O Clube dos Canibais
starring Ana Luiza Rios, Tavinho Teixeira, Zé Maria, Pedro Domingues
written and directed by Guto Parente
by Walter Chaw Guto Parente's The Cannibal Club is satire served grisly, sexy, slick, and unsubtle, an update in theme if not form of Paul Bartel's still-unsurpassed Eating Raoul--a fable of the class struggle eternal as the 1% literally feeds, as it is wont to do, on the other 99. The more things change, and all that; it's instructive to revisit Eating Raoul's opening narration about Hollywood, which seems to apply equally to every group of monkeys in pants: "Here sex hunger is reflected in every aspect of daily life...where random vice and amorality permeate every strata of society, and the barrier between food and sex has totally dissolved." For Parente, Bartel's murderous--and eventually cannibalistic--marrieds the Blands are Gilda and Otavio (Ana Luiza Rios and Tavinho Teixeira), a rich couple living on a sprawling estate in Fortaleza, Brazil, who go through an alarming number of low-income workers together. The young men are provided by an employment agency, seduced by the lady of the house, and at the moment of climax, murdered by Otavio (who's been jerking off in the wings), butchered, then eaten. Otavio is also a member of the titular club, where the hoi polloi of Brazilian corporate culture gathers to watch a graphic sex show that ends in the murder of the chained couple, who are then, likewise, served up in the Brazilian fashion: on skewers, shaved at the table. There's a hint of Peter Greenaway in that.