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Movie Reviews

Cannibal Holocaust  

Italy 1979 Directed by Ruggero Deodato. Starring: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi, Salvatore Basile.

"THE MOST GRUELLING MOVIE EVER MADE!!" is it written on the video-cover to "Cannibal Holocaust". And a more unpleasant film is not really easy to find. I havenīt seen anyone yet. There were wild rumours that "Cannibal Holocaust" was a snuff-movie. Things even came to such a pass that the director, Ruggero Deodato, was put on trial. There he had to explain to the court that it only was realistic special effects and fake blood. But the many scenes with animals which were killed in an unnecessarily awful way were authentic, and heīll had that back later. Ruggero Deodato wonīt go through all that again, and will therefore never make any "Cannibal Holocaust 2". But he received publicity, and in the year 1979 was he the most famous director in the world. "Cannibal Holocaust" was a box-office success in the countries where it had an opportunity to be shown, and itīs still today one of the five most popular movies in Japan off all time.

A young film-team consisting of three guys and a girl, are going to make a documentary film about cannibals in the Amazon jungle. They never come back again. Professor Monroe (Robert Kerman) will together with some guides try to find them. During the adventurous journey are they running into many cannibals, and professor Monroe has to witness the cruelty that prevails in the jungle. Finally comes the journey to its ending, but unfortunately are they coming too late. They find the remains of the film-team raised up in a neat stack, with the camera attached to them. Monroe canīt understand why the cannibals did what they did. He bring along the reel of films that the film-team were made, and returns to New York. The documentary film is planned to be shown on TV in a few days. Professor Monroe thinks however that they should look at the film before it will be broadcast throughout the whole USA.They see it and are shocked at the contents, and realize now why it all ended in that way. The young film-team are by no means friendly to the cannibals and treats them worse than animals. Itīs actually only the girl who is fairly civilized. The cannibals are finally become tired and gives back on their own way. When they have seen the film are they deciding to burn it up.

I couldnīt sleep very well at night after Iīve seen "Cannibal Holocaust" for the first time. It is made like a documentary film, and you have a feeling of that this could have happened in real life. A very unpleasant feeling. I was considerably affected afterwards, and I didnīt knew if I liked it or not. But after that Iīve seen it again, fell all the pieces on place. As soon as the chock passed of, could I take in details that Iīve missed earlier. I first of all think of the absolutely superb music, which is both beautiful and terrifying. Perfect cannibal music and one of the best sound-track Iīve heard. And Ruggero succeed to 100 percent in his efforts to revolt, because thatīs what heīs out for. Then one can wonder what man he is, when he sacrifices innocent animals on top of it. Them would he left alone. The special effects must get the highest rating as well. Ruggero Deodato is sensible enough to show as little as possible in some situations, and therefore is it very hard to decide if itīs an effect or not. I thought at the beginning that I would describe some of the horrible things that occurs in "Cannibal Holocaust", but I choose to refrain instead. Itīs not exactly any pleasant things to write about. If you are the least doubtful of if you want to see "Cannibal Holocaust", or have weak nerves, should you stay away from this film. Itīs definitely not for all. You have been warned.

Kent Palmgren

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