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on October 5, 2015
A while back, I read the book "The Monster of Florence," which started out as a terrific read and then just ended as a very good one. The problem was, I thought that the author wrote himself too much into the book in Part Three, which is maybe unfair, because I suppose he didn't have much choice. At any rate, I was thinking about that still-unknown killer while watching this film.

Without giving much away about this movie -- or that story -- early in the first act, "Carlos" is eyeing his victim and eyeing a particular part of her anatomy. I'm sure I'm not the first person who has watched this film who has also thought, "Um, what's he going to do?!? Is he going to eat THAT?!" The film doesn't seem to go in that direction, but most of the gore is only implied so it is unclear what he actually does.

This film looks fantastic. The cinematography in particular is really strong, and there are many great shots: a still camera with a dark room and a small window; a still camera and an open doorway with heavy rain falling; and many scenes that take place in the mountains with fresh snowfall are beautiful. But where this film might fall apart -- if you call giving a 4 out of 5 rating "falling apart" -- is in some of the writing with regards to Carlos. Carlos is a very organized serial killer -- he may be a cannibal, but it shouldn't be forgotten that he is also a serial killer -- and so all of his actions should be well thought out for him. This next paragraph might have a few minor spoilers:

1. If you're a cannibal, you would put a very high price tag on human flesh. After all, it is very hard to come by. Why doesn't he have a lock on his refrigerator, and why doesn't he have a back-up power generator? What if the power goes out?
2. He let a gal into his apartment and allowed her to go into the kitchen, where she obviously peeks in the refrigerator. This guy would not allow this to happen, under any circumstances. This would be a show-stopper for him.
3. You know the expression: don't, well, you-know-what where you eat. Well, Carlos kills at least one woman in his apartment complex. No way. Most serial killers are smart enough to not kill anyone they know, but they also avoid killing people that are too close in proximity. They are serial killers, which mean they've killed at least three people, which means they've been successful, which means they don't make too many mistakes. This was a huge mistake.
4. Carlos doesn't kill the sister of a gal he's already murdered when he easily has the opportunity -- which maybe I can buy -- but he TELLS this sister, after the fact, that he killer her sister. No. . . Way. Well, if he did, you know another saying: "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you." He would have.
5. Carlos keeps a flier from a gal that he's killed and leaves it hanging in his kitchen. I doubt it. If the cops ever came snooping around, and they asked him, "Did you know so and so?" and he replied "No," they'd simply point at the flier and ask him why he's lying. And then he'd start to sweat.

Well, the critics were a little tough on this film -- I believe only 50 percent liked it on Rotten Tomatoes -- and I can understand why they'd complain. But while I will complain about some of the writing, I thought that the direction, acting, and cinematography were pretty terrific. So I'm going to cannibalize those critics myself and go with a strong 4, as I thought that "Cannibal" was surprisingly tasty.
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on September 14, 2014
Another one of those delectable serial killers who lives an outwardly passionless life in which every element is controlled. This one's Carlos, a Granada tailor, who expresses his passion for women by accosting them at night (in the opening sequence he runs the lady he's after off the road, along with her husband) taking them up to his remote mountain cabin, killing them, and cutting them into little bits which he keeps in his fridge at home to feast on.
He plays the game a little close to home when he gets a crush on his new neighbor, a pretty Romanian who gives massages that probably are more than just massages. One night she has a fight with her sister Nina over some stolen money. She comes to Carlos for a witness and Carlos offers to take her to the police. She gets in his car and never comes back.
Not long after, Nina shows up at Carlos' doorstep, and the story really gets in gear, because the feelings he's getting for Nina aren't like anything he's ever felt before...
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on June 7, 2015
This movie was different for me, but it was good
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on November 1, 2014
Watch it.
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on July 3, 2015
This video has playing errors. Keeps cutting off and voice going in and out. It was $4 for this also.
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on August 21, 2014
This film has an awesome description that it doesn't really add up to. Not a bad film at all but you think you're going to watch something like silence of the lambs and its really a more introspective journey into the mind of a sad and messed up person, which is good but unexpected. Notice the little things about it I guess. Interesting view of a meticulous tailor with issues about women and sex which, obviously, would lead to cannibalism.
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on August 4, 2014
Interesting but kind of slow, anyhow I liked it.
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...Hannibal Lechter would not approve.

"Cannibal" begins with almost four minutes of a nearly static opening scene, showing the transaction of the driver of car at a remote gas station late at night. It is shot from a great distance, and there is almost no dialogue. Distance from its characters and lack of exposition (through actions or words) are the downfall of this film, despite its provocative premise.

Carlos is a maker of handmade suits in Granada. He lives an ascetic, ordered life, with his apartment and studio situated across the street and within view of each other. His only apparent joy is in restocking his refrigerator...with the products of the female victims he targets, kills and then butchers in a remote mountain cabin.

This routine is toppled with the intrusion of upstairs neighbor Alexandra into his world. A Romanian immigrant whose actual job is one of the film's areas of ambiguity (legitimate massage therapist or something else....you be be the judge) who has recently arrived in Granada after working in a "spa" in Zaragosa. Vaguely threatened by another Romanian (is he a pimp? you decide), Alexandra ends up missing. This sets the stage for the arrival of her sister Nina, her former spa partner (played by the same actress). Against his own sense of control, Carlos engages with her on a personal level. It's not a spoiler to say that what ensues is not a madcap romp, and neither does the outcome --while tragic-- track entirely with the film's title

This movie is nearly two hours long.Its impact could be greater without the repeated, lingering camera shots of the small --if macabre-- world that Carlos haunts. Similarly, the plot is interspersed with many distractions: the well-heeled client of Carlos that is going to get him an invite into a fraternal organization, his side work on a piece of fabric with religious significance, the strained relationship with an relative of indeterminate connection (aunt? cousin? who knows), Aurora.

Enter with caution. When you're done, you might wish you were on top of Carlos's preparation table instead of in front of your video screen.

Note: provided for review by Film Movement.
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"Cannibal" (2013 release from Spain; 117 min.) brings the story of Carlos, a well-respected in Granada at day, but a cold-blooded murderer and cannibal at night. As the movie opens, we see a couple at a gas station and when they drive away, Carlos follows them, and causes their car to crash. He removes and takes the woman with him, and does what he does. Meanwhile, Carlos has a lovely new neighbor in his building, a Romanian girl named Alexandra who moved to Spain with her sister Nina to make money and support their parents financially back home. When Alexandra also "is disappeared" by Carlos, Nina comes looking for her sister. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, don't be fooled by or intimidated by the movie's title. This is MILES away from "Silence of the Lambs" and its sequels, as this is NOT a horror movie or an action movie. Yes there are several harrowing scenes in it, but the focus of the movie is on a much deeper level, namely how one man can find himself in this position and just when you think you've figured him out, you are taken into a new direction. Second, kudos to director Manuel Martín Cuenca, whose previous movies (including "Malas temporadas" and "The Weakness of the Bolshevik") are now on my "want-to-see-badly" list. Third, the pacing of the moving is glacier-like, and I mean this as a complement. Check out the opening scene at the gas station, which takes several minutes and the camera doesn't change angles or zooms in, it simply lets you take it all in (this comes back a number of times in the movie). In keeping with the deliberate slow pace, there equally is no musical score for the movie (the only occasional music we hear is from the radio in Carlos' tailor shop). Last but certainly not least, the 2 main actors, Antonio de la Torre as Carlos and Olimpia Melinte in the dual role of Alexandra and Nina, give towering performances which will stay with you long after you've seen the movie.

"Cannibal" is the June, 2014 release in Film Movement's DVD-of-the-Month Club, and the DVD will become generally available to the public in October. As is usually the case, the DVD comes with a bonus shortie, and this month we get "Ogre" (18 min., from France), about a heavy-set man who encounters an all-too-kind young lady at the beach. Equally worth checking out! Meanwhile, "Cannibal" is a fantastic addition to Film Movement's ever-growing library of foreign and indie movies, and frankly one of the best movies I have seen so far in 2014. HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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on November 20, 2014
There are few things in the world more taboo than cannibalism. The concept of dining on one’s own species ignites a deeply rooted, primal fear and repulsion that rivals only a small list of phobias. As such, it makes a perfect device for a movie. There are many films out there with ‘cannibal’ in the title, however director Manuel Martin Cuenca’s CANNIBAL is a study in contrast. While the underlying theme of eating human beings haunts almost every scene, the movie is about so much more than just that. The result is a lengthy however emotional glimpse into the life of a reclusive individual who is simply looking for love.

This film is not what I was expecting it to be. It’s labeled as a thriller, however it’s more of a slow-burn drama that climaxes with a quiet whisper than a bang. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it is a nice deviation from overdone tropes regarding cannibalism. However, the length of the movie is what hurts it in the end.

CANNIBAL is shot very well and looks great onscreen. The cinematography is more a visual display of artistry rather than a simple Hollywood-esque way of telling a story. I admit this style takes a while to get used to (there are many single-angle shots of long scenes), however once you are acclimated to it, you’ll find it actually enhances the film.

I am a bit up in the air in regard to the acting. I like both of the main performers…however this film and script do not do a stellar job of showcasing their talents. Not that this is a bad script by any means. However, because of the nature of his character, titular human-carnivore Antonio de la Torre delivers almost every line with the same simplistic, almost monotonic style. The actor never has a chance to show us anything else.

The storyline of CANNIBAL is a dramatically-infused mystery of sorts that takes a while to get going. But once it picks up speed (about an hour into the film), things start to get interesting. Unfortunately, during the time it takes to get to that point, not much happens. There are a couple of false starts, where I thought something was going to happen…however, nothing did.

Still, I cannot deny how much I enjoyed CANNIBAL once it took off. And I actually liked the ending, although I will wager some viewers will not. I recommend giving this film a look. However, be warned: there is no English dubover; it is just Spanish language with subtitles, so if you don’t like reading, I would steer clear. The film is available now in a variety of formats.
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