Cannibal Holocaust title

AKA: Cannibal Massaker, Holocausto Cannibal, Nackt und Zerfeischt.

Tag Line : The mother of all cannibal films.

Cannibal HolocaustHaving given Cannibal Ferox such a hearty slagging off in my earlier review, I decided it only appropriate to do the same with this equally bad stomach churner. However, after I finally settled down to watch this I actually found myself enjoying it to a large extent.

The film starts off with a report that a documentary film team has disappeared in the Columbian jungle whilst filming a feature entitled "The Green Inferno" about the last surviving tribes that still practice cannibalism, so the TV studios hire Professor Monroe, a respected anthropologist from New York university (played by former porn actor Robert Kerman), to go and find them.

Having put together a search and rescue team with the help of the local army guys, they venture deep into the jungle where they witness first hand the brutal savagery these natives are capable of. Eventually they do find the film crew, or rather what's left of them, having been brutally slaughtered by one of the tribes. They do however, manage to recover their film cans and camera from a nearby tribal village, which Monroe delivers back to the TV station in New York.

The studio decides to screen the documentary and asks Monroe to present it and conduct interviews as a tribute to the film makers, to which he initially agrees. But after viewing the filmed footage, he refuses and demands that the TV chiefs see for themselves what the crew had filmed and how they died. We then get to see how they brought about their own demise by pissing off the natives, as we are treated to pictures of them shooting, harassing and raping the otherwise peaceful tribal people, before burning down their village which they would say was done during an attack by a rival tribe.

However, the really shocking part comes when the tribesmen eventually get the upper hand, but rather than try to escape, the film makers decide instead to film the captured members of their crew getting beaten, hacked up and eaten, which proves to be their eventual undoing....

Played as a pseudo documentary, complete with captions at the start and end of the film, as well as in the promotional trailers, touting the found documentary footage as being supposedly real (which it isn't) Cannibal Holocaust has been hailed as the greatest of all cannibal films. Whilst I did find it rather enjoyable, there is far to much GENUINE animal killing for my liking. This includes a live muskrat being split open, a monkey having its head whacked off, and a turtle being beheaded and butchered in close up to name just a few scene's.

Overall Marks: 2/10. (I would give this film a much higher mark, but the animal killing is just not on).

Other information.

  • Alternate tag lines, "Eaten alive, the ultimate terror movie", "The most gruelling film ever made", "The Mother of all cannibal films", "In 1979, four documentary film makers disappeared in the jungles of South America whilst shooting a film about cannibalism. Months later, their footage was found".

  • The film is actually in the top 10 of highest grossing films of all time in Japan.

  • The convincing scene that shows a native woman impaled on a long pole was achieved by fixing a bicycle saddle to a short pole which the actress sat on, whist holding a separate short balsa wood pole in her mouth. Thereby giving the effect that the pole was running completely through her.

  • The film has suffered repeated outrageous claims of being a snuff movie (which it isn't, unless you count the animal killings) even as recently as a 1993 when a copy was seized from a stand at a Birmingham comic fair. The authorities believed that the scene where the blond haired guy gets hacked up was genuine, and that he had been drugged and the natives paid to do the business on him. However, if they had bothered to check, they would have found the actor was actually very much alive and well and had even gone onto star in Cannibal Ferox.

  • The "Last Road to Hell" segment showing documentary footage about a coup in one of the African states, complete with public executions, military firing squads and dead bodies lying in the roads, was in fact genuine news footage. For some strange reason, some releases of the film contain shorter snippets of the footage, and/or alternate captions during this segment.

  • Film Maker Ruggero Deodato apparently had to appear in court over the films content to prove that certain scenes were just special effects and not genuine. He was acquitted, but due to the scene's showing the animal killings, the film was banned in its native Italy for several years, although it was eventually re-released.

  • Deodato's first cannibal movie was entitled "Ultimo Mondo Cannibal" (AKA "Cannibal", "Last Cannibal World", Jungle Holocaust") and used the same cast of Umberto Lenzi's earlier picture Deep River Savages.

  • There has been much speculation over the years about the existence of a supposedly filmed missing sequence known as the "piranha bait scene", showing a native being strapped to a log then lowered into a piranha invested river. Pictures of this did appear on some early publicity stills and theatre lobby cards. However, the director has said during numerous interviews that attempts to film the sequence were apparently abandoned owing to the underwater camera not working and not being able to get the effects to work properly. Inspite of this, the debate STILL rages over the scene's existence even to this day, with fans continually hearing rumours about the scene turning up in obscure foreign copies, even though in actuality the scene was NEVER completed. Lets face it, it it did exist wouldn't someone have found a copy with it in by now?

  • Cannibal Holocaust was released on video in the UK prior to the Video Recordings Act on the "Go Video" label, although this version had been cut by about 7mins so the distributors could fit it on a 90min tape. This version was withdrawn in the mid 80's after it listed on the Department of Public Prosecutions "Video Nasties List" and the distributors successfully prosecuted for obscenity. The uncut version was submitted to the BBFC for a UK release in 2001 and was passed with over 5 minutes of cuts, which removed all the animal violence, as well as heavily toning down the ritualistic sacrifice of the girl on the mud bank, the rape of the native girl by the film crew and the gang rape of the female cameraman by the natives.

  • The Japanese laserdisc and DVD releases were uncut in terms of gore but the nude scenes were optically censored. Dutch firm "Cult Epics" released an uncut laserdisc and video in Holland, Vipco released an uncut video in Denmark and Irish company Cosa Nostra released an uncut video in mainland Europe. The first DVD release by Dutch firm EC Entertainment, in the green case, was fully uncut although the re-release in the black case with the skull logo had the shorter version of the "Road to Hell" sequence on it. This was corrected on the 2-disc "ultrabit" edition, which also had an additional scene of dialogue between Monroe and his guide (he replies "What?" after being informed they'd been invited to dinner), although this was taken from the Italian print which has the intro and end titles in Italian and omits the English subtitles between the soldiers as they're speaking Venezuelan.

  • I couldn't help but notice certain similarities in plot points between this movie and the surprise horror hit of 1999 "Blair Witch Project", in that a small crew of film makers go missing in the wilderness and subsequent search parties find no survivors, but recover their film footage which tells the tale of how they disappeared. Coincidence do you think?

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.

A sticky end A sticky end (so to speak).
Video Clips.
Requires RealPlayer.

Theatrical trailer. Uncut version. (1.7MB)

German theatrical trailer. Uncut version. (1.27MB)

A"hearty" meal. The Cannibals enoy a "hearty" meal.
Buy Online.

Buy DVD's and Videos from Sendit.Com

Buy the UK DVD (cut).

Buy the UK DVD (cut).

Buy the "making-of..." book.

Buy it at Amazon.Com.

Buy the US DVD (uncut Spec-Ed)

Notes on affiliate sites.


Other Cannibal films.


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This Cannibal Holocaust midi was created by Mark Zinn.