Monday, January 23, 2012

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Director: Ruggero Deodato

Starring: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi, Salvatore Basile, Ricardo Fuentes, Carl Gabriel Yorke

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Ripout! Barbeque! Devour! How long can you take it?

Plot: A New York University professor returns from a rescue mission to the Amazon rainforest with the footage shot by a lost team of documentarians who were making a film about the area's local cannibal tribes.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

I've been meaning to watch this one for years and I've finally gotten around to it thanks to a reader's suggestion. My only other experience with anything close to this genre is CANNIBAL FEROX (1981) (a fun Umberto Lenzi cannibal flick even better than this one) and MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD (1978) (another really fun flick). I was hoping that this picture was going to live up to the hype it has received. Not bad, I suppose.

It's the very first 'found footage' film made and for that you've got to give the writer, Gianfranco Clerici, and director, Deodato, some well-deserved credit. This flick is notorious for a number of reasons but largely for how effective it was in convincing a lot of people that it was real. READ THIS for an interesting read on what went down. It's fascinating.

I can handle just about anything when it comes to movie gore but I can't stand the killing of animals like what you'll find in most of these cannibal movies. Fortunately a lot of these scenes were re-used in other films of the genre (the Italians made most of them). Nevertheless, I fast forward through them. I can stomach even the most realistic human mutilation because I know it's fake.

For me the big money shot is the most famous image of the movie that comes pretty close to the end and it's a doosey. Even knowing how they did it still has me floored at the talented folks who made it happen. Hell, all of the gore effects are top notch. I love it.

I'd give this flick a better score if the performances weren't so over the top. It could be due to the English dubbing (the original Italian track was not an option on the disc I have) but still, the actors featured on the found footage portion are overly childish and cruel that don't quite fit regardless of what language it's in. They certainly hammer home the point that we're probably more savage than those primitives we perceive as savages. It's a pretty fun flick and it's got my respect for being a first but if you get a chance to see CANNIBAL FEROX you'll probably find that one more entertaining and owing a large debt to CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.


  1. this is a great film.......only 6,5?

  2. Well, I saw CANNIBAL FEROX (1981) first a few years ago and I really enjoyed that one. This one, although the groundbreaker of the two, seemed less fun.