Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Cannibal Possession: Heart Of Ice" DVD (director: Christian Tizya)

This Canadian docu-drama is marketed as some kind of extreme zombie/cannibal film, but in reality, it's a vaguely serious documentary examining the wendigo psychosis. According to Algonquian legend, a wendigo is a person compelled to cannibalize those around them, often with a supernatural or demonic spiritual compulsion.

Some find this to be a culture-based phenomenon, but the producers of "Cannibal Possession" want you to see it as a psychological condition. There are interviews with various personalities, most of whom have tenuous "credentials". The main interviewee is Nathan Carlson, an Edmontonian "ethno-historian" who has researched the wendigo spirit exhaustively. Carlson discusses the famous Swift Runner (a Plains Cree trapper who in 1878 murdered and consumed his own wife and five children in Alberta). As well, he recaps the true story of Vince Li, who is 2008 randomly attacked, beheaded, and managed to eat some of fellow Greyhound bus passenger Tim McLean in Manitoba, and presents it as a possible "wendigo" case. With some basis in a real North American "myth", "Cannibal Possession" does have something to offer, but you have to wade through a facade of silly sensationalism to find it. A curiosity, at best.

(Eyes Wide Open Films)