DVD: Devil Hunter / Sexo-Canibal (1980)

July 26, 2014 | By


DevilHunter1980Film: Good

Transfer:  Good

Extras: Good

Label: Severin Films

Region: 0 (NTSC)

Released:  November, 2008

Genre:  Sexploitation / Horror / Cannibal

Synopsis: An actress is abducted by greedy thugs, but soon taken by a cannibal cult as their perfect meal ticket to spiritual bliss.

Special Features:  Interview Featurette: “Sexo Canibal: An Interview with Jess Franco” (16 mins.)




The second of Severin Films’ Jess Franco-Video Nasty couplet (after Bloody Moon) is this wan tale of a kidnapping gone awry when crooks lose their meal ticket (and sexual pin-cushion) on an island populated by a cannibal cult that periodically offer up the other white meat to a flesh-eating freak. When bounty hunter/Vietnam vet Peter Weston comes to rescue the abducted actress Laura Crawford, so begins the magical game of catch-the-bimbo.

In the DVD’s interview featurette, Franco admits his disdain for the cannibal genre (‘Why don’t they eat the beautiful parts?’), which mitigated the script’s morphing into a more traditional monster movie, if not a riff on the Filipino Blood Island series.

Laura (Ursula Buchfellner, Playboy Playmate of ’79) is chained and strung up, raped, and later oiled down in her birthday suit by the afro-endowed natives prior to being tied to a tree for the island ghoul. To those bitten by the Franco bug, this sounds potentially intriguing, yes?

Beginning with an effective title montage intercutting scenes of a native sacrifice and Buchfellner arriving at her glitzy hotel prior to her abduction, it becomes painfully clear Franco is back to his patented brand of run-on scenes. The dialogue is deliciously ridiculous, but without much editorial finesse, the film devolves into an insomniac’s relief.

Regardless of the naked bodies, bouncing ebony bum-bums and perky boobies, Devil Hunter is 104 minutes of dullness, with a fuzzily photographed marauding ghoul played by a very naked gymnast wearing red-streaked ping-pong balls over his eyes. Some flesh is torn and munched, but it’s all perfunctory, and set to a godawful score co-composed by Franco.

Although quite uncircumcised, Severin’s transfer source is hindered by a muddy and distorted English dub track. The Spanish locations, though, are outstanding, as are Juan Soler’s compositions, but the low-contrast print suffers from muted colours in dimly lit locations, and some of the screen movement strobes a bit from the poor digital PAL-to-NTSC conversion.

Buchfellner and shapely Muriel Montossé (Cecelia) are rarely fully clothed, so there is something of merit in this sleazy but disappointing shocker. Buchfellner also co-starred with Mayans in both Franco’s Lisa (1981) and Sadomania (1981).



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan (This review originally appeared in the Jan. / Feb. issue of Rue Morgue magazine.



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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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