Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)
What’s It About: Apparently in this movie’s universe, cannibalism is some sort of infectious disease. Saxon and his veteran buddies contracted the ailment while in Vietnam. That and the clap.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Hey John Saxon!
- At least this Italian Cannibal flick doesn’t try to make us believe that it’s based on a true story.
- I’m guessing this is set in the midst of the Vietnam War. Is the screenplay by Oliver Stone?
- First words from John Saxon is “Get away from it asshole!” To one of his soldiers.
- He probably is referring to me about this movie.
- He was right though, that Vietnamese dog was a walking land mine!
- This groovy disco-esque music is totally wrong for both a cannibal horror flick or an action-adventure war flick.
- So apparently John Saxon’s hometown buddy who was a POW that he rescued is a rabid cannibal!
- Oh wait, it was only a nightmare anyway.
- Saxon, who plays Norman Hopper, says he’s going to go take a pill. But the pills he needs are all the way down stairs in the kitchen. Why are they not in the bathroom?
- Hopper’s wife is seriously lousy in the kitchen. Hopper opens up the fridge and there’s a huge hunk of red meat just lying there dripping juices all over the place! Has she ever heard of cross contamination? Botulism? Idiot!
- But the whole point was to highlight how this is a trigger for Hopper’s anxiety somehow. Not sure if he’s a cannibal now or if his nightmare was actually a flashback memory.
- A “Hospital for Nervous Disorders” is apparently a thing.
- This “friend of the family/Hopper’s doctor” has no qualms flirting with Hopper’s distraught wife about her husband.
- This teenage girl asking to borrow the Hopper’s hairdryer is dressed like something only found in Willy Wonka’s wardrobe.
- Hopper has a photograph of what looks like is an exploding hunt from his days in Vietnam. You know, a real Kodak moment.
- Hopper finds the hairdryer and says “let’s check if this bugger works, it’s been laying around for a while.” The teenager then replies “You’ve lead an interesting life.” Huh? Who wrote this? Someone not well versed in the English language I’m sure.
- Now the teenage girl conveniently has a leg cramp so Hopper can touch her inner thigh. Little minx.
- This idiot chick is now annoying Hopper while he’s on the phone by pushing the blowing hairdryer in his face!
- OH so now Hopper is interested in molesting this teenager. Nice panties though.
- Charlie, the old war buddy that haunted Hopper in his dreams, is out from the hospital and strolling in the park. He happens by two attractive joggers and helps them from a gang of what looks like 70s male porn star biker hooligans.
- Now Charlie’s seeing an old war movie in a theatre and the couple ahead of him is making out! There was even a split-second shot of bewb!
- Charlie then proceeds to bite the girl in the neck! That’s not what necking is Charlie!
- Now the Male Porn Star gang is trying to stop a fleeing Charlie! First they were harassing ladies and now trying to do some good. Either way, they just like looking for trouble.
- This is just like First Blood. Charlie’s Rambo dealing with PTSD but instead of being harassed by local cops, Charlie is a latent cannibal. Now he’s armed in a store and killed one of the bikers and a security guard. Now the cops have him surrounded in the store and trying to talk him out. But Charlie drew first blood! Literally, when he bit that lady in the theatre!
- Mary the teenager that seduced Hopper earlier goes over to Hopper in his car and tells him that she really enjoyed it. And that “no one ever bite me like that before.” Was that her highlight of their tryst? Or was that the only thing Hopper did to her? Plus, I think he bit her snatch because when he was shown going downtown on her she shrieked in pain before the scene cut to another.
- The police chief says to one of his deputies that “he’s going to be singing from his asshole after I get through with him” about Charlie who’s singing in the store.
- I’m not sure what the cops are doing in this stand-off with Charlie in the store. Charlie has no hostages or bombs of any sort, just a shotgun or two. Shouldn’t they be storming the store to get him out or take him down?
- And not to especially allow his old buddy Hopper to go in and talk to him! What are the cops thinking!?!? Isn’t that what megaphones are for?
- Hopper helps Charlie by reminding him that all he has to do is piss on the smoke bomb that the cops shot in the store to smoke him out.
- John Saxon kinda looks like George Clooney a little bit. Sounds a little like him too.
- Hopper somehow convinces Charlie to give himself up. Not really sure how.
- This was Charlie’s first day out of the psych hospital by the way.
- Mary’s younger brother is watching the news report about Charlie’s ordeal with the cops. Why is a 9-year-old kid watching the news instead of cartoons? He was all cozy on the floor eating a snack too.
- Mary’s mom barges into Mary’s room and just yells “When are you going to tidy up this room young lady!” From what I can see, it’s a tidy enough room. Mary’s mom is a real fucking bitch.
- Now Charlie, for shits and giggles, decides to attack a cute nurse back at the hospital.
- That nurse was in Pieces!
- Hopper admits to his wife that he bit the neighbor girl. His wife seems supportive of her very unwell husband. Of course he left out the part where he bit her in the Hoo-Ha.
- The doctor friend from earlier calls Lady Hopper to tell her that somehow Hopper is showing signs of a mental breakdown (how he all of sudden knows that is suspect) and that she should bring him to the hospital. All this time, Hopper is eaves dropping on the whole conversation. He then confronts his wife.
- Where is this supposed “Cannibal” “Apocalypse” that the title suggested? We’re halfway in this slow moving turd and so far not much has happened.
- This movie is suggesting that the cannibalism is somehow now a contagious virus. Even Hopper’s wife questions this new phenomenon.
- Even if it is a virus, it sure is taking a long time to manifest in these infected people.
- In Charlie and Hopper I mean. But the cop that Charlie bit after he was arrested all of sudden kills a few fellow cops and is eating one of them in the same afternoon. Meanwhile Hopper has been infected since the end of the Vietnam War and hasn’t turned into a full-fledged rabid maniac yet. He bit one teenaged girl who probably asked for it.
- This movie is getting worse by the minute.
- Now the cute nurse awakens from her nap and is looking rather rabid herself. Again, she was bit by Charlie just moments ago.
- And she kisses one of the other doctors and bites his tongue clean off. Cool gore effect anyway.
- One of the people that the rabid cop bit earlier managed to scratch the doctor friend guy on the neck while she was being transported in an ambulance. Are you telling me that even scratches will turn people into cannibalistic killers? Because that’s stupid.
- So now, the rabid nurse, Charlie, one other vet friend of Charlie’s (who’s also a cannibal), and Hopper escape the hospital. Now all hell is going to break loose in the city!
- The weird thing is even though Hopper is assisting and abetting the other cannibals, he seems calm and rational. Kind of hard to see someone as a having an uncontrollable rabid urge to eat people when he’s all calm like this. Actually all 4 of them are are acting normal.
- Disco music always goes well to scenes of people hacking up a body in anticipation to dining on them.
- The police chief is a cross between Lee Marvin and Ronny Cox. It’s strange.
- The porn star biker gang is back and want revenge for the friend that Charlie killed! How they found him is a good question.
- Nice gore effect of Charlie pressing his thumb into one of the biker’s ocular cavity! You don’t see that too often.
- I’m still not sure of Hopper and his friend’s plan anyway. I know they are trying flee the city but where are they going? They don’t see too concerned with eating people or spreading the virus either. They are attacking like 4 people who all happened to kill people by biting them and are just trying to evade capture. I though this virus would give them an uncontrollable cannibalistic rage.
- Charlie’s talking about Indochina. Does he want to go back to the Asian jungle like Vietnam again? Does he feel more at home as a cannibal there?
- Hey movie, I didn’t forget the fact that Mary the teenager was also bit by Hopper earlier. You made a point in telling us a couple of times. So did you forget about her?
- AH! Speak of the devil. Mrs. Hopper goes over to Mary’s house to use the phone because hers is on the fritz.
- So the rabid foursome are trying to flee in the sewers and the cops are in pursuit. Middle-Aged Cannibal Mutant Humans! Heroes are all half-wits, Cannibal Power!
- The nurse tries to leave the group and the African-American cannibal shoots her and a cop dead. He’s obviously portrayed as the most violent and vulgar of the four. Surprised the movie didn’t have him Kentucky frying his victims before he ate them.
- Charlie gets shot in the belly by a shotgun and the movie thought it would be clever if the blast left a hole the size of a grapefruit in his torso that we can see through before he dropped dead.
- And now the Black guy gets fried to a crisp with a flame-thrower. A flame thrower seriously?
- Now he’s charcoal black.
- Are we supposed to be rooting for Hopper? Because I’m not at all. AT ALL!
- No seriously, his character arc made no attempt to give him sympathy for him being infected with a virus or make him out to be a hero in any way shape or form. He’s not even showed remorse or reluctance in helping this fellow cannibals or killing innocent people. This movie is downright terrible.
- Hopper manages to escape the sewer and take a Jeep and drives away. How he found and commandeered a Jeep is one question in the myriad of unresolved questions in this turkey.
- Now Mrs. Hopper’s car won’t start. First her phone and now her car? AND her husband’s a cannibal! She has some terrible luck.
- For a movie with “Cannibal” in the title, there’s barely any flesh eating in this. In fact I can count on one hand the amount of biting and/or devouring of any kind. What a gyp!
- Now Hopper is back home and of course he puts on his Green Beret Vietnam uniform and when confronted by his wife, he pulls a pistol and tells her to get away. But when she does go away down to the basement, he follows her. I dunno.
- Now the doctor friend is a cannibal (due to the scratch from the nurse earlier—like I said, stupid) and attacks the wife. Hopper does the hero thing and shots him. Yippee!
- I still haven’t forgotten about the neighbor girl Mary and the fact that she was bitten. But this movie sure did.
- Hopper and his wife form a suicide pact and the cops enter the home and find them both shot dead. Mrs. Hopper said he should kill her too because she “loves him too much.”
- Before the credits we see Mary and her brother looking at the commotion outside at the Hopper’s and the camera zooms in to see Mary’s mom (or was it aunt) severed hand in the fridge.
- That was hardly an Apocalypse. That wasn’t close to being an Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman. More people died from Disco Fever. I guess they cancelled the Apocalypse.
Is It Actually Palatable: Jeez, this movie was such a horrible and terrible bore. Even for a “cannibal” movie.
Scariest Entree: There was really nothing to be scared about in this thing. The only interesting horror element was when Charlie poked that biker’s eye in while they were fighting.
Is It Raw and Bloody: For a cannibal flick it really is weak with the blood and guts. I think the most blood we see on screen is when Saxon looks in the fridge and his roast is dripping all over.
Any Mouth-Watering Nudity: Not really. You see that one woman’s nipple really quick and some of the teenager girl’s hairy muff peeking out from the top of her panties.
Most Delectable Line: “He’s going to be singing from his asshole after I get through with him.” I’d rather see a singing asshole that watch this ever again.
Most Delicious Scene: Out of the tiresome and tedious scenes in this turd, I’d go with the fight between the cannibal gang and the pornstar biker gang.
Most Flavorless Scene: Oh, so many to choose from. Let me think. I’ll get back to you on that.
Overall: I’ve seen enough cannibal flicks (especially by the Italians) by now to know how they should go and the usual tropes they all use. Usually they are in the jungle with native savages just doing what nature tells them to do. At least this film tried to bring cannibalism to civilization but the filmmakers forgot one important element—the actual cannibals! Seriously, they attempted to make cannibalism a highly infectious disease that would spread like a virus to everyone, essentially becoming a pandemic of epic proportions. But instead they made it more akin to vampirism and it’s done on such a small scale that there’s really no need for panic. Zombie flicks have more horror since all the dead rise up and wreak havoc and cause more zombies with each victim they kill. This movie had maybe 6 infected folks and 4 of them band together to try to flee. Flee for their safety, mind you, not to go kill and make more cannibals. So really what’s the friggin’ point to all this? None. There is no point. There never is.
Score: 2 Hairdryers that Lead to Interesting Lives (out of 10)
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