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Anthropophagus

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George Eastman as Nikos Karamanlis in Anthropophagus (1980)

Nikos Karamanlis, also known as Mikos Stenopolis or Klaus Wortmann, or better known as Anthropophagus, the Grim Reaper, is a fictional character created by actor/writer George Eastman and director/producer Joe D'Amato. Nikos Karamanlis is also played by George Eastman.

He is a seemingly immortal cannibal appearing in the 1980 Italian horror film Anthropophagus, also known as The Grim Reaper or The Savage Island. He was seen again in the film's 1981 spiritual sequel, Absurd (Rosso Sangue), also known as Anthropophagus 2, Monster Hunter, Horrible and The Grim Reaper 2.

Biography

Nikos Karamanlis, a husband and father, had been shipwrecked, stranded in the middle of the sea in a life raft with his family. Without supplies or food, Nikos attempts to murder and eat his young son. Though his wife intervenes and is killed herself. Nikos is forced to eat his dead family in order to survive before he is rescued. The painful act drove the man insane. When Nikos is sent back to his home on a small island in Greece, he is lost beyond this world and slaughters and devours almost virtually the entire population of his home island.

Anthropophagus

A pair of Germans visiting a remote Greek island go to the beach, and are slaughtered by someone who emerges from the ocean. Later, five travelers are preparing to tour the islands, and are joined by Julie, who asks for a ride to an island that some friends of hers live on, despite Carol's tarot cards showing that something bad will happen if they go there. When they arrive at the island, Nikos attacks the boat, ripping the sailor's head off, and abducting Maggie.

The others explore the island's town, discovering it in disarray, and abandoned with the exception of an elusive woman in black, who writes "Go Away" on a dusty window. In a house, a rotting corpse which appears to have been cannibalized is uncovered, prompting everyone to rush back to the boat, which is adrift. With no other options, the group goes to the house owned by Julie's friends, where they find the family's blind daughter, Henriette. After wounding Daniel in a panic, Henriette is calmed down, and rants about there being a madman who smells of blood prowling the island. The disfigured killer breaks in and rips Daniel's throat out with his teeth, but leaves Henriette alone and flees as the others return. In the morning, everyone treks through the island, and find a mansion belonging to Nikos. Julie mentions that she read about the shipwreck in a diary, and that Niko's sister Ruth became unhinged. Ruth (the woman in black from earlier) watches the group enter the building, comforts the sleeping Carol, and hangs herself.

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Image of Anthropophagus, The Grim Reaper devouring his own intestines.

After waking Carol, Andy and Arnold look out a window, and see that the boat has drifted close to shore. The two men go to secure the vessel, and Julie finds a partially destroyed journal among the objects in the mansion, and it reveals that the killer is Ruth's brother, and that the bodies of all of his victims are in a hidden room. Andy and Arnold split up, and the latter reaches an abandoned church, where he finds Maggie, and is confronted by Nikos. Nikos stabs Arnold, and rips out and eats Maggie's unborn child. Carol stumbles into the chamber, and drops dead from a slit throat. Nikos then attacks Julie, who locks herself and Henriette in the attic after a short chase. Nikos breaks through the ceiling and kills Henriette, and is then knocked off the roof and into a well by Julie. Nikos attacks Julie when she peers down the well, but she is saved when Andy appears and stabs Nikos in the stomach with a pickaxe, causing the cannibal's intestines to spill out. As a last dying act of insanity, Nikos gnaws on his own innards, staring at Andy, while Julie looks at Nikos in horror. Nikos then falls over and presumably dies.

Absurd

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George Eastman as Mikos Stenopolis in Rosso sangue (1981)

In the 1981 spiritual sequel/non sequel follow-up to 1980's Anthropophagus, Mikos, a Greek citizen who was given a healing factor of rapid blood coagulation and driven insane by church-sanctioned scientific experimentation, is pursued by a priest to a town in America, and attempts to destroy him by impaling him on a set of railings which disembowel him, but he is revived later in a local hospital. The madman escapes after brutally murdering a nurse, and goes on a killing spree. The priest informs the hospital and authorities that the only way to kill Mikos is to 'destroy the cerebral mass'.

While attacking a motorcyclist after escaping from the hospital, Mikos is struck by a hit-and-run driver. The driver of the car, Mr. Bennett, and his wife are going to a friend's house to watch a football game, leaving their two children at home with a babysitter. Their daughter Katia is confined to her bed because of a problem with her spine, while her younger brother believes that the 'Bogeyman' is coming to get him. Mikos makes his way to the Bennetts' home, and begins to murder everyone there. Peggy, a family helper, is stabbed in the head with a pickaxe, and the babysitter has her head forced into a lit oven and is stabbed in the throat with a pair of scissors, but not before sending the brother off to get help. Katia struggles from her bed to take on the killer herself. Mikos breaks into Katia's bedroom and attacks her, but she manages to stab him in the eyes with a set of drawing compasses.

She then stumbles down the hallway as the blinded killer staggers after her. He stalks her through the house, but Katia manages to elude him. The priest arrives and struggles with Mikos, and Katia grabs an axe from a decorative suit of armor and decapitates Mikos with it. The police and the rest of the family arrive to discover Katia standing in the doorway, covered in blood holding Mikos's severed head.

Trivia

  • The name "Anthropophagus" is a parody on the word "An·thro·poph·a·gus" (a person who eats human flesh, a cannibal). 
  • The fetus that Nikos eats in Anthropophagus is actually a skinned rabbit. 
  • Some of the bones seen in the catacombs in Anthropophagus were real, and were unwittingly taken by the prop crew when shooting commenced. 
  • He has a number of different names, including The Man Eater, The Beast, The Grim Reaper, Anthropophagus, "The Evil" or "The Monster". He has three separate "real" names: Nikos Karamanlis, also known as Mikos Stenopolis or Klaus Wortmann.

Sources

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