Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Cannibal Man – Severin Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1972
Director: Eloy De La Iglesia
Writers: Eloy De La Iglesia, Anthony Fos
Cast: Vincente Parra, Emma Cohen, Vicky Lagos, Eusebio Poncela, Fernando Sanchez Polack, Charlie Bravo, Rafael Hernandez, Jose Franco, Goyo Lebrero, Ismael Merlo, Valentin Tornos

Release Date: August 24th, 2021
Approximate Running Times: 107 Minutes 19 Seconds (Extended Version), 98 Minutes 25 Seconds (International Version)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC (Both Versions)
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Spanish, DTS-HD Mono English (Both Versions)
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $34.95

"When a slaughterhouse worker (Vicente Parra of NO ONE HEARD THE SCREAM) accidentally kills a man during a fight, it will trigger a desperate descent into madness" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "International and extended Spanish Version newly scanned from the original negatives for the first time ever."

The Cannibal Man comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 46.4 GB

Feature: 28 GB (Extended Version), 16.7 GB (International Version)

For this release Severin Films gives the extended version about 28 GB of space, while Code Red’s 2018 Blu-ray release gives the extended version about 22.6 GB of space.

The source used for both versions is in excellent shape. Colors and flesh tones look correct, image clarity and black levels look strong throughout, and the image retains an organic look.

Audio: 4.5/5

Both versions come with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in Spanish and a DTS-HD mono mix in English. It should-be noted that the extended version has scenes that are only in Spanish and when watching this version in English those scenes have English subtitles. Both audio tracks are in excellent shape, dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and ambient sounds/the score are well-represented. Included are removable English subtitles for the Spanish language track and removable English SDH subtitles for the English language track. 


Extras for this release include reversible cover art, a slipcover, a trailer for The Cannibal Man (3 minutes 7 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), three deleted scenes (1 minute 35 seconds, no sound), an interview with filmmaker Carlos Aguilar titled The Director and The Cannibal Man (17 minutes 54 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles) and an interview with Stephen Thrower and Dr. Shelagh Rowan-Legg titled Cinema At The Margins (26 minutes 11 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).


This film’s title 'The Cannibal Man' is a misleading title, since there never is never a moment where the protagonist Marcos eats human flesh. There is however one brief scene, which alludes to possible cannibalism in the film. And even this moment doesn’t fully expose Marcos or anyone else for that matter as a cannibal.

Though there are many elements in The Cannibal Man associated with horror cinema. To call The Cannibal Man a horror film would be doing this extraordinary film a great disservice. That said, The Cannibal Man is a thought-provoking film that’s overflowing with social commentary.

The narrative is simple and to the point. There are only a handful of locations in The Cannibal Man. With the primary one being Marcos’s home, where most of his murders occur. The way the plot evolves and use of mainly one-location is reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion.

Visually the film at times looks gritty, especially when we are at Marcos’s home. And then there are times, when things just light up, like the scene where Marcos and a neighbor named Néstor, go swimming late one evening. It also happens that this neighbor in a 'Rear Window' like way, has been watching Marcos covering up his crimes.

The spying neighbor Néstor is also a homosexual who tries to seduce Marcos. With the scene, where they go swimming together, being a perfectly orchestrated game of foreplay between the two men. Marcos at this point is so far gone psychological and because of this he does not pick up on Néstor’s infatuation with him.

The murder scenes are well executed. With the most extreme moment of bloodletting, being the scene where Marcos murder’s his brother. Ultimately, despite its dark subject matter and un-sympathetic killer The Cannibal Man is a captivating story that gets better with each new viewing!

The Cannibal Man gets an exceptional release from Severin Films that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful Eloy De La Iglesia career retrospectives, highly recommended.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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