Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Video Nasty #39 : The Devil Hunter AKA Sexo Caníbal

Synopsis: When model Laura Crawford is kidnapped Peter Weston and his vietnam-vet side kick are sent to a remote South American island to bring her back, preferably with the large ransom the kidnappers have demanded for Laura's release. After the exchange goes disastrously wrong the kidnappers retreat to the jungle and straight in to the grips of 'the devil', the island's resident cannibal overlord.

Just when I thought there couldn't possibly be anymore cannibal movies on the list I find The Devil Hunter, a deceptively titled cheap horrible exploitation smear on otherwise useful celluloid. This film is so awful my laptop's DVD player rejected the disk, shaking and wailing at volume for every second it was forced to decompress, decrypt and de-interlace; as if it couldn't comprehend why its state of the art technology was being used to watch something so horribly lo-fi.

The Devil Hunter is the work of the infamous Jesus Franco, a man who has made an astonishing 160 films, mostly filth (The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, Vampyros Lesbos, etc.). Not to renege on his reputation The Devil Hunter may as well be called 'Mr Cannibal's Sexy Weekend', as many long scenes are spent watching the afro-caribbean 'natives' and Ms. Crawford writhe in agony whilst thrusting their gyrating crotches in the direction of the shamelessly leering camera. These scenes are so long and blatantly sexualised even a pubescent 16 year old boy would find it a little too slimy to be erotic. Although one could write-off Franco's obsession with nudity as harmless, it's a little more difficult to justify the point of a casual rape scene, as the rapist's girlfriend complicity watches in a hammock ("you're a son of a bitch, but I love you". yay for feminism!).

It's not as if these scenes are required to pad the film out, at 102 minutes long the film is a chore; so much so that I had to watch it in twenty minute chunks, taking rest breaks as if I was revising for some hellish a-level. Unfortunately the promise of gorey cannibal carnage isn't really followed through; the titular devil is a naked dude with ping-pong ball eyes (literally) who likes chewing on necks and covering his victims in a weird powder-based orangey-red paint and placing a few raw sausages around their belly button. When the cannibal isn't on screen we're treated to the tiresome vaseline lensed 'cannibal-cam', complete with heavy breathing smothered in token 80's pop reverb.

That fucking reverb. Enough. It's not scary. It's shit. Stop it.

I could go on but this has just become an unhinged rant. All you really need to know about The Devil Hunter is that it's an awful film. Quite possibly the worst of the #39 i've seen so far. And i've seen Cannibal Terror.