|The Plot: Laura Crawford is a professional model and actress who is vacationing in a beautiful resort island location. Things turn out bad for Laura when those closest to her turn out to be kidnappers who take her hostage in order to ransom her off. Laura’s protectors aren’t willing to deal with these psychopathic kidnappers, so they send in Peter Weston (played by genre legend Al Cliver) who is a ex-Vietnam veteran and general toughguy. When Peter finds the jungle where Laura is being held, both groups discover the secret cannibal tribes who inhabit the island. They are lead by a living Cannibal God/King who thrives off of female sacrifices. Will Peter Weston manage to save the beautiful Laura or will she fall victim to this evil cannibal monster!?|
Those were some big “maybes” going into Devil Hunter, and so far that donation hasn’t been made and Jesus Franco has not produced a worthy Cannibal title. Certainly not that I have seen! The worst sin that Devil Hunter commits is by being so terribly boring. Despite the intense setting, there is little to no atmosphere to be found. Despite the cannibal menace that should have been shaded in the background, there’s no fear or oppressive terror. Instead, there’s this incredibly clunky story with no real direction. Some of this could be attributed to the pretty horrible English dubbing that I originally watched the film in, but for the most part everyone else involved in this project seems as disinterested in the work as we are. Al Cliver sleep walks through his performance, as does the remainder of the cast and the very tired script boors along at a sluggish pace.
That english dub I mentioned is easily one of the worst I have ever seen for a piece of Italian exploitation. It gives the film a resounding positive effect as the comedic value skyrockets. A similar effect was found in the cannibal spoof Isle of the Damned that was reviewed here on the site last year. Both dubs are dull sounding, hard to hear at times and are so incredibly out of sync with the action on screen that it seems easy to grow lost in the conversations. These bad dubs aren’t something I am all that accustomed to in my exploration of Italian cult cinema. Generally I’ve always found the dubs to be very well made, especially with the better known and more widely released titles. Devil Hunter is entertaining due to the poor production, but it is generally more inept than it is entertaining.
As poor as the film tends to be, there is a case to be made for b-movie film fans. The prosthetic effects used on the Devil God Cannibal King are laughable, to put things lightly. Notoriously cheap, it appears they took this man and super-glued two golf balls where his eyes are and then covered them with latex and paint. The genuine creepy atmosphere that is evoked early on comes due to this character being hidden from our view at all times. Once the cat is out of the bag, the character lacks any disturbing qualities. I’m not one to pick on any gentleman’s lack of manhood, but how does one generate fear when there’s a completely nude black man (who’s eyes look to be made of sports equipment) and let’s just hope that for his sake that these jungle sets were desperately cold. It appears that shrinkage was in high effect as he ran through the breeze here. Although I don’t want this to be a review dedicated to penis discussion, which is about as low a blow as any one man can deal towards another, but a simple towel over this guy’s crotch would have helped me as a viewer stop seeing our monster as so desperately human.
In terms of nudity, our leading monster isn’t the only one shedding it all for the picture. There is an abundance of nudity all throughout Devil Hunter and while that may sound like a good thing, if you’re a teenager at least, but there’s a general lack of eroticism throughout the picture. Simply staring at a woman’s crotch does not neccesarily make your movie erotic. Although Franco is well known for his eroticism, Devil Hunter seems as lazy as your average exploitation title from this time and era.