Macabre ★★★★½

While watching this variety of cannibal movie, I find myself thinking: "Is human meat really THAT good? Is it worth going through all that trouble to carve up a human, how much edible meat can one adult human produce? Which part would be the most tender, or on the flip side most tough? Would it be more like red meat or white meat? Would babies be like veal because they haven’t had much time to move around and gain muscle?” Then I am like, “whoa, I’m hungry and human meat is starting to sound delicious.

I have never been terribly fond of Cannibal Holocaust/Mountain of the Cannibal God sort of cannibal movies (from the 1970s, European/Exploitation [meat]market). I find them somewhat boring and at the same time, somewhat offensive, just because a culture hasn’t been westernized does not make them exotic to the point of cannibalism and if they did partake in cannibalism how is our society fit to deem someone so different from our culture as barbaric? Maybe what we do in our everyday life is beyond comprehension and barbaric to them?

Macabre is an Indonesian cannibal horror film from 2009 and one of many films stemming from the popularity of the most infamous families of cannibals, the Sawyers [Texas Chain Saw Massacre ‘74]. You can find more non-jungle cannibal movies here, in a list of my 20 favorite cannibal films.

Macabre is marketed as an intensely gory horror film and while there is plenty of gore, it is far from excessive. With that said, the make-up effects are well done but what the hell is with the pregnant character essentially having a throw pillow from a couch under her dress in an attempt to make her appear 8-months into a pregnancy? The poor actress had to spend every scene holding the pillow to her body!

A young woman in desperate need of a ride gets into a van full of young people who are eventually taken to a house where they are butchered for their meat (please, I know how much this sounds like TCM right now). The movie is much gorier than the well-known influence and has a central focus on the strength of women, especially when you take the natural, nurturing instinct and replace it with calculating depravity and the motivation to maintain eternal youth.

Writer, Director Timo Tjahjanto (and Kimo Stamboel) have made their case and proved themselves as a force in the horror genre. I am looking forward to Timo Tjahjanto's segments in the recent string of horror anthologies and also in what he may have in store for us later down the line.