Monday, February 10, 2014

Mandingo Manhunter

EL CANNIBAL (Devil Hunter, Mandingo Manhunter) Directed by Jess Franco Starring Al Cliver (1980).
If I can get through a Franco flick, it must be good, because most of his work I find as enjoyable as eating a liverwurst and sardine sandwich! I have no idea whether this is his first cannibal film or not, but you never start in the jungle and rapidly intercut to Western civilization (or in this case badly dubbed ear splittingly loud pseudo Americans). You have to enter the Amazon jungle by way of the concrete one, that's the pattern that most of the "Jungle Adventure series" follow. Franco decides to chuck caution out the window and go backwards. Everything is bright and sunny, so I chose to review this over shot on shitt-io fare that I had on my "to watch later" list. 
   A blonde model named Laura Crawford (Ursula Buchfellner) goes through her daily casual lifestyle as savages putter around in their domain, will both world's collide, most definitely! 
Me and Kermit the Frog have the same ping pong eyesballs

   A googly-eyed African zombie, skulks around the green brush as the sexy blonde takes a bubblebath. He watches as tribesman get to business, over by a comically goofy tiki statue that looks like it would be on sale at Big LotsThe bugged eyed African makes overly breathy noises, like Darth Vader with crippling asthma. 

Gwyneth Paltrow hostage crisis

   All becomes diarrhea in a relaxing tub, as the Barbie doll is abducted by men in nylon face masks with knock-out spray. Meanwhile in the jungle, the big "wobbly eyed" kahuna is busy biting chunks out of girl flesh and gnashing his teeth straight into the camera.
   One character named Chris (Werner Pochath) comically swears, ("Flower shit!) while he clenches his teeth, he always plays an effeminate loose cannon in Italian horror in such films as Terror Express and Ratman. He emotes like Butch Patrick crossbred with Jim J. Bullock  and isn't above carving up the trapped model (who miraculously shows up in the jungle, did she teleport)???
   Peter Weston is played by the thick mustachioed Al Cliver (but is unfortunately not voiced by his usual guy, Ed Mannix). He needs to pay a ransom to make sure his model gets out of the jungle in one piece.
I'm here to class up the joint, everybody can relax now!

   Pete brings a helicopter with a blubbering Nam Vet who whimpers in a phony gangster voice, that he's having flashbacks, he seems like a perfect jungle helper to bring along to an ambush, right? His voice actor sounds like he recorded his muffled dialogue wearing a frogman mask! Sometimes the screen looks hazy for no apparent reason. They fire at Al  and he does a series of somersaults in the same shooting range over a pile of rocks that never seem to affect him. 
there's a melted fruit role-up stuck to my face!
   There's a bunch of jungle filler and one dude freaks out after he finds a severed head, that falls on him. Pete and his pal (who's voice gets more cartoonish) find a topless babe on a boat, who tells them about the cannibals on the island. It turns out that they are just as crooked as the abductors and only care about money, not Laura's safety. Some of the voice actors sound like Lancelot Link Secret Chimp!

We gotta start the Evolution Revolution
   After Laura is knocked out, the natives start to get her ready for a mating ritual and molest her a bit, then comes the best part of any Jess Franco film, a huge beaver shot!
   The cannibal with the protruding oculars, climbs on the boat then snaps the neck of Al Cliver's buddy, the noise sounds like a socket wrench. He also pulls the intestines out of the boat babe and feasts on them, like they are covered in barbecued sriracha! The final fight between Cliver and the cannibal (who has one of the worst cases of micro-phallus) is pretty hilarious!

Who you callin tiny johnson?

   As retarded as the movie was, it totally works and was surprisingly fun, it needed those flaws to elevate it above a typically painful Franco trash-fest! I'm glad I stuck it out and thankfully, there were none of the usual bit players that pollute his other efforts (like his wife, or Howard Vernon)! Cliver and many of the characters with ridiculously over the top voice actors really made it worth while!
   I remember seeing the scantily clad blonde in an issue of Fangoria about the director, that was pretty exciting back in the scrambled Playboy channel days of my youth.
Highly Recommended for a terrible movie that's more fun then you'd expect!

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