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What has been seen....

by Andrew Green

As I've said before, the great thing about Netflix is that the service offers just about any movie you can imagine. No matter how obscure, if a film exists, it's probably available through Netflix. This is good for a guy like me, since I tend to drift towards weirder fare. 

Of course, the downside of this approach is that I'll often stumble across films that are just plain bad. You know, there are thousands of movies made each year, and the reason why we only hear about maybe a hundred of them is that a great deal of these titles are made by amateurs (or at least, near amateurs), and they're terrible.

These aren't just low-budget pictures; they're NO budget pictures. Occassionally, I'll find one that really is special, and exposes me to something that I feel was worth my time. However, again, it's more likely that what I'll get is absolutely God awful. I've seen movies so bad they'd make your blood curdle.

One man who is responsible for an impressive number of such films is Ulli Lommel. He cranks out at least two direct-to-DVD, shot-on-digital-video pieces of exploitation trash each year. Ulli was apparently once a promising filmmaker, having directed The Boogeyman  in 1980. Somewhere along the way, though, he chose another path, and embarked on a new, remarkably prolific career as perhaps the worst writer-director in the film world. With tripe like Zombie NationDungeon Girl, and Killer Nurse, Ulli has somehow been able to dupe enough backers into repeatedly funding one jaw-droppingly bad effort after another that he gets to keep making them. Don't let the interesting titles of his movies fool you -- they're always agonizingly boring and inept on every level. Ulli Lommel makes Uwe Boll  look like Steven Spielberg.

Anyway, here's a review for one of Ulli's films, Diary of a Cannibal. Spoiler alert: it's horrible.

Diary of a Cannibal (2006)

Netflix description:
"Noelle and Adam meet each other online. They seem to hit it off and arrange to meet for dinner. But what begins as a flirtation ends in the unspeakable -- Adam, it seems, agrees to be the main course. Inspired by a ghastly true story, Diary of a Cannibal brings you face to face with humanity's most shocking taboo."

So, a woman eats her boyfriend in order to be closer to him. Sounds cool, but believe me, it is not. This film is torture to watch all of the way through. Most of it consists of softly-lit, black and white flashbacks of the same scene over and over again. It is bang-your-head-against-the-wall boring. 

Presented like an art film, complete with public domain classical score, this film (or, should I say "video", since that is apparently the medium on which it was shot) takes 90 minutes to tell a 10 minute story. Our heroine Noelle, finally eats Adam about 75 minutes or so into the movie, and the rest is all filler material. Bad acting, editing, lighting, camera work, and set design are what we get here. Maybe that's what we deserve, though, for wanting to see this picture in the first place.

I WILL give Diary of a Cannibal one thing, however: the culminating scene in which Noelle finally gets to the point IS quite hilarious. She prepares her boyfriend as she would a Thanksgiving turkey, complete with sides of carrots, potatoes, and greens. She slips into a lovely evening gown, lights some candles, and sits down to a romantic meal as the music swells. This is Ulli's version of love, I guess.

I almost gave Diary of a Cannibal one star because of the scene described above (What can I say? It made me chuckle). After some thought, however, I decided that a movie shouldn't be rewarded for being so bad that it's funny. Really, this is one of the worst films I have ever seen...and that says a lot.

0 out of 5.