After you’ve captured the entire economy and all the political machinery of a country—it doesn’t matter which, but let’s say Brazil—and you’ve replaced the police with private security, and you’ve brought about massive unemployment, and you’re wondering what else there is for you to do, and you conclude that the only logical answer is to butcher and eat the lower classes, you might belong in The Cannibal Club (2018) by writer/director Guto Parente.
This movie is a satire, I guess, in the tradition of Swift’s A Modest Proposal, but the humor isn’t the sort that you do too much laughing at. It’s downright chilling most of the time. Tavinho Teixeira and Ana Luiza Rios as married-couple people-eaters Otavio and Gilda could have easily hammed it up in their roles, but instead they give subtly evil performances, especially Teixeria with his lupine expressions. The dive-bar/lounge-act musical cues complement the actors perfectly.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, because it’s the sort that spoils easily. But I will say that it’s not about the menu fighting back. The cannibalism is entrenched, and it’s not going anywhere. This is more a movie about insect politics, or, if you like, the eating of one’s own. Note that the supper club is for gentlemen only.
You go into a movie called The Cannibal Club expecting to see some graphic violence, not to mention some cannibalism. You do, but not to the degree that you’d assume. The bulk of it occurs in just a couple key scenes, expertly shot and effectively edited for some of the most—forgive me—tasty gore that you’re likely to get at the movies this year.