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Will we ever get a decent uncut Anthro?
WRITTEN BY: The Chelsea Ripper
JOE D'AMATO has been responsible for countless interminable movies over the decades, many reviled by critics and ratings boards alike, though few create such a level of revulsion as his 1980 horror opus Anthropophagous The Beast - also known as The Grim Reaper in the US, and simply "Anthro" by it's fans.
This gut-munching, low-budget horror movie chronicles the misadventures of a group of teens who pause a boat trip at a seemingly deserted island only find themselves hunted down by a flesh-eating monster version of Robinson Crusoe.

Anthro is most famous for a scene that most people have never even seen - usually shorn from just about every print - in which the titular cannibal creature traps and kills a pregnant woman, before eating the foetus... It's a shocking scene though extremely dark in most available prints.
As is usual in D'Amato films: Anthro's production values (not to mention script and dialogue) are risible, though there's a prevailing atmosphere and manner of intent that transcends these relatively minor oversights.

It's not an easy film to get through, all told. Anthro features a lot of chat and people not doing a great deal, or just running around aimlessly, but when the action does happen it's usually worth the wait because the resulting scenes are just so unbelieveable. It's worth sticking around to see the hilarious closing sequence where the monster eats it's own entrails, if nothing.
Finding Anthro uncut on DVD, at the time of writing, is still a problem however. Of the six versions currently available only some are uncut though not all have England soundtracks, and some of the transfers are apalling.

Germany's Laser Paradise released an uncut PAL version, though no-one's seen it because it's available only in German language as an extra in a very limited edition box set of Andreas Schnaas movies.

Another German company - Astro - not so long ago released an uncut English languagewidescreen version of Anthro, but the transfer was so poor that it was hard to recommend.
Both the US Liberty International release, and the UK Hollywood DVD release (both choosing the less-of-a-mouthful "The Grim Reaper" as the film's title) are heavily cut and are simply not worth buying unless you like wasting your money.

There's an uncut Italian print available that's supposed to feature an English soundtrack, though we have not yet been able to verify the quality of the contents and check it's status as uncut. There's also a Japanese DVD that has an uncut Italian print, but doesn't have an English soundtrack or subtitles. We haven't seen a copy of that yet either, so can't vouch for it's quality.

Finally, US distributor Shriek Show is about to release a supposedly uncut two-disc version of Anthro (entitled Anthropophageous: The Grim Reaper) in America. Fans are hoping that this will become the definitive version of Anthro on DVD. They have been waiting far too long for a proper restoration, so come on Shriek Show!

We'll have updates on the Shriek Show disc and the other Anthro DVDs soon.
Anthro DVDs currently on the market :

Grim Reaper, The : Liberty International Entertainment (USA) : more...
All region : NTSC : 81 mins : heavily CUT : English language

Grim Reaper, The - Special Edition : Astro (Germany)
All region : PAL : Widescreen : 90 mins : UNCUT : English & German language

Anthropophagous: The Beast : Laser Paradise (Germany)
Region 2 : PAL : 90 mins : UNCUT : Only available in box set with "Anthro 2000" : German language

Grim Reaper, The : Hollywood DVD (United Kingdom) : more...
Region 2 : PAL : 81 mins (claims 92 mins, but that’s BS – it’s the same heavily cut version as the US) : English language

Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper -
2 Disc Edition :
Shriek Show (USA) : more...
Region 1 : NTSC : 90 mins : English language : out 13th Dec 2005 : contents not yet confirmed

Antropophagus - Uncut 2 Disc Ltd. Edition
BR (Italy) : more...
Region 2 : PAL : 90 mins : Italian UNCUT print with optional English language : contents not yet confirmed

SPO Entertainment (Japan)
Region 2 : NTSC : 90 mins : Italian audio with Japanese subtitles : UNCUT but no English audio
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