Friday, July 1, 2022

Devil Hunter / Cannibal Terror – Severin Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Dates: West Germany, 1980 (Devil Hunter), France, 1980 (Cannibal Terror)
Directors: Jesus Franco (Devil Hunter), Alain Deruelle (Cannibal Terror)
Cast: Ursula Buchfellner, Al Cliver, Antonio Mayans, Antônio do Cabo, Bertrand Altmann, Gisela Hahn, Muriel Montossé, Werner Pochath, Melo Costa, Aline Mess (Devil Hunter), Silvia Solar, Gérard Lemaire, Pamela Stanford, Olivier Mathot, Bertrand Altmann, Stan Hamilton, Antoine Fontaine, Antonio Mayans, Michel Laury, Annabelle (Cannibal Terror)

Release Date: August 18th, 2015
Approximate Running Times: 102 Minutes 11 Seconds (Devil Hunter), 93 Minutes 42 Seconds (Cannibal Terror)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Films)
Rating: NR
Sound: LPCM Mono English, LPCM Mono French (Both Films)
Subtitles: N/A
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98

Devil Hunter: "When a safari of sexy babes and violent boneheads ventures into native-crazed wilderness, Uncle Jess unleashes a deluge of relentless nudity, dubious anthropology and his own brand of cut-rate carnage." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Cannibal Terror: "When a pair of criminal knuckleheads and their busty moll kidnap the young daughter of a wealthy tycoon, they foolishly choose to hide in a local jungle infested with ferocious cannibals." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 3/5 (Devil Hunter), 3.75/5 (Cannibal Terror)

Here’s the information provided about Devil Hunter's transfer, "fully restored from the original Spanish negative and presented uncut and uncensored in HD!"

Here’s the information provided about Cannibal Terror's transfer, "presented uncut, uncensored and mastered in High-Def for the first time ever in America!"

Devil Hunter and Cannibal Terror come on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 45.1 GB

Feature: 19.9 GB (Devil Hunter), 17.4  GB (Cannibal Terror)

Though the source used for Devil Hunter’s transfer is in good shape, there is minimal print debris. There are moments where colors look faded, black levels are milky, and though the image generally looks crisp, there are times when image clarity looks too soft. Also, there are some compression related issues.

Outside of some notable print debris in the opening credits, the source used for Cannibal Terror is in great shape. Color saturation, image clarity, and black levels are strong throughout.

Audio: 3.75/5 (LPCM Mono English)

The Devil Hunter and Cannibal Terror Each film comes with two audio options, a LPCM mono mix in English and a LPCM mono mix in French. Both English audio mixes sound clean, clear, and balanced throughout. Needless to say, both of these films were shot very cheaply and the audio mixes sound great considering their aforementioned limitations. For anyone wanting to listen to the French audio mixes, you better be fluent in French since no English subtitles have been provided for these tracks. It should be noted that there is one scene in Devil Hunter that is only in French, and just like Severin’s DVD, there are no English subtitles for this scene.

Extras:

Extras for Devil Hunter include an interview with director Jess Franco titled Sexo Canibal (16 minutes 33 seconds, LPCM stereo English with non-removable English subtitles), and an interview with stunt man/actor Burtrand Altman titled Spirit Of The B Hive (10 minutes 56 seconds, LPCM stereo French with removable English subtitles).

Extras for Cannibal Terror include a theatrical trailer (3 minutes 27 seconds, LPCM mono English, no subtitles), a deleted scene that features some topless dancing (1 minute 26 seconds, LPCM mono), and an interview with director Alain Deruelle titled The Way Of All Flesh (20 minutes 48 seconds, LPCM stereo French with removable English subtitles).

Also in the extra section for Cannibal Terror is an Easter egg, which is an interview with Jess Franco (6 minutes, 5 seconds, LPCM stereo English, no subtitles).

Summary:

Devil Hunter: Shortly after making Cannibals, Jess Franco would return to the cannibal film genre with Devil Hunter. Visually, Devil Hunter is a more polished production than its predecessor, Cannibals. Jess Franco, more than any other filmmaker, has mastered the art of making something out of nothing. 

The Devil Hunter is not that dialog-heavy, with the bulk of the story being endless shots of the various characters working their way through the jungle terrain and doing the most mundane things. This is not to say that the story is not engaging. Despite the minimal plot, Jess Franco still somehow manages to keep things lively and entertaining throughout. This is where the cannibals, torture, and moments of nudity come into play. 

Also, depending on which audio mix you choose, English or French, the tone of Devil Hunter is drastically different. The English dub audio mix contains some deliriously bad dialog that adds humor to Devil Hunter unintentionally.

The two leading men, Al Cliver and Antonio Mayans, both appeared in Jess Franco's Cannibals. Ursula Buchfellner (a Playboy playmate) is cast as Laura Crawford, the kidnapped model. Besides Devil Hunter, she would work with Jess Franco on two other films: Linda and Sadomania. Muriel Montossé, who has previously collaborated with Jess Franco on films such as Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties, Cecilia, and The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle, also gives an outstanding performance.

When it was originally released, Devil Hunter gained some notoriety as a video game when it was banned in the UK. Devil Hunter's cannibal scenes are pretty tame when compared to Jess Franco's other cannibal film, Cannibals. Ultimately, Devil Hunter is more of a jungle adventure with the moments of cannibalism thrown in as an afterthought.

Cannibal Terror: After having suffered through the excruciatingly painful Zombie Lake, which was also made by Eurociné, I went into Cannibal Terror with very low expectations. Cannibal Terror fails in every way with its tedious plot that is woefully stretched out, dialog that makes porn dialog sound Shakespearean, and acting that is lifeless and inept.

Cannibal Terror was directed by Alain Deruelle under the alias Allan W. Steeve. Visually, Alain Deruelle is unable to create any stylish moments, and his overall direction is among the worst that I have seen in a very long time. Think of Ed Wood, but worse. The only thing that he even does semi-well are the scenes involving nudity. The cannibals are not that prominent in the story, and when they eat and disembowel their victims, these scenes are the tamest that I have seen in a cannibal film.

Finding something enjoyable in Cannibal Terror is an almost insurmountable feat. Even the standard it's so bad it's good rule does not apply to Cannibal Terror. The most laughable part of Cannibal Terror is that it has cannibals who look nothing like jungle tribesmen. Most of them are far too pale and have hair styles that just stand out like a sore thumb. One has to wonder where the hell the producers found these actors to play their cannibals. The only thing that I enjoyed was Jean-Jacques Lemêtre's funky score.

Severin Films pairs two cannibal films for a good Blu-ray release that comes with serviceable audio/video presentation and informative extras for both films.


















Written by Michael Den Boer

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