Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)
I wonder who the real cannibals are?
Are you ready to leave the 21st century for 90 minutes and experience something completely mind-blowing? Cannibal Holocaust, a movie filmed in 1980, surely offers an unusual adventure and, though it isn’t really high rated, it deserves certain attention.
We are moving to the jungle of Amazon, to a place called Green Inferno, where time stopped three or four thousand years ago. A group of filmmakers went there to make a documentary about savages and cannibal tribes. Of course, they never came back. An anthropologist called Harold Monroe goes there with a rescuing team to explore what happened. At the beginning, a viewer could ask – why Monroe? It would probably be more exciting if someone closer to the filmmakers went there with a rescue team. The proffesor’s antropology orientation isn’t really crucial for the plot.
Fun Fact#1: Due to a scene where a cannibal woman is impaled on a pole, the film maker had to appear in court to prove that no actors were harmed in the making of the film.(src)
Never mind all the things that could be done different, it is as it is. And for the first half an hour, it is a bit borring. Though, we do get slightly introduced in the nature marvels, meeting different beasts and in the end the biggest beast of them all – the humans. What is great about this movie is using the footage of real native tribes and mixing them with the directed content. That’s what makes this movie so rough. And not just that. There are several striking scenes full of blood, sex and violence. Some of them will probably make you cover your eyes to avoid the visual horror. Raping a woman and killing her after, cutting a turtle and ripping its guts, pulling out a baby from mother’s womb and burying it in mud are just some of them.
Fun Fact #2: The film was confiscated ten days after its premiere in Milan, and Deodato was arrested. The courts believed not only that the four actors portraying the missing film crew were killed for the camera.
After the proffesor and the rescuing team go trough the jungle and meet the first two tribes, they face with the cannibal tribe Yanomamas. They get the tapes which were made by the filmmakers before their death. The rest of the movie is based on those tapes and we follow what the filmmakers do. Are we close to the truth? Yes, but it’s the different kind of truth abouth their death. While we watch their jungle footage, we are getting disgusted by their prepotent and arrogant attitude. They are acting like their modern toys such as cameras are a great weapon against those savages. Simoultaneously, they are maybe even bigger savages. They are the ones who usurped someone else’s territory. Beside the bestalities that are the integral parts of the tribe’s tradition, those brash and rude fame hunters provoked them for more brutality. Their documentary is mostly a setup. It is a big question – how the tribe sees them? This time they probably looked like cannibals, which they actually were and, in a way, even autocannibals – they ate themselves and they are responsible for own end.
Fun Fact #3: The actors had signed contracts with the producers ensuring that they would not appear in any type of media, motion pictures, or commercials for one year after the film’s release in order to promote the idea that the film was truly the recovered footage of missing documentarians.
The movie is not really masterpiece. There are some really big mishits. For example, the music in some parts is more appropriate for spring time romance than for an adventure/horror. Also, the actors (especially those in supporting roles) sometimes really aren’t convincing at all. Beside all that, the movie is worth of watching, since it makes you think about important questions. The most important: “Who the real cannibals are?“. You can watch this found-footage-pioneering Gore flick online for free on alluc.to: http://www.alluc.to/movies/watch-cannibal-holocaust-1980-online/106763.html