Margot (Shannon Tweed) teaches feminist studies at an all-American university. Her keenest student is the likeably witless Bunny (Karen M Waldron).
One afternoon, college dean Stockwell (James MacKrell - who, purely by accident, looks like Donald Trump) introduces Margot to officials Maddox (Barry Primus) and Mattel (Paul Ross). They put a proposition of "national importance" to her that she's in no position to refuse, unless she wants the heartfelt college course she teaches to lose its funding: venture into South California's avocado jungle and negotiate with the man-eating (literally, they devour them) tribe of fillies known as the Piranha Women. They're compromising the world supply of avocados - a shortage of which could result, apparently, in world war.
Forced into a corner, Margot reluctantly agrees to take on the challenge. Even more reluctantly, she accepts Bunny's offer to join her on her quest. Their first port of call is visiting a seedy backstreet bar where all the most ruthless mercenaries hang out. Searching for a male guide to help them in the jungle, Margot eventually plumps for former lover - and Indiana Jones wannabe - Jim (Bill Maher). He's a bumbling idiot, but he's the only man willing to take on the avocado jungle. And he's cheap: he soon lowers his fee from an initial $25,000 to a paltry $50.
And so, our intrepid trio waste no time in making their way into the jungle. The idea is to make contact with the Piranha Women and offer them a new life elsewhere in return for unlimited access to their habitat's fruitful supply of avocados.
Their adventure allows for lots of discussions along the lines of gender politics (including a fresh theory on 80s action movie stars, and the fact that women always argue over petty differences), an encounter with a hot chocolate-drinking tribe of downtrodden men, a rival female gang - the Barracuda Women - and a search for famed feminist writer Kurtz (Adrienne Barbeau) - author of the best-selling book "Smart Women, Stupid Insensitive Men".
All the while, Jim is convinced that the outwardly cold Margot has the hots for him.
As the film moves towards the inevitable confrontation with the Piranha Women, events are fuelled by a wisecracking script which makes sure to reference the likes of APOCALYPSE NOW, STAR WARS and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK while tackling themes of sexism and empowerment in light-hearted fashion, and agreeably energetic performances.
Colourful, fast-paced and fun, writer-director J D Athens' film is a knowingly silly, low budget triumph of innocuous piss-taking. I assume the BBFC's mirthless 12-rating refers to the fleeting moments of bare breasts seen in the film.
It's a comedy. Not a very funny one, granted. But an entertaining, friendly one regardless. I like it. And not just for the abundance of scantily clad attractive female on offer throughout...
CANNIBAL WOMEN is presented uncut on 88 Films' UK blu-ray - 89 minutes and 33 seconds - and in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The 16x9 picture comes housed as an MPEG4-AVC file, in full 1080p HD, on this BD25 disc. Please note, the disc is locked to region B.
The film looks great. A fine layer of natural grain retains that all-important filmic feel, while colours and depth are keen throughout. Detail is heightened over previous releases. Everything looks to be correctly framed, and any occasional softness in the picture is no doubt in keeping with the cheap production values.
English 2.0 audio gets the lossless treatment and is highly dependable throughout.
The disc opens to an animated main menu page. Curiously, there is no scene selection option in evidence.
Extras are limited on this release.
They begin with the film's original 131-second theatrical trailer, which is presented in pillar-boxed 1.33:1. It does a good job of putting across the movie's sense of fun.
We also get the expected 88 Films trailer reel. On this occasion, it includes previews for CHILDREN OF THE CORN, DON'T GO IN THE WOODS ... ALONE, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, LIVE LIKE A COP DIE LIKE A MAN, MOTHER'S DAY, SLAUGHTERHOUSE, TRANCERS and SPLATTER UNIVERSITY.
This release comes with double-sided cover artwork, the reverse of which is the same artwork as shown above - albeit without the BBFC rating on it. You also get a slipcase.
CANNIBAL WOMEN is easy-going entertainment, as trashy as it is fun. It's also deceptively clever when it comes to its script. Okay, it's short on guffaws but that won't stifle the old-fashioned enjoyment to be had.
The film looks really nice on 88 Films' blu-ray.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by 88 Films|
|see main review|