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Ravenous

Year: 1999
Director: Antonia Bird
Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette
An absolutely bizarre but nonetheless important movie, and certainly among the most original in recent times.

Made even more outlandish by the most curious soundtrack in movie history – there's the usual brooding, tense wind and brass sections of the orchestra, but a series of what can only be described as popcornish (as in the song, not the mood) synthesiser tracks of simple rhythm and tune that heighten the almost comic weirdness of the proceedings.

Guy Pearce is Boyd, a Mexican/American war veteran and a new fixture at a remote outpost in the American West – a stopover station for travelers crossing the mountains in summer, peopled with a (oddball) skeleton crew and cut off in winter.

Settling into his new surroundings, a stranger on the verge of exhaustion and starvation (Carlyle) stumbles into the camp one night and tells of a horrific mountain crossing gone wrong – where the survivors only lived by eating each other.

Guiding the search for more survivors, the man (Colquhoun) becomes crazed and turns on the solders, killing several and scattering the rest.

Weeks later, with all apparently back to normal, the gentry bring a new commanding officer – Colquhoun! Boyd is not only terrified but in a paranoid fix when it turns out that the rest of the platoon are in on the scam, the scam being the murder and eating of people to absorb their strength.

A battle of wills and wits ensues as the charismatic cannibal tries to bring the hero into the fold – both of them knowing that if he can't, he'll just kill him.

It has philosophies about man's relationship to other life (including himself) by what he eats, but at its core is just a very bloody thriller with a lot of thoughtful add-ons and an original delivery. It's a weird and cultish but satisfying and extremely bloody movie that will stay with you.

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