Devil Hunter | Varied Celluloid

Devil Hunter

Posted by Josh Samford On August - 22 - 2010
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!?




The Review
Jesus Franco and I aren’t usually on the same page. Truth be told, I think it is pretty astounding that the man has developed as large of a cult following as he has. His forays into the cannibal genre have so far been pretty far from spectacular. Cannibal Terror (which he co-wrote) and Cannibals are two of the worst cannibal movies that I think the genre has ever produced. I suppose there are SOME glimmers of light in Franco’s filmography that have helped provide him with some cult appeal. Faceless was actually a really well made piece of legitimate horror. Before sitting through Devil Hunter, that was my last Franco piece in quite a while. So, I had that going for me beforehand and this time out Franco actually has a star in his film! The immortal Al Cliver delves back into the world of cannibal cinema, so maybe there would be some legitimate cannibal action and maybe this movie wouldn’t turn out to be quite as lazy and ridiculous as the previously mentioned cannibal movies! Also, maybe someone will donate ten billion dollars to me based solely on my writing abilities as displayed on this website!

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.


The Conclusion
Is there really more to say about this movie? For every thing that Franco was able to achieve within this picture, there were two or three pointless scenes to dull down any sense of purpose. There is a word for films such as these, and that is: chore. Devil Hunter is just that. A chore to sit through, and writing this review has seemed equally as much because I don’t like to write out such negative reviews. To be honest, those who will search this title out could probably care less about what I have to say. Cannibal afficianados simply must search this one out to complete their collection. I will say that it’ll be a hard, slow and painful journey for them as well. I give it a 1 out of 5, which is the lowest I have scored anything in a really long time. If it were just SLIGHTLY less boring, Devil Hunter could have been a very average 2. That simply isn’t the case however.



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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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