Call me crazy if you must but I love the mondo-canibale genre & will buy any film made by Lenzi or Deodato which exploits cannibalism. This, by far, may be one of the most difficult ones for me to stomach however as it's very disturbing. Needless to say, it rocks!
Unlike other cannibal films in this genre, this one actually forces us to question who the real cannibals are. After we're finished watching the film, we are left with too many questions to ask ourselves & others.
In the beginning, Professor Monroe sets out on an expedition to find out what happened to four film-makers who had initially stepped into the green inferno to make a documentary on the natives themselves. Having successfully made friends with the natives, Dr. Monroe is able to bargain with them & they actually let him have the footage which is well kept inside the film canisters used by the four film-makers. Ofcourse, not before we are able to see their skeletal remains in a grisly monument of some sort which contains all the canisters of film.
When Dr. Monroe returns to the states, he in turn interviews all of the immediates of the documentary kids themselves & one could say they weren't anymore popular over here than they would've been in the green inferno itself. Ugly Americans? But wait, we're getting to the good stuff. The footage is developed & viewers are able to witness what the film-makers were truly like. They flayed a gigantic turtle. They burned the villagers homes. They raped a young girl repeatedly. After having seen what savages these kids really were, we no longer think about the natives of the green inferno as cannibals. Most of us are already sick of watching these disgusting Americans wreak havoc on someone else's land & are ready for them to die.
Needless to say, the viewer is now subjected to watching their excruciatingly painful deaths in loving detail. That's Deodato detail. Yes, nothing here looks fake. Rumour has it that real animals were slaughtered during the making of this film for purposes of authenticity. While I do not condone the killings of animals to make this film, one can't deny the power of the film overall. Cannibal Holocaust is Grindhouse fare indeed although the quality of the craftmanship here is on par with anything Hollywood could've made.
I can see now why this film would've been banned although I think Cannibal Holocaust teaches a valuable lesson in humanity (or lack thereof) if you think you can stomach the montages. I definately give it my highest rating for a film in this genre. The only other film I found as gory or repulsive was Emanuelle & The Last Cannibals. While the latter is less disturbing than the former, I think the gore would satisfy most gorehounds.
**** out of **** "The one that goes all the way!" "The Most Controversial Film of All-Time!" "Ripout! Barbeque! Devour! How long can you take it?" So goes just three of the many taglines for Ruggero Deodato's infamous "Cannibal Holocaust"; a film that once tested the limits and tolerance of exploitation, and still does to this day. I don't have a very hard time imagining that even some of the most faithful horror/exploitation film-goers will find it difficult to watch; even … more
Ten days after the film was released, Ruggero Deodato was arrested for "obscenity" and was later charged with murder and faced life in prison because the authorities belived that the actors were really murdered on camera. The charges were dropped when the actors appeared in front of court. Deodato's charges were dismissed but the film was banned in Italy for 3 years.