Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ravenous (1999)

Ravenous is one of those movies that have been creeping on me from my Netflix queue, always popping up into my recommendations and swearing I will love it.  So finally on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I took the plunge.

This movie has an interesting concept, a tale of soldiers who have to resort to cannibalism in the midst of wartime.  Captain John Boyd (Guy Pierce) gets promoted and sent to a small base employing only 8 people, most of which appear fairly useless.  A man named Colqhoun (Robert Carlyle) arrives, and tells a story of being lost in the Sierra Nevadas with his wagon train, and having to resort to cannibalism to survive.  He explains that they began with eating a person who had already died, but then began to proactively kill the others.  Knowing he would soon be killed, Colqhoun escapes, but believes the others may still be alive.

Colonel Hart (Jeffrey Jones) takes a crew, including Calqhoun, and they set off to rescue the possible survivors.  However, one of the locals warns that once you consume human flesh, you become stricken with an insatiable hunger, much like that episode of Always Sunny.   Throughout the trek, they realize that Calqhoun is maybe not all that he seems...

There's a lot going on in this flick and it's not a basic people were hungry so they ate other people type of thing.  Apparently this movie was intended to be pure horror but became a black comedy due to its sometimes-silliness and little ironies.  I guess not to mention the stereotypical characters, which do appear intentional.

I liked this movie.  It had a cool story but made no efforts to make it a serious historical movie or Donner Party reenactment.  It contained actual cannibalism and genuine horror, along with a lot of tongue in cheek and some amusing over-acting.