Ms. Cannibal Holocaust (2012)

Description (from the DVD sleeve):
The remaining tenants of a rundown poverty-row apartment building, one day away from demolition, suddenly find themselves under siege by a cannibal cult that has been terrorizing the city and their preacher like female leader known only as “The Woman”. Why this preacher has picked them as her latest victims is unknown, but her plan for them is clear – they WILL know pain, they WILL know fear, and they WILL know suffering before she kills each and every one of them. With all their connections to the outside world severed, the tenants can only do their best to holdout before they are hunted down… and consumed. Then hope seems to arrive in the form of a second woman… but is this “Girl” there to save them, or does she have her own agenda with the cult… and specifically “The Woman”? And how has she come about these special powers to aid her in her thirst for revenge? She’s coming. And vengeance will be upon them.

Major Cast:
Kellyn Lindsay as The Girl, Nicola Fiore as The Woman, Wes Reid as Stan, Jennie Russo as Kay, Ashby Brooks as Cee, Derrick Johnson as Lil J

Special Features:
Commentary, Previews

Written and Directed by Ron Bonk

I will admit: I didn’t expect much out of MS. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.  The description on the back of the box made me think immediately that MCH would just move from one connived plot gag to another with the sole intention of putting as much gore on screen as possible, and by the CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST reference so blatant in the title, I was pretty sure I would be right.  Thankfully, I was wrong, and MCH has a whole lot more to it than just the red stuff.

MCH is a double revenge tale, which was a nice little addition to your average vengeance-seeking story.  You’ve got “The Woman,” who is looking to cash in the sins of a few on the whole remainder of a soon-to-be demolished apartment building, and you have “The Girl,” who is looking to seek revenge on The Woman.  MCH as a whole is much more reminiscent of ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 or THE WARRIORS than it is the aforementioned infamous Italian gut-muncher.  Though, to make the title hold weight, there is some gut munching to be had.

We’ve come to kill… or interpretive dance. No, no, I’m pretty sure it’s kill.

There were both a lot of pros and cons to MCH.  On the positive side, the film quality was very nice as a whole, and the production quality was overall above average.  There was some nice color correction work (especially The Girl on the roof), and some solid camera work.  The lighting was good in general – I was really liking the bus dream sequence – though having a good 1/3rd of the movie bathed in red light got old real quick.  The majority of the actors also put in good work, especially Lindsay and Fiore (whom I recognized from fellow upstate New Yorkian Chris Seaver’s TERROR AT BLOOD FART LAKE).  The standout part of MCH was the music; the majority of the score sounds like it could have been lifted right out of 1979, and I loved it.  Story wise, MCH is a well-built thriller that gets the audience to come along for the ride, but then gets thrown off by some road bumps.

No one will notice if I shoot up on this public bus, I’m just sure of it!

This brings me to the cons.  The biggest issue I have with MCH was the story/plot itself; there were just a whole plethora of things that confused the shit out of me.  First off, The Girl is a junky whom also happens to know Krav Maga or something similar, and is apparently (by her ability to take punishment) a first cousin to Michael Myers.  Seriously, the chick gets a knife plunged into both sides of her neck and is left to bleed out, but still gets back up with the help of a little morphine, or whatever is in that vial.  There is no real explanation to her “abilities” other than possibly she’s made a deal with the Devil (“Satan” is a character in the credits who shows up in two scenes but says nothing); if that’s the case, we need it to be a bit clearer.  Instead, she seems like the new Terminator model or something.  Secondly, The Woman leads a “cannibal cult,” for why now?  There is no explanation whatsoever as to why they are cannibals, or a cult, or follow her, or – and this is the big one – are being lead by a bible-thumper who also happens to be into killing a whole lot of MF’ers.  Wha?  Other than the story, there were also some smaller things, mostly attention to detail (for example: if someone is getting a tattoo, there needs to be the buzz of a tattoo machine… otherwise, it’s very silly and not at all believable, and I already had to suspend my disbelief that someone would tattoo themselves in a dingy basement).  Also, for a movie that I expected to be gore-heavy, the gore that was included was not very well done, at all.  The severed head in the dream sequence was laughable, the stab wounds and bite marks were just fake blood painted on, and the gut munching failed to impress.  Gore is one of the few things that really can be done very, very well at a very low budget, and it just wasn’t in MCH.

I am a master of the ancient and elusive Junky-Fu. Fear my cold-sweat style.

Overall, MCH was a much better film than I anticipated.  I know I had a lot of issues with it, but as a whole it was an entertaining throwback to the revenge thrillers I love, and got a lot of things right.  With a little more attention – to the details in the film and to the detailing of the script – it could have gone from a good movie to a great one.  However, for a film that I’m sure was made for less than the craft services budget of anything at your local megaplex, MCH does a lot more right than wrong, and was a fun, albeit somewhat confusing, adventure.

Overall 6.5 / 10

MCH on the IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2188833/

MCH for sale: http://mvdb2b.com/s/MsCannibalHolocaust/MVD5349D

MCH site: http://www.facebook.com/mchmovie

Ms. Cannibal Holocaust (2012)
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