Look here creeps and ghouls, ol’ XIII knows it’s wrong to judge a book (or fright flick) by it’s cover, but come the F on. That’s Leatherface, and I don’t care what you call this film, I’m willin’ to bet demons to donuts that this is the biggest Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip off that’s ever come down the putrid pike. All I can say is stick around to see if your’s cruelly’s instincts are as sharp as usual…
Cannibal Farm concerns a bickering British family who heads out on a road trip to a remote rural location (ahh…so it’s The Hills Have Eyes European Tour…my mistake…and before you even start your crap, yes I know Hills was partially based on a real European cannibal clan). Along the way they run into a cider/lemonade salesman (this guy is worth the price of admission alone, trust me…and he gets plenty of screen time as he is more than he appears) before settling in for a night of annoying bickering. Now, as insufferable as these shit beards are, they in no way deserve the hell that is about to rain down upon them. First, the matriarch of the clan is set ablaze in her tent, then her boyfriend is blasted in the chest with a shotgun full o’ rock salt while Leather…err, The Boy With The Melted Face (and yes he appears just as he does on that poster art up yonder, and yes he uses human skin to make masks) whirls his chainsaw around after they go to a nearby farm for help. Our heroes are then caged, branded, hunted, and otherwise bended, folded, spindled and mutilated as they try and survive the ordeal at hand. Along the way assholes are pichforked (literally), children are shot, preppies are sledgehammered, and grizzly grue is the order of the day!
For all of the shit I gave this flick, I have to admit…I honestly enjoyed it. There’s a great sense of tension, buckets of brutal violence n’ gore, some absolutely enjoyable performances (Barrington De La Roche as the aforementioned lemonade vendor is a tour de force…you just can’t take your eyes off this dude as he steals the entire film), and an inspired origin for our masked maniac. Is it derivative? You bet your sweet ass it is, but I stopped caring about that rather quickly as I was drawn into the family’s plight and the stalk n’ slay antics that ensue (plus there’s some unique twists and turns along the way)…also, the film makers absolutely are aware of what they have made and it seems as though their tongues are firmly in cheek while all the while being reverential to the pictures that inspired them.
As for the negatives…well, the originality of the piece on a surface level will doubtless be a sticky wicket for some (but as stated this film becomes it’s own animal soon enough). And that’s that.
If you love the Texas Chainsaw series, The Hills Have Eyes, or a good stalk n’ slay romp, Cannibal Farm will doubtless satisfy your hunger; it’s gory, absurd, and totally off-the-wall (in the best possible way) while having a toe (or ten) dipped into the familiar. Seek this one out horror hounds!
For more on Cannibal Farm from Horror Fuel head here!