Horror month – #1 – Cannibal Girls (1973)

In an attempt to rekindle my interest in watching films and writing about them, I will attempt to watch 31 horror movies this month and write a post about each one.

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The first entry of Horror Month 2013 is Cannibal Girls, a 1973 film, directed by Ivan “Ghostbusters” Reitman and starring an almost unrecognisable Eugene Levy.

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You know Eugene Levy; Jim’s dad in American Pie, the used car salesman in the first National Lampoon’s Vacation. That guy!

The film starts off with a couple, Cliff (Levy) and Gloria (played by Andrea Martin), driving through a wintery middle-of-nowwhere America. They’re heading for a little romantic break somewhere, but nature conspires against them and when their car breaks down they are forced to seek refuge in nearby Farnhamville. It’s the kind of set-up/town we often come across in horror films and as expected Farnhamville is full of dodgy-looking characters, including a hostile local law enforcement officer. When the local garage is unable to fix their car immediately, Cliff and Georgia find themselves at the local motel, where the friendly owner tells them a brutal local urban legend. Apparently the house up the road used to be occupied by three young girls, whose main hobby was seducing young men. They would invite them back to their house, where they would eat root vegetables in a seductive (I suppose) fashion…

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…then have their wicked ways with them…

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Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 12.49.29(yes, I watched a really crappy copy, digitised from the VHS version)

…before killing…

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…and eating them…

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See, Cannibal Girls!

The house where the three girls lived still stands and is now a gourmet restaurant and the motel owner suggests that Cliff and Gloria go there for dinner.

From the start of the film Georgia is presented as the meek girlfriend, completely under the spell of the rather obnoxious Cliff. He spends most of his time trying to get in her pants, but sex seems to be the last thing on her mind. He wants to get naked, she just wants to hear him play guitar.

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Sexually unresponsive lead characters tend to survive horror films, so my money was on Gloria pretty early. Cliff on the other hand; dead meat from the moment he appeared on screen.

Dinner time comes and as promised the motel owner take them up to the restaurant. When they enter the house they are immediately welcomed by the Reverend, the eccentric owner of the restaurant. He shows them around and tells them the bizarre story of the house, including the tale of the “three perverted young women”. Cliff and Gloria get a bit nervous, which is reasonable I suppose.

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After dinner, they are joined by the Reverend’s “waitresses” and guess what? They are the three girls from the legend. Who would’ve guessed it?

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So, poor Cliff and Gloria are in deep shit. Stuck in a weird house in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of foxy cannibals. I mean, they don’t know that, but we do. What’s going to happen to them? There’s only one way to find out and I really can’t recommend that you do. Cannibal Girls is a pretty awful film. Quite often, these low-budget films can survive on charm alone, something which is sadly lacking here. On top of that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Levy and Martin do a pretty good job with the material. The plot might appear as rather straight-forward, but it is actually quite difficult to follow what’s going or at least to make much sense of it. There are also some clunky attempts at tying up lose ends and providing an explanation by adding multiple layers to the narrative (making Cliff and Gloria’s tale as part of the original legend, eventually being told to yet another couple), but it doesn’t really make it any more interesting.

It would appear that by eating their victims and drinking their blood, the three cannibal girls maintained their youthful good looks and immortality. They also seem to have converted the town to the same unorthodox eating habits, suggesting perhaps that the whole town is immortal…well as long as they can keep luring new victims to the “restaurant” and keep the local butcher shop fully stocked. It just seems like an awfully complicated way to go about things if everyone is in on it anyway.

Anyway, OK. One down, thirty to go. I really need something good next. Wish me luck.

One thought on “Horror month – #1 – Cannibal Girls (1973)

  1. This sounds awesomely bad. And HOLY SHIT Eugene Levy’s look in this movie is AMAZING! I’m a glutton for punishment so I’ll be tracking this one down. Great review and can’t wait to see what you got for the rest of the month!
    -Jason

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