Friday, 8 June 2012

Ravenous (1999)

You know how everyone has movies they discover as a kid and love their entire lives?  Well this was one of mine.  I was 10 years old when I seen this darkly comic, cannibalistic treat and it's held a special place in my heart ever since.

Ravenous is a period piece set during the American - Mexican War and stars the regularly impressive Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle.  Pearce plays Captain John Boyd, a cowardly soldier who receives a ''promotion'' as a ''reward'' for beating the enemy, but really he was just playing dead to save his own skin.  Soon he encounters a mysterious stranger, found dying and heavily frostbitten,  who tells a story of how they had to resort to cannibalism to survive and the dark turn it took into murder and uncontrollable hunger.  He does a fair job of convincing them he had no other choice, but it turns out the stranger may just have been the worst of them all.

Cannibalism in movies certainly isn't for everyone.  There's even a lot of cannibal movies I'm not even interested in watching, but Ravenous is more than a mere madman eats flesh movie.  It's a compelling story that keeps you watching until the end, no matter how horrifying it may turn.  It's a dark movie but it's got a lot of humor underneath, albeit the blackest of black comedy.  It also explores the myths of cannibalism, particularly in Native American culture, where tribes used to report feeling new leases of life and energy after consuming a human being.  In Ravenous, ''the different kind of hunger'' is explored in great depth, with Guy Pearce struggling to keep his humanity after his first taste of the people meat.

Ravenous is a horrific, dark drama with an engaging story.  Please do not dismiss this as just another cannibal movie, because it has much more going for it and is one of the underrated gems that all horror fans should sink their teeth into.  Nom nom nom.


  1. A personal favorite of mine too. This one deserves way more recognition than it gets.

  2. Just one of those gems that slipped through unnoticed.