Sunday, October 6, 2013
Devil Hunter (1980)
Lately, I've been rewatching some Jean Rollin films, and I've been thinking how much it sucks that Rollin only made about 19 films (not counting porn, and stuff like Zombie Lake). I thought "Wouldn't it have been awesome if he'd made as many films as, say, Bruno Mattei?"...And then I realized that if Jean Rollin had made as many movies as Bruno Mattei, he would turned into Jess Franco!
Jess Franco was a prolific Spanish filmmaker, who made some REALLY good films (some of them being erotic vampire films-The kind of thing Rollin made). When I say prolific, I mean that Jesus Franco made just shy of 200 movies! Plenty of people wish Jess Franco had only made a handful of movies, so we would have gotten all Franco masterworks, rather than more than a hundred pieces of lesser material. More The Diabolical Dr. Z, She Killed in Ecstacy, etc., and less stuff like Oasis of the Zombies...
Devil Hunter is a barebones crime flick that 180's into an Italian Cannibal movie (and thankfully, neither genre feel too railroaded into each-other).
The movie is about the kidnapping of famous actress Laura Crawford. Her kidnappers head to a secluded rainforest withh Crawford, and a bounty hunter (or mercenary, something like that) is hired to deliver the ransom to the kidnappers, but is told to try and get both Crawford, and the six million dollar ransom back without a hitch. All goes none too well at all, but things get worse when both parties realize that they're not alone in the rainforest...
Devil Hunter isn't great, but it's not terrible either. The direction is fine. The opening scene is pretty well done! It alternates between a terrified woman running for her life from natives, and the happy Laura frollicking around the city. It's definitely a nifty opening!
The scenery all-throughout is lush and beautiful! I know where my next holiday'll be!
The film is definitely a daytime horror flick, which is a trope I dig, when done right. It's not done right here, as the film isn't scary at all, but I at least like it.
The acting is all ok, I guess. It's hard to tell, given the terrible dubbing. I don't remember what I've seen Al Cliver and his glorious moustache in, if anything, so I don't know how good he normally is, and as for Werner Pochath, I've seen him play much crazier roles than he does here-with the added benefit of actually speaking with his own voice.
The effects aren't bad, except in one scene, where in a close up of a dead guy's neck, we see him breathing!
There's one particularly silly moment where the cannibal monster finds his latest to-be sacrifice, Laura, and instead of killing her immediately, like he did with all the others, he picks her up like he's the Mummy, and walks off, giving the hero ample enough time to save her. Isn't main character status helpful!
There's another funny scene earlier on. The evil kidnapper chick gets free from chains just to immediately run into the cannibal monster! Ain't karma a bitch!
The film also has a fun climax, with a hilarious death scene for the cannibal monster!
Aside from the thin plot, Devil Hunter's biggest problem is the character of Laura Crawford. She does nothing in the film other than be restrained and/or scream.
Overall, Devil Hunter isn't a bad movie, it's just barebones. For a simple crime/Italian Cannibal flick, it's not terrible, and you could certainly do a hell of a lot worse! However, because of its simplicity, Devil Hunter doesn't go gloriously off-the-rails like other Franco flicks, which is a shame. If you ever want to see an Italian Cannibal movie, well, you could do trashier, but I won't steer you away from this one. And no real-life animals die in this movie, so that's a plus over other movies of its type!...