With a title like CANNIBALS AND CARPET FITTERS I knew this had to be either an outrageous horror-comedy or a very British art film. Thankfully it was the former, and it is wonderfully over the top, gory and generally messed up. There seems to be a resurgence in cannibal films in the UK of late, with this, CANNIBAL FARM and HABIT all ranking well up in my estimation. While the other two are deadly serious, this one is content to, (mostly), go for laughs.
After an amusing and gory prologue involving a couple of lost campers played by Alex Zane (CAIN HILL) and Jessica-Jane Stafford (DEVIL’S TOWER, REDWOOD) we get into the main story. Nigel (Tony Nyland)is desperate for cash to keep his company afloat. So he jumps on a chance to carpet an old estate in the middle of nowhere. However, the estate is the lair of a family of cannibals, The Hannings. And they’re looking for some fresh meat. Can these less than heroic figures fight back and escape or are they doomed to be consumed?
Based on a 14 minute short from 2014, CANNIBALS AND CARPET FITTERS aims to do for THE HILLS HAVE EYES and WRONG TURN what SHAUN OF THE DEAD did for zombie films and for the most part it succeeds. It actually works fairly well as a horror film, there are several good scares a couple of which actually made me jump. It doesn’t follow the usual formula of who lives and who dies, something I wish more serious films would do. Those deaths are accompanied by some very messy practical effects. The script is full of wonderfully sarcastic dialogue that will have you chuckling constantly. Thankfully it also avoids the kind of slapstick too many films like this tend to overuse.
Director James Bushe has several shorts to his credit apart from the original CANNIBALS AND CARPET FITTERS. One of which, 2015’s well-received fan film PREDATOR: DARK AGES, has gotten him plenty of praise and attention. He and writer Richard Lee O’Donnell have a bright future ahead of them if this is an indication of what they can do.