Cannibal Apocalypse/Review

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< Cannibal Apocalypse

Captain Norman Hopper (John Saxon) is going through a tour of duty in Vietnam (Even though the stock footage doesn't really match, but that's no big deal). After a brief but bloody battle with the Viet Cong, Hopper finds his hometown buddy, Charlie Bukowski (Giovanni Lombardo Radice), along with another Prisoner of war, Tommy (Tony King) who are being held captive in a pit. But Hopper makes a startling discovery. The two soldiers are feasting on the remains of a dead VC. As Hopper reaches out to help them up, Tommy lunges and takes a big bite on Hopper's arm. Hopper then suddenly wakes up in bed. Was it all dream? Nope. It's the present day in Atlanta and Hopper can't get the dream out of his head. This leads to a sudden phone call from Charlie (Who was just released from the psychiatric ward) As Hopper is taking the call, the young hussy next door (Cinzia De Carolis) is trying to make the moves on Hopper while his wife, Jane (Elizabeth Turner) is away. Hopper leaves the little tramp with a love bite. Or at least he thinks it's a love bite.

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Meanwhile, Charlie is making his runs around town and decides to go to a grindhou---I mean, a theater to check a movie out. A horny couple sitting in front of Charlie begins to make out and all it takes is the delicious looking neck of the female that suddenly gives Charlie the urge to go cannibal on her! Charlie is then chased out of the theater and forced to barricade himself in a flea-market and defends himself against a street gang and the cops. Hooper hears the news and manages to talk his old soldier buddy into giving up and to be submitted back to the hospital. While inside, Charlie's reunited with his fellow flesh muncher, Tommy, who causes a mini-riot and takes a bite out of a nurse (May Heatherly). Shortly later, Jane recieves word from Dr. Mendez (Ramiro Oliveros) about the contagious biting that's been going on lately and fears that Hopper will be the next in line to turn into a flesh eater. Sure enough, Hopper's at the hospital for a diagnosis, but his bloodlust begins to rise...And rise...There's now no turning back as Hopper resorts to his old military ways and sets out to free both Charlie, Tommy and the (newly bloodthirsty) nurse from the hospital. The cannibal clan (thinking that they're fighting another war again) leave a trail of dead, mutilated bodies in their path and are looking to make their last stand against the cops deep down below in the sewers.

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I admit that I was a little underwhelmed by this film upon my first viewing because even though I really had admired the concept, I felt that the movie was mostly hurt by budgetary problems. The gorehound movie-geek in me probably wanted to see more of the "Cannibal virus" being spread all over effecting nearly everyone around (The material indicates that this could have been an epic of massive proportions) But the more I watch this movie, I begin to appreciate the minimal core of characters more and more. The finale between Hopper and his wife (My favorite sequence of the movie) especially proves that the story, at it's most basic, should only involve Hopper's point of view of the events. Yet, there's no question that the movie still manages to deliver the goods in the action/gore department in a way reminiscent of Dawn Of The Dead. It seems to draw a bit of inspiration from the aforementioned classic with the urban setting,head-bumping musical score,mayhem, gunfire and a nice package of gore. In short, Cannibal Apocalypse is a movie every cult-nut/grindhouse fan can have fun with. Bring your popcorn bag with this one. And if you don't have a strong enough stomach, feel free to make it your barf bag.

Oh, almost forgot. Where's that sequel?

Reviewed by Laydback

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