Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Cannibal Holocaust
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.


8 thoughts on “Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

      • I know. Violence is still violence. Though I can’t look for any “proof” right now, I think I was also told that real animal bodies used to picture the human dead bodies? In order to make it look more real?
        However, I hated it to the guts and for me, it totaly failed the message it was supposed to deliver.

        • I’m not trying to diminish and excuse the violence against animals. it was despicable.
          However, as I said, for me the movie did exactly what it set out to do. And that’s figuratively kick me in my figurative nuts. ;) But I can understand how you hated it. While I watched it, I was unsure on which side I’d end up for quite a while.

  1. “wonderful” movie, love it. Top notch Italo-classic with an excellent soundtrack and some gloriously gruesome gore ‘n violence.

    If you “enjoyed” this, I highly recommend Ruggero Deodato’s exploitation classic “House At The Edge Of The Park”.

  2. Pingback: The Green Inferno (2013) | Stuff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s