Cannibal Girls (1973)
Directed by Ivan Reitman

Starring Andrea Martin Eugene Levy Ronald Ulrich

Out of print for decades, Ivan Reitman's decent early '70s horror comedy "Cannibal Girls" finally saw its way back into the public eye in the fall of 2010, when a remastered DVD made its way to stores.

While not the greatest movie from the grindhouse horror era that produced the likes of "Last House on the Left" and "Blood and Lace," "Cannibal Girls" is still a highly entertaining camp film -- especially when viewed with a theatrical audience. It doesn't translate that well when viewed at home alone, on DVD, so maybe that explains why it took a quarter of a century for it to finally get a release in the format.

The film opens with a nice, early '70s-style killing that actually carries plenty of punch and atmosphere, before we meet the film's protagonists, a hippie couple played by a young Eugene Levy (later the dad in all seven "American Pie" movies) and future comedienne Andrea Martin. Stranded out in the woods with car trouble, they get a room in a local hotel and hear the story of the "Cannibal Girls" -- three beautiful, immortal cannibals that legend has it, once lived in the area.

The urban legend, told in flashback form, fills up much of the first half of the movie. We get to watch the hippie girls in action as they lure men to their doom, not unlike would be seen in the more widely seen Euro-horror film "Vampyres", which hit grindhouse screens a year after "Cannibal Girls."

After hearing the tale, the couple decide to spend the night at a bed and breakfast where the same cannibal girls once supposedly lived(!). The place is run by a creepy and pretty comical, Manson-like reverend (Ronald Ulrich). It eventually becomes clear that the cannibal girls are very much alive, and this freaky reverend is their leader. The story unfolds has the cannibal girl cult pitting the husband and wife against one another.

A bit slow paced and not as funny as it likes to think it is, "Cannibal Girls" does benefit from the political incorrectness that was common in horror films from the time and from some nice early 1970s atmosphere. But itís ultimately not gruesome or good enough to deserve a top spot in your Netflix queue.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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