What movie was that...?

30 July 2009

Ravenous

directed by Antonia Bird

This much (and totally unfairly) maligned tale of cannibalism and Manifest Destiny has to be one of the most fun, ridiculous, and perhaps inspired films of 1999. Guy Pearce is excellent as Captain John Boyd, a war coward sent into the Sierra Nevadas to man Fort Spencer, an outpost run by a group of misfits and fuckups like himself. When a stranger shows up with a story of people eating people (yikes), and alleges that there may be a survivor still out there, everyone has to man up and brave the elements. Neal McDonough is superbly intimidating as Reich, the resident soldier, and no one can touch Jeremy Davies (Toffler) when it comes to the befuddled, mumbling little boy thing (for those of you with a Jeremy Davies fetish, I definitely recommend Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris and Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn for fine examples of Davies at the top of his stammering game). But it is Robert Carlyle who shines brightest as F.W. Calghoun, the soft-spoken victim of his own Donner party, or is there more to him than meets the eye? Add a killer soundtrack by Damon Albarn (of Blur fame), and what more can you ask for? Ravenous has the market cornered on cannibalism in Antebellum America, and fun like this should always make you feel a little dirty. Well, mission accomplished,

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