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Film / Cannibal Girls

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Cannibal Girls is a 1973 Canadian independent Black Comedy directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Andrea Martin and Eugene Levy. It is about three young women being led by a Reverend who preaches cannibalism. The story gives off an urban legend feel, and was made as a spoof of traditional horror films.

Cannibal Tropes:

  • '70s Hair: Cliff boasts a pretty impressive Jewfro and Porn Stache.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: It's all there in the title.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Of the titular Cannibal Girls, Anthea is the blonde, Leona the brunette, and Clarissa the redhead. At the end of the film, Gloria becomes the second brunette.
  • Character as Himself: Bunker's part is credited as such.
  • Content Warnings: During its initial theatrical run, the film employed a "warning bell" gimmick, which rang in theatres to warn the more squeamish members of the audience for impending gory scenes.
  • Corrupt Cop: The Farnhamville police are in cahoots with Reverend, and kill a man looking for his missing sister at the Reverend's request.
  • Deal with the Devil: In order to keep himself alive, Clifford offers his girlfriend Gloria to the Reverend as a sacrifice. This ultimately backfires, though, as the Reverend has a change of heart and convinces Gloria to kill Clifford instead.
  • Downer Ending: Gloria becomes the fourth Cannibal Girl, and the film ends with another couple about to be lured into the Reverend's cult.
  • Fan Disservice: The film opens with a couple relaxing in a snowy forest. Suddenly, one of the Cannibal Girls kills the boyfriend, rips the girlfriend's shirt open, and puts a dab of blood between her female victim's breasts.
  • Gorn: Averted despite what the contemporary advertising seems to suggest. The worst we see is one of the Cannibal Girls with her mouth smeared in blood. This lack of solid spectacle proved to be a major issue for the distributor, leading them to employ the aforementioned warning bell gimmick to draw in viewers.
  • Hell Hotel: The Reverend and his mistresses use the local bed and breakfast as their base of operations.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the epilogue, it turns out that this entire event is actually being told by Mrs. Wainwright, this time about four Cannibal Girls to another couple stranded in their town. And the old lady is also recommending the bed and breakfast place to them, too. It is implied the young woman with her boyfriend will become yet another Cannibal Girl.
  • I Own This Town: The Reverend has a powerful, charismatic hold on the town of Farnhamville and all facets of its operations.
  • The Igor: The Reverend's lowly, deformed manservant Bunker, who lives in the basement of the bed and breakfast where he cleans up the Girls' messes and cuts up the victims' remains.
  • Immortality Immorality: The Cannibal Girls maintain their youth and immortality by eating their victims and drinking their blood.
  • Jabba Table Manners: The Cannibal Girls are seen consuming their victims' remains in this manner.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After discovering that Cliff has sold her out to the Reverend, Gloria beats Cliff to death with a mace.
  • Moose and Maple Syrup: The film is unashamedly Canadian in setting, taking place in a small town called Farnhamville located somewhere in Ontario. A University of Toronto sticker and a Canadian flag are clearly visible in certain scenes, and the city of Toronto is referenced on multiple occasions.
  • Ms. Exposition: Mrs. Wainwright, owner of the motel adjacent to the cult's temple, is the one whole relates the story of the Cannibal Girls to newcomers, including Cliff and Gloria.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The titular Cannibal Girls are played by three very beautiful actresses, and all appear fully nude during a cult ritual.
  • My Car Hates Me: Cliff and Gloria become stuck in Farnhamville when their car breaks down.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Gloria has one where she sees Cliff being restrained and eaten by the Cannibal Girls. Serves as a bit of foreshadowing for his eventual fate.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the town, Farnhamville, may be a reference to the Robert A. Heinlein novel Farnham's Freehold, where cannibalism features prominently.
  • Sinister Minister: The Reverend Alex St. John. He bears more than a few similarities to real-life cult leader Charles Manson, possessing similar traits involving charisma, possessing mistresses, and ordering his followers to commit murder.
  • Snow Means Death: The cold Canadian winter serves as the backdrop of the film's story about a couple who become entangled with a cannibal cult in a small Ontario town. Only one makes it out alive, and the other is indoctrinated into the cult.
  • The Speechless: Bunker communicates only through weak moaning noises.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Farnhamville is a seemingly ordinary Ontario town that is in fact completely under the thumb of a Sinister Minister and his cannibal cult.
  • Urban Legends: The tale of the Cannibal Girls is initially treated as bit of local folklore. Unfortunately, it turns out to be more than just a legend for Cliff and Gloria.
  • Visual Innuendo: The red-headed Cannibal Girl Clarissa is at one point seen chowing down on a carrot in a very phallic manner.