Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)

My cannibal film festival has come to an end with Cannibal Holocaust, the holy grail of cannibal films and one of the most infamous shock films in history.

An anthropologist, in search of three filmmakers who disappeared in the South American jungle while making a documentary, sets up an expedition and finds more than he bargained for. He is trusted by the local natives and escapes with the film reels from the missing film makers, who we learn were killed. After returning from his search, the film reels are viewed and the truth about who the real savages are is revealed.

Ok, so if you haven't seen this film already, I'm sure you've heard of it. If not, then you were probably looking for "Bed Bath and Beyond blogspot" or something. Definitely the sickest cannibal film I've seen and probably one of the sickest films period. This is perhaps the most banned film of all time and one of the most notorious as well. Because many of the killings looked so real, the director (Ruggero Deodato) was even arrested on murder charges (which were eventually dropped when he had the actors appear in court). Still, above all the brutal murders (decapitation, cannibalism, castration and the famous impalement) is those fucking animal killings. I'll admit, this movie wouldn't have nearly the impact it does if it weren't for the animal torture but even Deodato regrets and is embarrassed by these scenes. The muskrat and the turtle scenes are so cruel and nauseating that it just brings the film to a whole new level, for better or worse. The one completely positive thing I can say about this film is Riz Ortolani's music score. Not only is it beautiful but it contrasts the subject matter so much that it just makes the film even more of an experience.

So if you were curious about seeing this film, hopefully this review will help you decide. I can appreciate it as a work of art, but would say it's more of a love/hate relationship.



  1. It probably couldn't hurt to mention the Animal Friendly version on the Grindhouse Releasing Deluxe releases for those squeamish about seeing cute little fuzzy animals get shredded ...

  2. To me, Cannibal Holocaust is an "all or nothing film". Either you watch the whole thing or you watch none of it. Watching the "animal friendly" version is sort of like watching the R Rated version of Caligula. What the hell's the point? A film as shocking as Cannibal Holocaust needs to be seen in it's entirety or the whole experience is lost.