JESS FRANCO MONTH: Devil Hunter (1980)

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can read another take on this movie here.

As you know, I do love a movie with multiple titles. Devil Hunter is also called The Man Hunter, Mandingo Manhunter, Jungfrau unter Kannibalen and Sexo Caníbal.

Just as much, I adore when two movies are shot at the same time, often being nearly the same films. This was made by Franco — using the name Clifford Brown — at the same time as Mondo Cannibale

If I were making the HBO series of the life of Jess — let me dream — this episode would be a turning point and fraught with drama, because Devil Hunter was co-directed by Franco’s muse for life Lina Romay and his first wife Nicole Guettard edited it, who Franco was still with at the time. Married men in love with someone else are quite obvious so if you’re ever wondering if Jess was enraptured with Lina before 1980, well, just watch any movie where he filmed her.

So yes, you may expect an Italian cannibal film filtered through the world of Franco and you get it. By get it, I mean there’s a gigantic jungle god with bug eyes that battles Al Cliver to the death on some rocks while said god is balls to the wind naked. Al is here to rescue Laura (Ursula Buchfellner, The Story of Linda) from being kidnapped and assaulted yet the real danger seems to be Jess and his zoom as he repeatedly finds his way directly between her thighs.

This is a section 1 video nasty and it just might be because of all the cocks flying around the place. Or maybe all the female genitals. I might be desensitized, but this doesn’t feel as violent as other movies that made that list. It’s also often confused with White Cannibal Queen, another Franco cannibal movie he made at the same time. Yes, three similar movies all made within less than a year.

Frequent Franco cast member Antonio Mayans is on hand as Cliver’s partner and this whole scheme gets set in motion by Laura’s assistant Jane, who is played by Gisela Hahn, whose career is pretty astounding. She was in wild stuff like White Pop JesusContamination and Battle of the Stars but also ended up being an executive in charge of production on The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter and contributed the song “T’amo lo Stesso” to the Fernando Di Leo movie she was in, Rules of the City, which also has Cliver in the cast.

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