Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)

Do not, I repeat, do not watch this movie while eating if you cannot handle disturbing gore and really messed up images. Even though Cannibal Holocaust is slow at times those casual moments help build up tension, leading up to sickening moments. Also the group that a small team consisting of a select few goes looking for do everything possible to bring about their fate. The two groups stand in vivid contrast to one another. Its almost as if ignoring the rules of the jungle and behaving in an imperialistic, savage manner can result in horrible things happening to you. That seems obvious to everyone but the film makers who decided to make a documentary and in the process inserted themselves into their own film.

Ruggero Deodato’s film may be sketchy on character development, and the fact that the movie features actual animals being killed is rather unnecessary and brutal. At the same time, the film is so incredibly real looking that even by today’s standards it remains horrifying and shocking. It is not surprising that the film was banned, not to mention the director himself was accused of showing actual death scenes. The part where the professor and his two guides encounter and deal with the natives are both suspenseful and later very dramatic.

Oh and Riz Ortolani’s score is exceptional, adding more to the film and giving it an added boost. Cannibal Holocaust proved to be controversial, gory, and inspired multiple later horror films. If one is able to hande Deodato’s classic tale of savagery and man’s indifference to their fellow man, then this is right up your alley. Whenever upon hearing that a film was banned in countries and is controversial, I for one desire to seek it out. For better, or for worse.

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