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Ravenous (Widescreen)

Guy Pearce , Robert Carlyle , Antonia Bird    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
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When was the last time you saw a new movie set during the 1840s? The era is the first oddball thing about Ravenous, though by no means the last. This provocatively weird movie is essentially a vampire film crossed with the Donner party, that unfortunate band of hungry pioneers who got stuck in the wilderness with only themselves to eat. The setting here is Fort Spencer, a dismal collection of shacks huddled in the snows of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Mid-winter, a nearly dead Scotsman (Robert Carlyle, from The Full Monty) staggers into camp with a story of desperate cannibalism. The skeleton crew (so to speak) manning the fort sets out to investigate, when... ah, but the twists and turns of this dark yarn should remain shocking. Be assured, however, that the cannibalism has just begun; this movie has cannibalism like Titanic had an iceberg. Director Antonia Bird (Mad Love, Priest) blends some humor into this scenario, especially in the final reels, but otherwise this is a fairly serious gore picture; a confused Twentieth Century Fox tried to market it as a black comedy, and the movie flopped anyway. It deserves a better fate--at the very least, it's not quite like anything else out there. The music, a brilliant collaboration between Michael Nyman (The Piano) and Blur's Damon Albarn, is an offbeat blend of period twang and modern drone. Carlyle and Guy Pearce (of L.A. Confidential) are fascinating in the lead roles--their sunken faces would look at home in Civil War photographs--and the eccentric supporting cast, including Jeremy Davies and David Arquette, adds flavor to the dish. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies of the 1990s April 6 2003
By ewomack
Format:DVD
This is going to sound strange, but "Ravenous" is a very intelligent movie about cannibals, vampirism (of an unusual sort) and the history of the west. At it's heart is a metaphor about power, exploitation, and ravenous greed. It is much more than simply a thriller, horror, slasher picture.
It is set during the time of westward expansion in the youthful United States, which is significant for discovering what the movie is all about. This movie wouldn't make sense in 20th century Manhattan, or in 1930s Chicago. It is set during a time when european settlers still had a long way to go towards 'conquering' most of North America.
Without giving too much away of the bizarre and twisted plot, the movie explores not only cannibalism, but cannibalism as a means of regaining life, energy, or power. You eat another, you take the life energy of that person. This notion of cannabalism (which is more along the lines of mythology than of a slasher movie) allows the movie to be completely unpredictable, disturbing and poignant all at once. At the end of the movie, one realizes that it would've been almost impossible to have guessed what was going to happen at each plot turn. If you enjoy bizarre, almost surreal surprises, this movie is packed with them.
The crucial moment in the film is towards the end when Robert Carlyle's character is rhapsodizing about "manifest destiny." Here it is revealed that what's behind the ravenous hunger depicted in the film is a statement about how the west was won, and perhaps still being won. There's a lot in this film to chew on (it's impossible to avoid stupid puns when writing about movies in which people are eaten, sorry), and "Ravenous" does not belong in the same category as B-slashers or gore or shock flicks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was the wait worth it? June 22 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Waited for this a long time, picture quality was very poor for a blu ray remaster. Disappointing release to say the least
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Are Who You Eat Dec 6 2003
By Welt
Format:DVD
Ravenous... what an underrated, under-appreciated, unknown masterwork of a horror film. Peppered with great performances by Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle. Seasoned with a quirky yet haunting soundtrack. Spiced with ultra-violence. And topped off with some very entrancing cinematography. It's too bad this film did so poorly at the box-office. Seems to me, this film is too intelligent for the mainstream anyway. Most little babies on here couldn't even stomach the violence/gore. And because of that, they dismissed the movie all together. Morons.
Ravenous was one of the reasons the 90's weren't completely void of decent horror films. Just gets cooler with every viewing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Thinking Person's Movie about Cannibalism May 17 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The story really gets started at a fort in the Sierra Nevada's when a near dead stranger arrives at the fort and tells a tale that sounds very similar to the real story of the Donner party. But then things get much weirder! Don't eat that stew! This movie draws in religious references to Christianity, American Manifest Destiny, and Native American folklore, to create an intellectually and mythologically stimulating brew for the culturally receptive mind.
The humor takes the edge off the horror, and the horror takes the edge off of the humor, in a brilliant balance that leaves this movie defying categorization. It remains far too serious to be called dark comedy, but it still has its fair share of humor. Some of the more intense moments in the movie gain an erie and otherworldly tone when juxtaposed against some of the maniacally joyful music that accompanies those moments. The acting proves brilliant! And the dynamics between Robert Carlyle and Guy Pierce, hit a compelling range, from curious interest, to hatred and disgust, and even reaching the depths of thinly veiled homoerotic situational innuendo. The rest of the acting was great, but this amazing duo truly left the most memorable impression.
I think the unfavorable reviews offered by some of the "professional critics" more reflects their inability to handle this topic at all, than any shortcomings of the movie itself. If you think you may be a little sensitive about the topic of cannibalism, you have been warned. I really don't think that any of the gruesomeness was gratuitous, and certainly the movie could have been a LOT more gory than it was. You simply can't pretend to discuss cannibalism without gruesomeness. To do otherwise would have been a Pollyanna whitewash job.
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By RM300
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Very weird movie. I don't know how they managed to get an R rating (many Friday the 13th were cut for less).The presentation is ULTRA CLEAN and the definition is very good, Good music too!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful Ravenous blu ray from Shoot Factory... June 23 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
As an ultimate fan of Ravenous, I was so excited by the announcement of this blu ray edition from Shoot Factory, but the deal is not well worth the wait... :(
The picture quality is AWFUL, so grainy and without any colors, just grey and near to a DVD upscale... This is the worst blu ray I have see in a while!!
And for the French Canadian customers the French language track is missed for a unknown and very stupid reason...???
The only "good surprise" is the isolated score track available on this edition, but of course even here there is a problem, the sfx are also present during the music... So stupid!!
Keep your money safe, and cross your fingers for a REAL edition from fox, or a good import edition... Shame on Shoot Factory!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars surprising
i enjoyed the product a lot... pretty much like it was advised and even more... i can say im satisfied
Published 7 months ago by james 007
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
One of my favourite movies. 5 stars all the way. If you're into cannibalism then this movie is for you!
Published 14 months ago by Geoffrey Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars refer to "painfully boring" review
The reviewer of this film, who calls it "painfully boring" simply typifies many american viewers. Read more
Published on May 21 2004 by J. Colburn
3.0 out of 5 stars Not For Every, uh, Taste
There is some polarized debate as to both the quality and the genre of this movie. The movie is good and enjoyable but its not THAT good. Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by J
2.0 out of 5 stars Stupid Scary
Labeled by some reviewers as a dark comedy and a cannibal gore-fest... I choose neither. Sure, there was plenty of fake blood going on, but nothing over the top as far as the... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by R. Gorham
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovin' it...
I really loved this movie because it lays out a very serious subject and a very serious time. (The Civi War or something... Read more
Published on May 6 2004 by BMW
1.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Boring
You people must be nuts! 4 stars for this steaming pile?
This is a surprisingly boring and empty film. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by SandmanVI
5.0 out of 5 stars A great horror movie!
I just watched the other night at a friends house. Now I am like this is one of those DVD's I must have. This movie is funny in its own way and yet sicking. Read more
Published on March 29 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars want to convert to vegetarianism?
I saw in the pro reviews that this movie had mistakenly been passed for dark comedy and flopped anyway. I understand it. Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by "svartalf"
1.0 out of 5 stars TrezKu13 to filmmakers: "Eat me."
The start of this film was interesting to me. It had a surprising comedic feel to it, cool characters, and a nice 1840's American west setting. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2004 by TrezKu13
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