An explorer, Cliff Hendricks, meets a young woman, Janet, in the jungles of Africa. It isn't long before the couple are married and return to the US where Janet gives birth to 4 children, Luke, Matthew, Paul and Rebecca. Time passes and Luke, the only child to go out on his own, returns home for Paul's 21st birthday. Nothing has been the same since Matthew went missing, only now, everything seems to be getting worse. Rebecca is lusting after her brothers, Paul is going insane and Janet is becoming more strict and acting stranger everyday all while the father, Cliff, is stuck in a wheelchair. Luke sets out to find out what happened to Matthew, all the while unraveling the secrets of his mothers' past, which may include cannibalism.
Sometime going into a movie blind, where you haven't really seen anything or heard anything about it other than the general premise, can be a good thing. In the case of "Cannibal Taboo," it helped keep me from being annoyed and in general hating the movie, simply because it is a movie where nothing goes on.
The movie is labeled as horror and sexploitation which it really isn't either of, I'm not sure what I would consider the movie since there just isn't enough substance to be anything. I guess if I would label it as anything it would be a drama, since that is what the movie contains plenty of from start to finish. Luke travels home to celebrate his brothers 21st birthday, and its already obvious that it's anything but a happy home. With a father who spends his days in a wheelchair not saying anything other than random words and shouting. A over-bearing mother who rarely lets her children leave the house and is constantly getting after them. A sister who has incestuous thoughts, and occasionally acts upon them, one brother who's slowly going insane and another one who has gone missing. So with all that and a mother who is acting more strange every day as the brother's birthday is getting closer and closer, there is plenty of soap-opera quality drama going on to push the movie and the story along.
Both the characters and the story in the movie aren't bad, very mediocre but nothing here that will grate against the nerves. The actors do tend to take their characters over the top, especially the crazy brother, Paul, but nothing that becomes an annoyance. As far as the story goes, it tries to have a major revelation at the end, not a twist ending but one that was suppose to leave the audience shocked. The problem is they hint on this plot point from the very beginning of the movie, and just keep hammering the idea of gaining knowledge and power through cannibalism. So when it comes time for the big reveal, you'll be glad its here just so they'll stop beating around the bush, get to the point and badgering you with the idea.
Now mentioning the sister lusting after her family and the cannibal theme, you're probably thinking it'll fit to its label of being horror and sexploitation. Unfortunately it is pretty skimpy on both parts. There are less than a handful of sex scenes that are sprinkled throughout the movie, even then they aren't given much time as you might expect. The horror part only comes into play at the very end of the movie, by that time its to little to late to save the movie. Which is a shame, there is a nice decapitation, a couple heart eating scenes and a decent amount of blood shed. Only if the movie had been using those elements through out the movie, it would have been pretty good and more entertaining that it was.
In the end, "Cannibal Taboo" really isn't a bad movie, it is well made with a tolerable story and decent enough acting. The problem is there just isn't enough substance for it to be an entertaining movie worth spending the money on. However, I'm sure the movie will find its way to TV sometime (if it hasn't already) so if you still want to see it, I'm sure you'll be able to find it there. Especially considering the cast is made up of familiar faces in softcore skin flicks that are usually played late at night. Not that I would know...