Here we have what many consider to be the most vile and disgusting movie ever made. In truth, it is an amazing piece of work which comments on the modern world and the violence of day to day life inherent within all cultures.
Also of note, is the fact that Cannibal Holocaust is the first ever found footage movie, influencing movies such as The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield to name but two.
Because Cannibal Holocaust contains animal cruelty, (admittedly the muskrat scene was cruel, and is the only scene still cut from the UK release, all the other animals were killed quickly and eaten off camera) it is slated by an awful lot of movie fans and even horror fans, but in this humble mans opinions, this film is one of the greatest non supernatural horror films ever made and captures the brutality of human nature perfectly. Maybe that's why some people find it so hard to watch.
First of all, I'm gonna give you a little information on what happened after the movies release.
In 1981, the french magazine PHOTO made allegations stating that Cannibal Holocaust was in fact a snuff movie (a movie which features people being murdered in real life). The film was confiscated ten days after it's premiere in Milan, and it's director Ruggero Deodato was arrested. Originally, Deodato was charged with obscenity, but later on the charges were amended to include murder as the courts not only believed that the four main actors portraying the missing film crew were murdered before the camera, but the actress in the impalement scene was actually impaled.
To make matters worse for Deodato, he had the actors sign contracts saying they would not appear in any sort of media, motion pictures or commercials for one year after the release of Cannibal Holocaust to promote the fact that the film really was found footage, thus when Deodato stated he had not killed the group, questions arose as to why they had not appeared in any other media since Cannibal Holocaust.
Eventually though, after staging an impaling in the court, and gathering the actors together for the courts to see, Deodato, the producers, screenwriter and United Artists representative each received a four month suspended sentence after they were convicted of obscenity and violence because the film contained animal cruelty and the film was duly banned.
Deodato fought for another three years to get the film unbanned, finally succeeding in 1984 where it was granted a v18 rating in Italy for a cut print. It would later be re-released uncut.
Even after knowing all of that about this film , I still had to see it. My interest piqued when I saw a video of Phil Anselmo, his wife Opal and Necrophagia vocalist Killjoy complaining about The Blair Witch Project being known as the first found footage movie , when in fact, Cannibal Holocaust was.
It took me a few years to finally get hold of the movie, but when I did, it sickened me, which admittedly , is a feat in itself as I am rarely affected in such a way by cinema.
The film does not fail to fascinate, and keeps you watching at first by making you wait for each depraved act, and it keeps you guessing as to what will happen next, with each violent scene outdoing the last.
Normally, gory scenes make you laugh or make you cheer, but in this movie they do truly disgust. In no way is that a slur on this movie, it is a testament to it's power as a great horror movie, still with the ability to shock even after all these years.
The film tells the story of a group of documentary film makers, who go to film two warring tribes, but end up exploiting them, raping them and torturing them, only to have the tables turned on them.
I really don't think I need to say anymore about the plot of the movie, as me writing about it just wouldn't do it justice. This really is a film which has to be seen to be believed.
To buy the film from Amazon without the muskrat scene click here.
To buy the uncut 2 disc special edition from Amazon click here.
Here is the original trailer for Cannibal Holocaust.
And here is the original Theatrical trailer for Cannibal Holocaust.
I know I am more than likely going to offend people for singing the praises for this movie, but what is horror if it's not to question our behaviour, if it isn't to offend our sensibilities, to question our tastes and to bludgeon us with hammer blow after hammer blow of tastelessness.