Ravenous review by Jackass Jon

Story Summary

The year is 1847, the place is California. The Mexican-American war is going strong and the fighting is as intense as anyone could imagine. Men battle to a savage death at the mercy of their enemies... These are the times that give birth to heroes, legends of their time and unfortunately cowards too.

This is the story of Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce). A true to heart soldier, a hero to all that know him! Well almost all that know him. You see, Boyd falls victim to his own terror during a vicious battle. He freezes in the middle of the fight falling to the ground while he hears his companions screaming out his name in hopes of help as they all die around him. He can't help it, he's paralyzed with fear and soon blackness overtakes his consciousness. When he awakes, he's buried in a pile of corpses and nearly drowned in the blood from the bodies that are now crushing him. But instead of loosing control as he did earlier, he's overcome by a calm he can't explain. An inner strength that compels him to continue on... This new found drive, heart for the battle leads him to utter victory in the field. He single handedly captures a enemy camp and is pronounced a soldiers hero! But not before the high command finds out about the truth of the victory and the details of the events leading to it.

In the following events Boyd is banished to serve out his remaining time in the icy frigid mountains of the Sierra Nevada's. Upon his arrival at a small and not so marvelous outpost he is introduced to what he instantly knows is a group of misfits who he's destined to remain with for the rest of his miserable military life. It's here that he also meets Colonel Hart (Jeffrey Jones) who seems to share the same understanding of their terrible fate. But life will go on...

Soon the outpost is discovered by a lonesome traveler in the night. Almost frozen to the bone Colqhoun (Robert Carlyle) is brought into the warmth and nursed back to health while telling a wild tale about how his group of settlers moving across the country falls victim to the cannibalism of their guide. A cannibal who he describes as a military officer. Luckily (or not) the outpost is also home to an Indian who knows of the men who eat men, Weendigo is what the Indians call them and they must be stopped at all costs. You see, Weendigo are not just cannibals, they are powerful legends. Legend also says that Weendigo eat their enemies to steal their strength, to steal their power, to steal their soul.

Armed with this knowledge, a team is sent at all speed to save the remaining settlers from the sure torture of their Weendigo captor. But along the way Boyd has a few chances to talk with Colqhoun to better understand what they will be up against. And he does understand but not because of how well Colqhoun tells the tale but because he has felt the strength, felt the power, felt the souls of those he too has consumed, yes he understands.

After days of fast travel on foot the team finds the cave Colqhoun described in his story and also find that it is empty. All are lost... Then, oh so quickly they discover that they too will soon be lost. Colqhoun is not as he had said. He is the Weendigo and systematically murders the men one at a time eating his way down the line. Boyd is lucky to escape though, the only remaining person alive from the rescue party.

It's here that the story of Captain John Boyd really starts...

Bon appetit!

DVD features

The Disc isn't really feature rich but it does have the standard deleted scenes, commentary tracks (3 of them), a photo gallery and some costume & set designs.


This has got to be one of the best modern horror films I can think of. It's full of cheeky scenes, an incredibly wild story of cannibalism in the mid 1800's and of all things it's actually funny! I found myself snickering and laughing at the strangest parts of the film. The sound track even lends itself to the comedic tones perfectly. I think what makes it so funny is the way the cannibals act. They remind me of something familiar... People! In fact, this movie seems so much like people in our screwed up society its hilarious. We as the social misfits that modern times have made us appear to be no less evil than the cannibalistic troupe in the film. Just as the Weendigo can't get enough to eat, we can't get enough from our fellow man. Our hunger is insatiable, cannibalistic if you will.

While my summary above may appear to give a good deal of the film away, it doesn't. Most of these details are common knowledge on the internet. Doing a quick search will turn them all up and then some. I have intentionally left out many of the stories details in hopes that you will have the urge to rent the film and watch the whole thing. Although it's cheeky, gruesome and at times comical, the story will hopefully make you think a little about yourself or the ones around you. What do you really need in life? If you pay enough attention to the taglines in the film it's true meaning or intentions should be obvious...

I've read several reviews of this film in the last week and most of them are pretty hard on it. Actually, I only found one that was to my liking (don't tell anyone though). If nothing else, this is just a good horror movie to watch with a big bowl of ice cream or popcorn if you can stomach it...

Final Thoughts

I know I've made the movie sound like a light hearted film but it really is pretty gruesome. There are several scenes that may upset or disturb some people with the rather graphic images so don't say I didn't warn you before hand! The movie also carries an R rating which I think in general isn't the most accurate system but in this case it is, so don't let the kids watch it.

"Eat to live. Don't live to eat" - Ben Franklin.

8 out of 10 Jackasses
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