ANTHROPOPHAGUS II ** Italy 2022 Dir: Dario Germani. 86 mins
Arriving at a remote disused military bunker, friends Nora (Monica Carpanese), Giulia (Jessica Pizzi), Isabel (Alessandra Pellegrino), Sonia (Shaen Barletta), Cinzia (Valentina Capuano), Polly (Diletta Maria D’Ascanio), Angela (Giuditta Niccoli) and Betty (Chiara De Cristofaro) are set to spend the weekend exploring the area for a special project. As they begin to explore the bunker and its remains, a series of disappearances around the tunnels the longer they’re there cause the group to believe a psychotic cannibal killer is loose within the facility with them and must find a way to avoid being eaten to get out alive.
“Anthropophagus II” was a decent enough sequel but has some issues. The film’s best aspect here is the admittedly graphic gore in the various tortures and kills on display. As the killer keeps victims hostage to brutally mutilate them before outright killing them, this gets quite brutal and bloody before going for the over-the-top concepts to showcase some cheesy yet still effective gore. The few chases here aren’t so bad and the final encounter is rather fun in how it plays out including a decent enough twist that leads into the rather impressive atmosphere as the main bunker has all the hallmarks of the cold, desolate military facility which works for this kind of scenario for a claustrophobic genre effort. The main issue is a decidedly underwhelming and generally lazy setup that mainly stems from the inability to spell anything out as there’s not much of a reason for their purpose in the bunker or who most of the girls’ names are making for a difficult time to care about the group when we don’t know who they are. It gets even more frustrating due to the troublesome killer that doesn’t have much about who he is, what he’s doing holding them hostage versus some being killed outright, or the lack of imposing physical stature or grotesqueness to be memorable that all leaves the franchise connection tenuous at best to leave this one with some drawbacks.
Review by Don Anelli