Sunday, 16 March 2014

Cinema's finest moments #1

George Eastman eats a foetus 
Anthropophagus (1980)

Joe D'Amato is your quintessential Italian writer/director if you're of the mind that any good Italian film has to be either a gore-soaked flesh buffet, a hardcore porno, or a combination of both (most are a combination of both). While the critics were accusing the audience of suffering "a decline in taste", Italian movies were rolling over each other in the rush to accommodate the blood-thirsty perverts and 1980 was a landmark year in good old fashioned limonchello flavoured nausea. While D'Amato certainly never reached the level of infamy that Lucio Fulci and Umberto Lenzi had all but made their own, he did manage to produce a few cult classics amid his excessive repertoire of hardcore porn flicks.

One of these cult favourites is 1980's Anthropophagus. While it was probably the runt of the pack when you consider all the other fantastic horror films that came out in this year, Anthropophagus is still one of those films that takes a nice little comfy place in the back of your brain and reminds you that it exists every now and again. I wouldn't go out of my way to dig up D'Amato and hand him a posthumous award for "Best Director Ever", but he shouldn't be ignored entirely. Not when he gave us this, the most stand-out scene in all of Anthropophagus;

When George Eastman eats the fucking foetus.

Now you can forgive writer and actor George Eastman for not appearing in too many films since his role as the dehydrated serial killer Nikos Karamanlis in Anthropophagus, mainly because I imagine trying to score a gig after covering your face in oatmeal and eating a baby is like trying to sell yourself on the streets with a scabby mouth.

Here's the quick run down. Nikos (the dehydrated cannibal with the heart of gold) has been running around for a while at this point in the movie and the rest of the cast are very much aware that he'll stop at nothing before they're all dead. If memory serves me right (which it doesn't), this guy walks into a cave while looking for the pregnant Maggie, who had been kidnapped earlier on in the film. BIG. FUCKING. MISTAKE. You see, Nikos doesn't like this one bit and he'll spare no expense in doing all that he can to fuck up their day. So Nikos gets angry, stabs Maggie's rescuer in the shoulder and then strangles Maggie until her legs stop kicking. 

As any true artist is never content with their last work, Nikos decides that he hasn't done enough to mess with these people. So, reaching down to Maggie's nether regions, he pulls out her unborn baby and chows down on it like a KFC bucket meal. That's the kind of guy Nikos is. 

A special shout out to head in the bucket. Another of the film's finer moments.

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