Whether it’s customary or insanity, here’s some of the best films for when only interspecies meat eating will do…
Cowardly John Boyd is relocated to a remote fort in California with a group of other misfits. When a starving man shares his story of lies and cannibalism, some of the group set out to save the rest of his party, never guessing what they would actually find. This is my all time favorite cannibal movie. It has everything I could ever want: pitch dark humor, unexpected twists, an eclectic soundtrack, a historicla setting, and amazing performances from the entire cast. If you haven’t seen it, the underrated classic is on Netflix.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
A group of teens ventures into the wrong house as they are terrorized by Leatherface and his deranged, cannibalistic family. This movie seems so raw and realistic that it has a reputation for being much gorier than it actually is. Our minds fill in the implied scenes and makes them so much more terrifying. It has been so influential on the genre even over forty years after it was made.
The Silence of the Lambs
Clarice Starling is recruited from the FBI Academy to help on a serial killer case by interviewing notorious Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter. Although he only has 16 minutes of screen time, Anthony Hopkins unnerving, intense portrayal made a huge impression that led to a sequel, a prequel, and an unfortunately short lived television show starring Mads Mikkelsen. Hannibal is subdued and lying in wait for most of the film, but it’s truly something to behold when he unleashes his considerable fury.
A group of thieves flees Paris riots to find safe haven in the country only to find themselves at the mercy of a Neo-Nazi cannibal family. This film is like a combination of Hostel and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Nazis. The family is more intelligent and calculating than the typical cannibal family. The incest/mutant side plot is there in a small, very creepy way. This whole story takes place in the background of an extreme right wing candidate elected as president in France, which makes it more topical than it was when it came out.
An aging actress seeks unconventional methods of staying young that lead her to eating dumplings with a mysterious rejuvinating ingredient. This film has some biting commentary for society in its treatment of men and women underneath the shocking images and subjects. Check out both the long and short version that have slightly different endings.
We Are What We Are
The Parkers look like good wholesome Christians. Their true beliefs are much more depraved. When the matriarch dies, it’s up to the two daughters Iris and Rose to take up the main role of preparing their sacrifices if they choose to. We Are What We Are is a suspenseful film set in a stormy small town. The plot is fairly slow paced and methodical with an explosive ending.
In the 1890’s, a group of cannibals abducts three people from the small town of Bright Hope. Sheriff Franklin Hunt and a few others traverse to the savages’ lair finding danger along the way. Kurt Russell is reason enough to watch Bone Tomahawk, but the cannibalism scenes at the end are unexpectedly brutal comparison to the rest of the film. Don’t let the western trappings fool you.
Six people are stranded in a remote road due to a car accident and find themselves hunted by a family of mutant cannibals. When I first saw this, I thought it would be super cheesy and awful. It was actually a well plotted film that had cannibalistic horrors and a cast of characters to root for. The suspense and actions scenes were well placed and the pace never lagged. I’m not sure about the rest of the series, but the first is a fun ride.
In My Skin
Marketing professional Esther is cut deeply in a random accident during a party but felt no pain from it. Afterwards, she becomes obsessed with cutting into herself in more severe degrees until that obsession includes eating pieces of herself. No concrete reason is given for her obsession, so the audience can read what they like into it. Her descent into self destruction is sympathetic and very uncomfortable.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
A barber returns to London and takes the name Sweeney Todd in order to exact his revenge against the judge who incarcerated him for personal gain. He teams up with a destitute pie make Mrs. Lovett to kill random men to serve in her pies. Don’t let the songs fool you. This is the bloodiest musical I’ve ever seen plus the dissonant, off kilter music sets the scene for these broken people and their gory revenge.
A team of filmmakers disappear in the Amazonian rainforest, causing another team to go in, befriend the natives and recover their film reels. The content of the reels is stomach churning and perhaps worse than the actions of the cannibalistic natives. I can see why this film is so influential. It has elements of different films like slasher, rape revenge, and exploitation. It’s also the first iteration of found footage, but the inclusion of real animals deaths, often extended and cruel, is impossible to justify and why it’s so low on this list.
A boy suspects his parents of nefarious acts and spys on them constantly to discover their dark secret. The parents played by Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt are deliciously creepy with a Leave It to Beaver type family dynamic with something sinister running underneath. The kid is kind of a wet blanket, but the parents and the cannibalism are well worth a watch.
Trouble Every Day
Newlyweds Shane and June go to Paris for their honeymoon, but Shane has ulterior motives. He has a disease that turns people into ravenous cannibals in intimate moments and seeks a cure. This film is incredibly slow moving and honestly doesn’t really go anywhere. However, the extended scenes of cannibalistic violence, especially featuring the always magnetic Beatrice Dalle, are incredible.