Director: Ruggero Deodato
Writer: Gianfranco Clerici
Cast: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi, Carl Gabriel Yorke, Salvatore Basile, Ricardo Fuentes
Part of: Viennale
After a young film crew goes missing in the Amazon where they wanted to do a documentary about the native tribes, anthropologist Harold Monroe (Robert Kerman) goes after them to find out what happened to them – and whether the rumors about the natives being bloodthirsty cannibals are actually true. But when he finds the film material they shot, it defies all expectations.
Cannibal Holocaust is a movie like a punch to the guts. I had difficulties sitting through it because its violence is just so realistic. Which is exactly what makes it so damn good.
Usually horror movies and their gore are so overblown that you don’t have any problems with having fun with it. It just isn’t realistic enough to really have an impact. Cannibal Holocaust goes in exactly the other direction: they make it feel entirely real, leaving you no way to flee to the safety of abstraction. In that sense, it is much like Funny Games from the feeling you get from it.
This is heavy stuff since they do handle their story well and it is nicely structured, but also because they have it in for the women especially – the only thing that I thought the movie didn’t handle too well was the over-emphasis on rape and violence against women.
But other than that the movie was just excellent. They handled the found footage format pretty well, though sacrificing format accuracy for watchabality, which I personally appreciated.
The soundtrack in all its cheesy 70s porn glory was a weird fit to all of that. But somehow even that worked. Or at least it didn’t detract from the gut-punching.
Summarising: If you not only want physical gore but emotional gore as well, this is your film.