Ravenous (Widescreen) [Import]
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
What with Antonia Bird serving as the replacement for RAVENOUS' first director, Milcho Manchevski, and the eleventh-hour addition of the marvelous Robert Carlyle, it's no surprise that the plot and tone are schizoid as they are. And just the fact that the score was co-composed by avant-garde specialist Michael Nyman and former BLUR frontman Damon Albarn, speaks volumes about what the wary (or unwary) cinematic *CONSUMER* should expect.
Which is a ride not for the faint-of-heart or the squeamish. Captain John Boyd (Pearce) has just received an award for bravery, for a heroic act of valor performed during a battle in the Spanish-American War. Only he, his superior officer, Gen. Slauson (WEST WING'S John Spencer) and the audience know that he's a lily-livered coward at heart. He was only able to capture an enemy outpost after playing dead under a stack of the bodies of his butchered comrades.
Disgusted with him, but well aware that political correctness won't allow him to have a war hero tried and executed for cowardice under fire, Slauson does the next best thing...he has Boyd "reassigned" to what could be seen as the American answer to the Gulag...Fort Spencer, out in the middle of hell-and-gone, somewhere in California, by way of the same route that the Donner party was unlucky enough to take, (making you wonder if maybe they ran into somebody in this movie!)
Anyway, our outcast war hero finds the fort manned by a colorful cast of misfits: Col.Read more ›
Guy Pierce plays a misunderstood 'war-hero'. During the Spanish-American war (this film is set in 1840), while on the battlefield, he took over the Spanish command post of the area he was fighting in. What he didn't mention to everyone, was that he did it out of cowardice. During the battle, he played dead on the battlefield and was buried with his dead companions in a large trailer full of bodies. He then spent the next few days drinking his commanding officers blood running down from his half-blown off head. After drinking this blood, he then escapes and takes over the command post.
After being awarded a medal for his actions, he is sent to Fort Spencer. You see, his general (John Spencer) knows what really happened and wants him nowhere near his troops. So, he is sent to the middle of nowhere in the snowy mountains of Nevada (or so they say in the film). Fort Spencer is being watched over by 7 people. Each has their own characteristics and are actually quite interesting.
One night they are paid a visit by a wandering stranger (Robert Carlyle) who is on the verge of death. He then tells them all a story about cannabalism. It seems that the party he was with, got caught in the storm and seeked shelter in a cave. One of the males then preceeded to eat everyone. He mentions there might be survivors. Some of the people of Fort Spencer then plan to travel to the cave to look for these survivors.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Very weird movie. I don't know how they managed to get an R rating (many Friday the 13th were cut for less). Read morePublished 19 months ago by RM300
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... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Martin Brody
Waited for this a long time, picture quality was very poor for a blu ray remaster. Disappointing release to say the leastPublished 20 months ago by Taylor Ryan Crawford
i enjoyed the product a lot... pretty much like it was advised and even more... i can say im satisfiedPublished on Dec 23 2013 by james 007
One of my favourite movies. 5 stars all the way. If you're into cannibalism then this movie is for you!Published on May 24 2013 by Geoffrey Russell
The reviewer of this film, who calls it "painfully boring" simply typifies many american viewers. Read morePublished on May 21 2004 by J. Colburn
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 morePublished on May 16 2004 by J
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