The Curator of Schlock #300 by Jeff Shuster

The Cannibals

What’s eating you?

I said I wasn’t going to cover anymore cannibal movies for Thanksgiving. I had learned my lesson last year with a little French/Belgium production called Raw. But your humble Curator of Schlock must give his readership what they want. I know you want cannibal movies. And this is blog #300. I have to make it count. Jess Franco’s The Cannibals that also went under the title White Cannibal Queen should do the trick. 

The movie begins with an explorer named Professor Jeremy Taylor (Al Cliver), his wife Elisabeth, and his daughter, Lana, taking a boat ride somewhere in South America. I think the country is named Melabi, but nothing showed up in my Google search. Jeremy tells Elisabeth that it may have been a mistake to take his family with him due to rumors of cannibals attacking other boats going down the same river. Naturally, the cannibals show up right after mentioning this. They spear the boat captain and then proceed to devour poor Elisabeth Taylor on sight. That’s Elisabeth Taylor not Elizabeth Taylor, who to my knowledge did not die by getting devoured alive by cannibals. 

Was there a market for this type of movie back in the day? Did people have a fetish for seeing wild tribesmen in grass skirts ripping and choking down the intestines of screaming victims? These scenes go on forever. I didn’t know where the term “gutmuncher” came from. I do now! Professor Taylor is bound and carried to the Cannibal Village. They chop his arm off and eat it in front of him, but don’t manage to finish him off because their Chief proclaims that he found the “White Goddess” on the riverbank. Wouldn’t you know it?  It’s Professor Taylor’s daughter, Lana!

Professor Taylor slinks off as the tribe worships their new deity. Some explorers find him in the forest, but he’s delirious. Professor Taylor spends the next five years in a mental hospital in New York City. He keeps rambling about seeing his wife eaten alive. Finally, he snaps out of it and visits Barbara Shelton, head of the Shelton Foundation, which funded his original expedition. Professor Taylor hopes he’ll get funding for another expedition to rescue his daughter. Barbara and her elderly, wealthy, blue-blooded boyfriend, Charles Fenton, tell him he’s crazy and ask him to leave their penthouse. 

Professor Taylor travels back to … Melabi, trying to no avail to get a guide to take him back into cannibal country. Guess who shows up? Barbara Shelton and Charles Fenton had a change of heart and have decided to fund an entire expedition to help Professor Taylor find his daughter. Fenton says shooting a few cannibals for sport sounds smashing. I think wealthy Americans traveling to exotic locals where violent natives reside always works out well. Just fire off your boomstick. Show them who’s boss!

Of course, to get to the cannibal tribe, they have to travel through a swamp infested with alligators and rattlesnakes. Barbara sprains her ankle and gets a fever. Charles gets lost while having a heart attack. Cannibal Tribesmen start picking off members of the party with poison arrows. Barbara gets abandoned and is eaten alive in slow motion.

Seriously, I don’t get off on this crap.

The “White Goddess” looks on as her husband, the chief, feasts on entrails of poor Barbara. 

I think Professor Taylor has gotten eight people killed in his quest to retrieve his daughter from the Cannibal Tribe. Maybe he just should have left well enough alone. His daughter seemed fine taking on the role of the “White Goddess.” I don’t think anyone thought this through. Maybe it’s best just to stay out of Cannibal Country.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Enjoy your leftovers. 

Jeffrey Shuster 1
Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.