Not for the faint hearted, Cannibal Vegetarian tells the story of a corrupt gynaecologist whose greed and financial determination drives him to some hideous extremes. From the opening moments of the film, our protagonist, Danko Babic, is set up as a predator and a deviant. In this almost caricature of a villain we see a racist, a misogynist, and an addict. The ‘big bad wolf’ character is entertaining to follow and I found myself intrigued by his actions and was drawn into the over-exaggerated world in which he operates. The film was at its weakest when trying to display the character’s moral dilemmas. Perhaps this was an attempt to give him some sensitivity and humility but it was contradicted by his consistent barbaric acts of cruelty; to women, patients and animals.
Although there are many moral questions always raised around the subject of abortion,Cannibal Vegetarian does very little to take part in a debate; it knew exactly what it wanted to say. There is no doubt about the broken moral intent of Babic and this added a sense of ridiculousness to the film. Before the film began, Bradford International Film Festival Co-Director Neil Young mentioned the similarities to other Central European cinema such as the exploitative horror flick A Serbian Film. There are certainly resemblances between both films in terms of our main characters sinking further into acts of a deep hideousness but Cannibal Vegetarian was less blatantly shocking and controversial.
The film is slick and engaging. The upbeat pace of the film held my attention and allowed me to indulge in some of the ridiculous situations that the film presented me with. I was able to overlook the film’s vivid flaws due to just how entertaining Cannibal Vegetarian was. The performances were more than sufficient and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the film when the main character was so unappealing. With some quite disturbing scenes of medical and animal cruelty, this film comes with a strong warning. However, if you feel brave enough to attempt a viewing ofCannibal Vegetarian then don’t expect to be moved or enlightened in anyway. Just look forward to being thoroughly entertained.
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