Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Directed by Ruggero Deodato
Writing credits Gianfranco Clerici
Robert Kerman.... Professor Harold Monroe
Francesca Ciardi.... Faye Daniels
Perry Pirkanen.... Jack Anders
Luca Barbareschi.... Mark Tomasso (as Luca Giorgio Barbareschi)
Salvatore Basile.... Chaco Losojos
If you're a horror/exploitation fan, you will eventually hear about "Cannibal Holocaust". All roads lead to it. You will hear that it's an intense experience, full of carnage, cruelty and unparalleled viciousness in a horror flick. Believe the hype. "Cannibal Holocaust" is an experience worth having. Anyone who claims that this movie is weak or that they've seen worse is lying. Nothing has topped it yet.
"Cannibal Holocaust" is a movie that will bring conflicting emotions out of you. It pretends to condemn the violence that it shows when it is clearly reveling in it. A professor ventures into the jungle to find some lost reporters. All he finds is the film they left behind. He takes it back to New York to screen it. We get to see the film in parts and every part is brutally violent. This is where the movie's power lies. The scenes in the reporter's film are shot very realistically. Animals are actually killed which adds to the illusion of reality. There are scenes in the film which show the reporters as being a corrupting influence on the tribe and stirring them up enough to warrant the tribe's vengeance. The last scene in the reporter's film is intense. This is what will stick with you after the movie is over.
So is "Cannibal Holocaust" an exploitation film or a brutal horror flick? The answer to both is, Yes it is. While the last scene is brutal, it also flashes back to the professor watching the tape and has him and his fellow movie watchers acting revolted at what they're seeing. Does this mean that we the viewers should also be morally disgusted or should we be thrilled to be watching such intense violence? The movie offers no answers. People who would watch a movie called "Cannibal Holocaust" want to experience some violent thrills and perhaps be disturbed as well. "Cannibal Holocaust" pulls out all the stops when it comes to jungle carnage but then proceeds to condemn it like its disgusting filth. Why the movie wants to have it both ways is unknown. It probably has something to do with the censorship at the time but it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
That said, "Cannibal Holocaust" still must be seen. It is certainly the greatest cannibal movie ever made. It is also on the top five best exploitation/horror flick list. A must see.
SCORE: 4 out of 4 for intense and brutal horror