Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

 If watching a movie sends me to hell THIS will be the one that does it

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato (House on the Edge of the Park)

The Prologue
Do you know what happens when you make a film as gritty and realistic as Cannibal Holocaust and then actually TRY to sell it to the public as being real? You get your film seized by the courts, you get arrested just like directer Ruggero Deodato, and you face murder charges on the belief that several of your actors were actually murdered for the camera..And that’s just the thing that happened the year the movie was released and then nearly happened again as recent as 1993 when once again people assumed folks were really killed in the making of this movie.

Just how bad is the activities that go on in this film? Animals are really murdered for one, and that’s good enough to get your filmed banned in many, MANY places. It’s even so bad that the director himself says he wishes he had never made the film.

There’s a movie group I have labeled on this site, movies that get tagged with the name “Hell In A Hand Basket” What your reading about here is the corner stone of that group.

The Movie
Cannibal Holocaust has a plot, see the plot is..An anthropologist heads a rescue party into the South American jungle to find a missing film team making a documentary on cannibal tribes but can only return with their footage, which reveals their crueler intentions. BUT you know what? Forget that, because what you end up seeing makes you forget the film even has a plot!

What you get is a film that could very well pass for legit. I’ve watched it twice and I still think some of the effects seems a little too real for comfort..and that’s just for human scenes. You see women being raped with rocks, women having babies torn right out of them from their down south areas, women beat to death with sticks and rocks, women with their heads being chopped off, women being impaled on a straight standing stick in a fashion of a shish kabob, oh and a another woman getting dragged in the mud all the while having the ol’ “train” ran on her. Just that alone and you can see why this movie is at the top of many people’s lists for most disturbing movie ever made.

But it doesn’t just stop with violence towards women. Men get their fair share here as well with it going as far as showing the most realistic looking cutting off of a man’s penis I’ve ever seen on film…See there’s a reason people really though these guys where dead. But maybe even above all that there’s a whole list of animals that are REALLY murdered in the making of this film. It’s cruel, it’s real, it’s not fun to watch, and it’s here in this film uncut. Even the actors themselves had a hard time dealing with this going on as it’s been stated that “despite his character’s behavior during filming, Perry Pirkanen cried after filming the infamous turtle scene.” Also “Immediately after a pig was shot and killed in the movie, Carl Gabriel Yorke (Alan Yates in the film) botched a long monologue Deodato very much wanted to be included in the movie. After rehearsing the line several times and doing fine, Yorke says he screwed up during filming because he heard the pig squeal and die. Retakes weren’t possible because they had no access to any more pigs, which they would only use to shoot and kill.”…Yorke also stated when he first arrived to film the movie he wasn’t sure if he was making a movie or if it was indeed a “snuff” film…I can see why.

Now I’ve never seen Salo, so as of now THIS movie would be at the top of my list if I made a most disturbing list. I was shocked, I was grossed out to the point of almost puking while watching the scene with the Yellow-spotted river turtle, and yet somehow I’ve managed to set through this film again for a review. So if you like shock value folks, this ones for you. But you may get more than you wanted..And just to make you feel worse you get a beautiful music score over it all…go figure huh?

The Conclusion
Soooo after the real killing on film of one coatimundi (referred to as a muskrat in the film), one turtle, one snake, one tarantula, two spider monkeys, and a pig later we have what I think is a film that is just soo over the top that I’ll probably have to let at least another year go by before I ever find the ability to watch it again..only then showing it off to friends for the pure shock and aw I know I’ll get from them when they see it.

And you know whats the odd thing about it all? If you can filter out all the extremes here you get a pretty clever little film. Director Sergio Leone probably put it best when according to the IMDB he sent director of Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato a letter that stated “Dear Ruggero, what a movie! The second part is a masterpiece of cinematographic realism, but everything seems so real that I think you will get in trouble with all the world.”

Indeed Mr.Leone..INDEED.

The Rating (8/10)