Ravenous

Ravenuous is a movie about cannibalism that aims at being horrific and hilarious. You might say the movie wants to have its cake and eat it, too. No go. First-time screenwriter Ted Griffin achieves something closer to vomitous and boring, loosely basing his script on the Donner-party incident, circa 1846, in which snowbound travelers in Northern California began to munch on each other when supplies ran out. Guy Pearce, of L.A. Confidential, plays a cowardly soldier sent to a military outpost in the Sierra Nevadas, where he encounters a group of eccentrics played by usually capable actors (Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette, Stephen Spinella) who have been directed — by Antonia Bird (Priest), no less — to overact like savages. Robert Carlyle, of The Full Monty, out-hams them all as a Scottish colonel with a taste for flesh, which gives him supernatural powers. Why go on? You don't want to see this bilge. Director Milcho Manchevski, who was fired in midproduction, is the only one with cause to celebrate.

From The Archives Issue 476: June 19, 1986