What it wasn't about though, was cannibalism; more specifically, it wasnt about a (much less the) Cannibal Man - while the killers victims are turned into meat (or, more specifically, soup), we never see anyone eat it, and our main character actively avoids eating it...
The film opens, very abruptly, with a slaughterhouse scene, in which some cows (already dead, or at least stunned) are hung and bled - the red stuff flows in rivers here, but its obviously footage of a genuine slaughter house so, although you may find this offensive, if you eat meat (I do) I suggest you STFU - this is not the 'animal snuff' of the last few weeks - this is life! I am an animal lover, but I'm also a carnivore, I would consider myself a hypocrite if I turned away.
Anyway the point of this scene (apart from some cheap shock value) is to introduce us to our main character, Marcos, who works at the slaughter house (which we find out later is actually a soup factory) and, it seams, is the kind of guy who will casually munch on his sandwich while watching cows be drained... lovely!
His causality around cow blood aside, Marcos seems like an okay guy; he has a girlfriend (although her parents don't know it), is well liked in the local cafe (especially by Rosa, who makes it quite clear that she fancies the pants off him) and lives with his brother, who is currently out of town on business (He's a lorry driver)
His home is a vertual slum shack on a patch of sand inhabeted mostly by football playing children and stray dogs - dispite it's ramshackle appearance, it's quite nice on the inside, although obviously the home of bachelors; the wall behind the sofa is decorated by with pin-ups!
So far, so "What is he on about 'that was a gay movie'" ah, but you haven't met Nester yet! - Nester is a rather wealthy, tight trousered gentleman, who lives in the posh apartment block overlooking Marcos' shack - more specifically, overlooking the roof-light of Marcos' shack. The first time we meet him he is watching Marcos with binoculars,while it is implied (but only implied mind) that Marcos is reclining on the sofa, knocking one out over the aforementioned pin-ups!
After Marcos gets into a row with a Taxi driver (the driver doesn't approve of Marcos and his lady getting amorous in the back of his cab) he ends up accidentally killing the driver while the driver is hitting Marcos' girlfriend. The sensible thing to do at this point would be to go to the police, but Marcos is afraid that his financial position will work against him (no good lawyer = no justice) and so he decides not to.
His life then spirals out of control as more and more people find out about the murders, and he in turn dispatches each one.
In the middle of all of this Nester is incessantly flirting with him at every available opportunity - although he genuinely doesn't seem to notice, thinking that Nester just wants to be his buddy - even when he gets invited to a late night pool at a private club, where Nester pushes him in playfully, then plays splashy-splashy games, buys him a drink, and showers with him!
The gayness is never explicitly stated aloud though, and I can't help but wonder if (despite the swimming scene) it was intended to slip under the radar in a less aware time (in much the same way that Victorian England, seemingly with one mind, managed not to notice the rampant homoeroticism in Oscar Wild's "The Picture of Dorian Grey").
The "cannibalism" (Such as it is) comes in when Marco's finally finds a way to get rid of the bodies (cheap ass perfume and room deodoriser can only cover so much) - he takes them (one carrier bag full at a time) to work, and drops them into the grinder - plastic bag and all (and presumably, teeth, bones hair and all). Luckily for him, the bits of plastic don't even seem to be noticed (much less affect sales) so, by simply avoiding soup from his company, he remains The Not-Cannibal Man!
It's a quirky, slow-paced, character piece as much as anything, and the blossoming "friendship" between Marcos and Nester as as influential to the movie's off-kilter (but not odd) ending as any of the murders - it's a crying shame that the voice performers involved in the English dub (epecially the lead) were such terrible actors, as it was an interesting, and otherwise good, little movie. I would reccomend this one, but not to gore hounds - slaughterhouse footage aside, the image on the DVD cover is the goriest shot in the film.
Body Count: 6
Boob Count: 1 pair
Animal Body Count: 5*
Most Memorable Death: The one on the DVD box (fuck you, art department)
*real cows, drained when stunned or possibly already dead, but if the native-on-a-stick from Cannibal Holocaust counted as a human death, despite the actual killing not being seen, then these count too...
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