As a species, we may never know what drives people to kill and consume their fellow man. For all the psychological analyses and historical theories people come up with, there will always be questions about that level of depravity we may never be able to fully comprehend.
Sometimes, when the reality of it all gets overwhelming, exploring the depths of human darkness can be a lot more satisfying in the form of an old-fashioned bloodbath. Indulge your little love of unadulterated, exaggerated carnage with these three cannibal movies on Netflix right now.
The Green Inferno
Drawing heavily on Ruggero Deodato’s infamous Cannibal Holocaust, The Green Inferno turns its critical lens on the culture of arrogance and privilege inherent in white activism. It follows the story of a group of student activists from New York whose plane crash-lands among the rainforests of Peru on the way to an environmental mission. There, they are met by the less-than-welcoming indigenous tribes, whose response to the morally narcissistic visitors is brutal and bloodthirsty.
While this film has drawn criticism due to its offensive and stereotypical depiction of indigenous people, there is no questioning its disdain for contemporary imperialism. If nothing else, this film is perfect for indulging your own bloodthirsty urges, with all the explicit gore you could want in a movie.
A horror movie with a Western twist, Bone Tomahawk is sprinkled with generous helpings of creepy clichés. Its dark plot is foreshadowed from the start by the sight of a Native American burial ground, the 1980s western village is populated by gun-toting drunkards and the film is brutalised by the ever-enduring myth of cannibal savages.
When a stable boy is killed and the only clue left behind is an arrow, the town wages war on a clan of Native Americans known for cannibalism. A group of townsmen go on a mission to their home – named the Valley of the Starving Men – to avenge the murdered child.
The conflict between the two groups is brutal. Men from the town are killed and eaten, scalped and bisected alive. In turn, the Natives are poisoned and shot. Again, this film is not the most respectful of indigenous cultures, but has plenty of blood and guts to keep you entertained.
He Never Died
A film that relies less upon typical cannibal fiction tropes and more on the iconography and mythology of the Abrahamic religions, He Never Died tells the story of ‘Jack’, played by the inimitable Henry Rollins. Jack seems to be a normal enough guy, a father, a loner – and an immortal, whose life is strictly regulated to resist his cannibalistic urges.
The story hinges less on his cannibalism than on Jack’s quest to rescue his daughter from the clutches of the mob. In doing so, he has to confront his past, not only with his own relationship with the criminal underworld but with his grim supernatural history that cursed him with his everlasting life.
Less of a gore-fest than your typical cannibal movie, He Never Died draws on the darkest of religious stories and plants them firmly into contemporary situations in a way that can be just as chilling.