BANNED ! CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1979) REVIEW 1 PART 2
I am not going to write a whole essay on whether I give a fuck about the tortoise, the muskrat, the pig and the monkey. They did make me queasy and I felt uncomfortable admittedly but no different to the same I feel at ‘spliced in’ animal slaughterhouse footage. Due also to the carefully unfolded atrocities witnessed previously it came as no ‘bolt out of the blue’ surprise either.
These squalid little pieces of animal ‘snuff’ are, I feel, important to demonstrate what was considered irresponsibly acceptable then is a definite no-no in these times. The animals did appear to die quickly through peek-finger observation and the hard to watch sequences are definitely all the more bullock crushing because of the animals twitching and spasming of death nerves. We are also at a time that CGI could not be used – fortunately, and the spring, rubber and offal way of gore delivery was not satisfying enough so confronted with representing the nadir of realism real beasties were used.
Totally irresponsible, I grant you; though without it the movie is still excellent but doesn’t seem to reach the goal that it sets out to reach in the fully uncut version.
Another wonderful addition to the jaw dropping visuals is Riz Ortolanis unique, beautifully haunting score. This is another important ingredient to the whole filmatic experience; his score is melancholy and penetrating. It subtlety jars and gently jingles the emotions as what you see is the clash of the exotic lush scenery with the extreme barbarity of the graphics. A perfect marriage that wraps up the whole powerful package.
One of the fundamental must have nasties, its reputation carried on across the seas to our oppressed shores and after a limited period of free and liberal access to the unsuspecting public it was persecuted in the witch-hunt of the 80’s Tory government.
The GO Video version available in the early VCR 80’s hey day that graciously dominated the horror section in our plastic fumed rental shops was shorn rather heavily of a few sequences. The version now available in our allegedly more open ‘socialist’ times
Is also hacked to buggery by the BBFC, acting in what they seem to find unacceptable that the public wouldn’t really give too much a shit about.
Do not waste any money on this version, either go Dutch for the beautiful region 2 EC entertainment disc or go stateside for grind house releases Region 1 disc which is an absolutely exquisite transfer order from DVD-pacific.com, very reliable, friendly service.
If you sincerely have the guts to see others spill theirs, an interest in the macabre and the extreme ensure this is on your next purchase list. Make sure it’s the uncut version otherwise you’ll have to settle for grape juice than a vintage bottle of red,
MOST OUTSTANDING SCENE;
As the filmmakers carry on through the green inferno terrain, cracks beginning to show in their sanity they stumble across a forest clearing.
Impaled on a pole is a young tribal female, the pole has penetrated the anus/vagina and has travelled internally to exit the mouth. The image stays with you as it is morbidly beautiful at the same time as being utterly repellent.
Alan’s’ reaction from genuine sadistic turned – on expression to appalled ‘western’ concern when he is told he is being filmed is wonderfully executed. It is then we know what sort of cretin we are dealing with.
The Director; Ruggero Deodato
The Year; 1979
The Music; Riz Ortolani
Follow Up ; Cannibal Holocaust 2 (a.k.a The Green inferno) directed by Antonio Climati (sans the animal cruelty)