saverio Vallone as Andy
- Serena Grandi as Maggie
- Margaret Mazzantini as Henriette
- Mark Bodin as Daniel
- Bob Larson as Arnold
- Rubina Rey as Irina Karamanlis
- Simone Baker as First Victim
- Mark Logan as Second Victim
- George Eastman as Nikos Karamanlis
- Zora Kerova as Carol
|Directed by||Joe D'Amato|
|Produced by||Joe D'Amato|
|Written by||Joe D'Amato|
|Music by||Pierluigi Giombini|
|Edited by||Ornella Micheli|
Produzioni Cinematografiche Massaccesi International
|Release date(s)||*August 9, 1980 (Italy)|
|Running time||90 min.|