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Cannibal Fog - Dino Publishing JW Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Severed Cinema Review of Cannibal Fog from Dino Publishing JW

AKA: Kannibaldimma

Directed by: Jonas Wolcher
Written by: Brian Bell, Jonas Wolcher
Produced by: Jonas Wolcher
Cinematography by: Jonas Wolcher
Editing by: Jonas Wolcher
Music by: Bjorn Nyberg
Special Effects by: Richard Svensson, Jonas Wolcher, Richard Tomson, Lars Lundgren
Cast: Linus Karlgren, Malte Aronsson, Ida Karolin Johansson, Johanna Valero, Kim Sonderholm.
Year: 2014
Country: Sweden
Language: Swedish (English Subtitles)
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 54min

Studio: Dino Publishing JW

I do like reviewing micro budget horrors which are made with a lot of love. I'm not a fan of guess working through a language barrier, but hey-ho, someone has to do it I suppose. My copy of Cannibal Fog, from Sweden, is in its native tongue (or so I thought! Read on...), so this will be a lotta laughs as I wade clumsily into the unknown. Apparently this is a drama comedy with arthouse influences. Bring on the meat!!

The irony is, I only discovered afterwards, via the director, that on Vimeo you can switch on the subtitles by simply selecting at the bottom of the screen. Joy. With that said and the fact I had already written my review, I decided to be a little different this time around -- I would keep my ‘oblivious to the story’ version and then follow by the subtitled review. See how well I did.

I can gather from a few other reviews floating around the web that, Cannibal Fog is driven by a lot of dialogue. Serves me right for not being bilingual with English and Swedish, I suppose. I curse my French teacher, because I'm rubbish at that as well. I've picked up on a few bits of Japanese and Cantonese, courtesy of movies, but that won't help me with Cannibal Fog.

Opening with a credit sequence which blasts music and shows some blood-soaked rage-driven men in slow motion, this has started promisingly. The tune muffles and one of the geezers tries to attack a woman in the street. She simply kicks the hell out of him whilst his comrade in rampage cries out.

I guess we flash back to how it all began. Our main lad, Michael, heads into a café. The language spoken sounds like someone is saying over his phone, “Michael, you must be a fat Daddy...”  I hope that's correct. Later the words “...flick, turn on...” however, I doubt it. Whatever is being discussed doesn't matter because of what is unfolding near him. We get a slow-mo scene of a lady raising a gun to shoot the café owner in the head, point blank. Blood splatters on Michael and his food, yet he apparently doesn't realise due to the silencer on the gun and the conversation in his ear. He happily eats and relishes the added taste.

The other chap in the intro sequence is Albin, a chubby, middle aged, KFC looking, and serial killing cannibal. I particularly love his introduction, watching a cookery programme on his tablet whilst slicing human organs, all to really atmospheric piano beat music. Nice. Just how a cannibal should arrive in a movie. The camera sweeps around as he cooks. There's a saw, a sledgehammer, blood all over the place -- yep, he likes the ol' long pig, no doubt.

Life goes on for both. Someone has nailed a large cross to Michael's apartment door for a giggle. He isn't very amused. Meanwhile, Albin cuts a tuft of pubic hair off a lady ceremoniously and follows her with his hammer. We also discover that Michael loves porn and has 'private' chats with girls online. Whilst Albin tucks into food, Mikey bones a lass he met online.

Enter serious-faced Kim Sønderholm (Craig) as Daniel. He talks to the camera for the best part of five minutes and I have no idea what he's saying. He's discovered online by Albin and wishes to be his meal. I sense it's what he feels he was born to be. Maybe a sense of being desired in an empty life, perhaps sexual.

Michael has a dream; a skeletal faced demon stands over him. He is eating flesh. Waking up, he's in agony. There's a gaping hole in his thigh. The next day, after a night of sex and filming, he gets out of bed to find another hole. The dreams persist.

Following on from this are lengthy passages of conversations and character building which is well acted but unfortunately meaningless to me. I felt like messaging some of the stars on Facebook, however, that would be cheating. I work off the emotions of watching without knowing anything about a movie. This time though, things are very different. Suddenly we have a scene of Michael eating a plate of bloody raw meat. From his expressions of ecstasy and blurring camera focus moments, he is becoming a converted cannibal. He is actually eating from his own thigh.

Daniel (who has a chart all over his torso showing his most succulent cuts) meets with Albin. Later, Michael and his girl have a major falling out when she sees him chewing a morsel of his own leg flesh. This concludes with her death. Finally, Michael and Albin meet up and the older man begins to give the younger rookie a few tips and lessons in their chosen lifestyle. Especially dead body disposal and how to take cheeky bites out of people in the street.

I totally adore the soundtrack. Mood swings from piano, ambience grinding metal and loud punk. It's varied and keeps you listening. “Go! Go, Cannibal Go!

There's some random and humorous sequences such as Albin's over-the-top dinner party and a bucket load of arty scenes involving fucking. I can say that the characters and the acting talents are all top-class (this is Linus Karlgren's first acting job???!!!) Cannibal Fog is a lengthy movie with only a handful of gory moments. However, when they arrive, rather than slap you in the mush with a severed limb, they're subtle. For me, aside from wanting to know more about the players involved, the lack of subtitles didn't bother me much. I had that giddy feeling I used to get back in the early 1990s upon obtaining imported gore and horror films on VHS. A few of them had no way of being understood (Nekromantik 2 and Bullet in the Head, for example. I simply loved the exquisite emotions they stirred up instead.)

My first viewing of Cannibal Fog, all said and done, really and honestly cried out for subtitles -- not dubbing. It might have been a very intelligent serving of flesh eating, or a really stupid comedy. It was hard to tell at times. The dreamy sweeping direction aids you through the near two hours. Jonas Wolcher has been in the game for over fifteen years. But there's a few sub plots I was aware of and wanted to know more. Plus the finale is so brilliantly done and timed.

  

So, onto my second course with added subtitles -- sauce of the meat. Bizarre as it is, reviewing this in two ways has made me appreciate it a lot more because I had two fixes of deep emotions as I wandered into the idea of Cannibal Fog a second time with greater expectations and was not let down. The first conversation as Michael is sat in the café is from his Mother. She's disappointed in him for numerous reasons, least of all how his Father, who popped around whilst he was out to fix his fan, noticed pornography all over his computer screen (but this doesn't deter him throughout the movie, of course). She wants him to confess in church. As he eats the bloodied fries, post killing, he states in his mind he wished to taste that flavour again.

After finding the hole in his leg, he first tries to catch maybe a rat, setting traps and batting flour around on the floor, he thinks. His friends are convinced he's losing it, added to the fact his apartment is in a state. Soon after, Michael believes that somebody is messing with him. Jesus, even his buddies are telling him to confess in church, and to leave the porn alone. When you have a reputation like that, you need to sort it. “Porn is my religion!” Good answer! When they've all left, he discovers the flour has gone and the vacuum cleaner is still warm. “Fuck!” he laments. Finding a chunk of meat in the microwave, he reckons it's one of his mate’s doing. That said plate of flesh gives him that wild savage need and taste sensation he experienced back in the café.

Now then, let's not forget Daniel’s extraordinary speech delivered to the camera. He has an obsessive desire to become somebody's food -- to have others eat his body. He ponders ending his life as a use to someone. Daniel has been driven into the ground by people labelling him as worthless and he has to end as something more -- food. (I was very close when I described this scene earlier.) There's a terrific comedy value to the scene where he sits with Albin and they plan how to cook parts of his body. A stew or a ragu?

Having subtitles gives far more menace to the moment Michael and Albin connect online. On the opposite side it adds nothing but annoyance to Albin's dinner party. Irritating characters! I figured it would add depth to the hallucinations and dreams of the skeletal bishop and it did as the creature prods Michael in the desired direction. As the movie goes on, sub-plots emerge, like the existence of a 'club' and how Albin turns against it in favour of his new protégée -- their relationship is so much stronger towards the conclusion and makes Cannibal Fog a brilliant creation. This is well performed (as I said) and nicely written for the most part but side step the lengthy banal conversations which are suffered here and there.

Thus, Cannibal Fog comes highly recommended for lovers of art film inspired bloody Euro horrors. Please be patient whilst watching due to those bloody long chit chats which amount to bugger all!

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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