Cannibal Apocalypse title

AKA: The Cannibals are in the Streets, Cannibals in the Street, Cannibals in the City, Cannibal Apocalipsis, Apocalypse Domani, Apocalipse Cannibal, Apocalipsis CanÝbal, Cannibal Massacre, Hunter of the Apocalypse, Savage Apocalypse, The Slaughterers, Savage Slaughterers, Invasion of the Flesh Hunters, Virus.

Tag Line : POW's in Vietnam, Starved in captivity, Released with a taste for human flesh.

Cannibal Apocalypse Somewhat different to the other cannibal movies produced by Italian film makers during the early 80's, this film was actually shot in the US city of Atlanta and concerns the antics of a few ex-army Vietnam veterans who've developed a taste for human flesh.

Horror veteran John Saxon stars as ex-US army officer Norman Hopper, who's been having a bit of trouble adjusting back to normal life after serving in the Vietnam war. Plagued with nightmares about a rescue mission where some POW's, caged in a bamboo trap, bit him on the arm after he found them eating a dead native. He suddenly finds himself developing a taste for raw meat himself, and keeps getting overwhelming urges to bite people. As he does when the neighbours 16 year old daughter pops round to borrow the hairdryer (oooo-eeeerrrr missus).

The real fun begins when his old ex-army friend Charlie Bukowski (played by video nasty regular John Morghen) is released from psychiatric care, only to go out and bite a great chunk out of some girls neck in a cinema. He subsequently gets chased into a nearby shopping complex by an angry mob, where he grabs a shotgun and then goes on the rampage against them.

Norman's doctor starts to run some tests on him and Charlie, and discovers that the cannibalistic urges they've been getting are the result of a rabies-like virus they contracted in Nam, and is spread by biting. But this discovery comes too late to prevent Norman from busting Charlie back out of the hospital, along with some of their other ex-combat partners, and heading off into the city on a flesh hunt!

A few hospital workers and a bike gang are amongst the first victims, along with some garage mechanics. One of which getting his arm cut up with a circular saw for them to munch on (lovely!). But by now the cops have found out what's happening and are quick to respond, chasing the cannibalistic clan into the sewers where a final shootout takes place with shotguns and flamethrowers (talk about being heavy handed). But in the end, we are left with the knowledge that this isn't the end of the contagion as we see Norman's young neighbour (who he bit earlier) now exerting signs of the cannibalistic disease.

Directed by Antonio Margheriti, this is actually quite a good action movie and is definitely not your standard Italian exploitation pic. The special effects by Gainetto Di Rossi are very good, especially the scene where John Morghen gets a football sized shotgun blast hole through his chest. Great stuff indeed!!!

Overall Marks : 6/10

Other Information.

  • Director Antonio Margheriti is probably better known for his Italian action films, most notably "The Last Hunter" and "Tiger Joe" starring the late David Warbeck, he also did uncredited work on the Andy Warhol films "Blood for Dracula" and "Flesh for Frankenstein".

  • Special effects man Gianetto Di Rossi had also worked on the Lucio Fulci zombie pics "House by the Cemetery", "City of the Living Dead", "The Beyond" and the infamous "Zombie Flesh-Eaters".

  • When horror veteran John Saxon first agreed to appear in the movie he apparently didn't realise the film was meant to be an exploitive cannibal pic until after he had already committed himself to appearing, and subsequently lost all further interest in the film (you'll notice he isn't present when the others are snacking on a dead garage mechanic). Even to this day he has never bothered to see the movie, and says the fact that it was banned in the UK is fine with him.

  • John Morghen (or Giovanni Lombardo Radice as he is also known) was a regular star in Italian exploitation films during the late 70's/early 80's and has probably starred in more "Video Nasties" than any other actor. He also featured in Lucio Fulci's "City of the Living Dead" and sicko Umberto Lenzi's infamous pic "Cannibal Ferox". He has also worked with Dario Argento in "The Church" and "The Sect", although nowadays he has a more distinguished career acting in Italian theatre..

  • The film was available uncut on UK video back in the early 80, but unfortunately found it's way onto the government's "Video Nasties" list, and the distributors were successfully prosecuted for obscenity. The film was finally re-released in the UK in 2005, but cut out a brief 1-2 second shot during the 'sewer shootout' in which some rats getting splattered with burning napalm, as the BBFC felt this was in breach of the "Cruelty to Animals" act.

  • The film also holds the record for being the video nasty with the most alternate titles, 14 in total.

  • The old Australian video release by "Palace Pictures" omitted the scene in the garage where John Morghen carves up a dead mechanic with a circular saw.

  • The film has been released uncut on Greek video and on Japanese laserdisc. More recently, an uncut US R1 DVD has been released, but beware of a heavily edited "R"-rated video entitled "Invasion of the Flesh Hunters".

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cannibal Apocalypse, pre-VRA video cover Pictured left is the original UK pre-VRA release from "Replay" video
Video Clips.
Requires RealPlayer.

Theatrical trailer (879KB)

John Morghen's shotgun wound. (365KB)

Cannibal Apocalypse, US video poster re-title Pictured left, poster artwork for the US video release.
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