The Scariest Things Podcast Episode LXIX: Cannibal Horror

ATMOSfx! Woo!
Welcome to the Amazon! The welcoming committee in The Green Inferno (2013)
What’s for dinner? How about a roast leg of YOUR NEIGHBOR! With a side helping of your mom’s eyeballs! Yes, we are talking about Cannibal horror this week, and Eric is already turning green just thinking about it. Beware, bad puns await!

Oh boy, here we go. Cannibalism horror is a bridge too far for Eric, much to Mike and Liz’s glee. And in episode 69, the Scariest Crew is going to talk about this gory and extreme sub-genre. There is a dirty, visceral, and unsophisticated nastiness in cannibal horror that often puts it on the outer edge of the genre. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some high-quality mano-muncho-mano movies out there. We are here to prove it, with a roster full of the gory good stuff. Granted, Mike’s movie selections may want to make you puke.

Cannibal films are like zombie films with the safeties off. There is nothing more personally horrific than when one person consumes the flesh of another. With zombie movies, their minds are not their own, they are remnant unthinking humans. However, there is a level of intent and will and a lust for power that is inherent in cannibalism. And for that reason, there is an in-your-face and very personal context that makes these movies take a few steps down the Bridge Too Far.

Some horror historians will suggest that there is something sexual about cannibalism. But rarely is the act sexualized, though Liz has a selection that will prove the exception. Other reviewers will describe cannibalism as a complete descent into base human urges. But really, who are we kidding. Anybody wanting to produce a cannibal movie is going to try and gross you out. That’s usually the goal. Do you dare watch?

Cannibal movies almost never cross into the mainstream of film. Occasionally, a comedy like Eating Raoul or a drama like Alive or Silence of the Lambs might connect with a mainstream audience, but for the most part, cannibal themes don’t just get to sit at the kid’s table, they tend to dine from the trash bin in the alley. To get to the meat of the genre, you have to ditch most of the trappings of normalcy. This is the taboo that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Cannibal Holocaust cracked open and let horrified, and no doubt nauseated masses witness.

Just listen to Mike rattle off the hyperbolic and outrageous tag lines for these shock fests to get the essence of what these films are trying to achieve. To shock! To horrify! To make you want to close your eyes and say STOP! NO MORE! (Munch munch) AAAAAAA!!!! These movies are so hard to find images that won’t get us punted off of social media, but if you see these movies… it will sear in your brain forever.

Degenerates? Yep, you’ll find that here. Savages? Yep, and you can take a bite of that culturally insensitive appetizer to go with the disgusting main course. Hillbillies? Sure! Nothing says Appalachian BBQ like a good ol’ cannibal roast. (Again, insensitive appetizers will be served, this time with a shot of moonshine.) Because of the squeamish factor, and how uncomfortable this topic rattles Eric, this may be the most entertaining episode of The Scariest Things recorded to date! Lots of groans. Lots of laughter. And, lots of Mike’s bad puns.

Take note, if after listening to this episode, you decide to watch any of these movies, you did it on your own volition. We bear no responsibility for your traumas after watching any of these movies. You’ve been warned!

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