In honor of our 31 Days of Horror and my recent review of Jack Ketchum’s Offspring, I’d like to talk about cannibals for a minute. They’re a prevalent horror mainstay, whether they’re savages deep within the jungle, preying on missionaries and wayward explorers or just some backwoods bumpkins that figured it’s easier to just lure unsuspecting college aged kids into the woods, spring a series of elaborate death traps and then butcher and eat them. But where is the realism in all this?
A little while ago I spoke about realism when it came to killing kids. I stressed how insanely easy it would be to dispatch a bunch of little peoples if you were a psycho killer or an alien from another planet. Or perhaps a roaming savage looking for some baby back ribs. So now I turn that same, awkward eye towards cannibals. No, I’m not disputing that cannibals exist or that they eat people. I’m not even going to raise a brow towards their methods of killing, which are often overly elaborate. No, my problem is this – where’s the heat? Where’s the BBQ sauce? Why are we chewing on this raw, stringy muscle when we could slow roast this mother (or father or son) and do a nice pulled-person sandwich?
Just because you’re a cannibal doesn’t mean you haven’t mastered the art of fire. Man has been cooking his food for thousands of years, but we’re supposed to believe that these cannibals are just going to grab a leg and start nibbling on it raw like they’re at some pre-fire era Renaissance Faire? Bullshit, says I! They’re going to flame grill that whopper or perhaps pan-fry that sucker up, maybe oven roast it with some vegetables in a beef stock. The point is, if you’ve got cannibals who either A) know what fire is or B) drive around in pick-up trucks, construct gigantic death traps and shoot people, then you’re dealing with a group of people who are going to prefer their meat cooked. So fire up that grill.
Also, what’s scarier – some rabid wild man with a limited understanding of cuisine who just bites and tears and eats raw food, gets diarrhea and then is setup in his cave for a whole week dealing with tapeworm or some crazy mother-eater who kills you, cuts you, portions you, cooks up some nice, medium rare steaks and then uses his FoodSaver to keep you fresh when he wants to BBQ you later at the company picnic? That is some messed up stuff right there man, way more messed up than someone snaggle-toothed ape-man wanna-be that just takes a few bites of your stringy, fatty tissue then leaves you hanging somewhere.
So get real, cannibals, and lets see some effort here. This isn’t the pre-neolithic era, we’ve not only mastered the flame, but we’ve perfected the Southern style whisky infused hickory BBQ sauce with peppercorns for that bit of zest. We’re barbecue masters and we know how to get down with a pulled sandwich served on a bed of fries. So come on, show some effort here. You’re just being lazy and frankly, unsanitary. If I see one more of you dirt worshiping heathens eat your food raw, I’m going put a pot on the stove for a delicious stew and hit my boiling point.