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A Cannibal Flick Which Didn't Need the Zombies
on 22 August 2014
Not sure when this film was made, late 70's or early 80's. A cannibal tribe is stealing body parts from cadavers at a New York Hospital. The hospital owners discover this and their investigations lead them on an expedition to a remote tropical island. They are accompanied by some journalists. The two lead actresses are highly attractive, one is exquisitely beautiful. One by one the members of the expedition are picked off by the cannibals, in fairly graphic style, though by today's standards not too gory. The island is also populated by a mad surgeon and the zombie beings which he creates, by transplanting the brains of the living into corpses. The zombies then do as the surgeon bids, which is perhaps even more risible than the notion the surgeon can bring back the dead. The scenes of killing and dismemberment are mildly stomach churning, but by comparison with more modern horrors such as Audition and Martyrs, not bad enough to make you cover your eyes. The prosthetics and latex special effects are of course now seriously dated, but not so awful as to ruin the film. The soundtrack is a burbly analogue bass synth, something Giorgio Moroder could have composed in his sleep. What spoils the film most is the inclusion of the zombies, because the first half of the film is about the cannibal tribe, and the zombies seem to have been thrown in as an afterthought. They walk at a snail's pace, which means they don't carry much menace, and their makeup is a let down. On the reverse side of the coin, the lead actress, who plays one of the doctors at the New York Hospital and is a member of the ill-fated expedition, is a seriously stunning beauty, who spends the last 10 minutes of the movie stripped naked by the cannibals, her body very sexily painted with beautiful flowers, awaiting her fate. This movie was good enough to hold my interest for the short running time of 80 minutes, and if you're familiar with this genre of flick, you can kind of figure from the outset that the lead actress will be spending some of her time denuded for the benefit of the lustful cannibals and the viewer.