FD CINEMATOGRAFICA, 1980
THE CHARACTERSPROFESSOR HAROLD MONROE: ROBERT KERMAN
The music hating investigator into the disappearance of the filmmakers who wonders who the real cannibals are, all while sporting a miniscule penis, a porno seventies mustache and a corncob pipe.
JACK ANDERS: PERRY PIRKANEN
Director of photography on the project, owner of a mustache that acts better than he does. After his alleged killing, takes a job as a gravedigger in a New York cemetery and later plays host to a guy named Peter who likes to smash open coffins with a handy pick-axe to rescue the recently buried undead.ALLAN YATES: CARL GABRIEL YORKE
Alleged snuff filmmaker who creates violence for the sake of good camera shots – a second cousin to the ghastly plethora of anti-South African documentary and feature film makers who relied on mostly set up scenes to condemn South Africa's supposedly unique racial issues while conveniently ignoring all the racial crap in their own countries.MARK TOMASSO: LUCA BARBARESCHI
The expedition’s cameraman who, along with his bozo comrade Jack, incites the tribe they discover to ultra violence. Cannot operate a Bolex camera to save his life. Killed by said tribe and is killed so well that he later becomes a minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s government. FAYE DANIELS: FRANCESCA CIARDI
A.k.a Tina: Alan’s girlfriend and script supervisor: one of those ladies who should never be naked, even in a bath or shower. Raped, beheaded and generally disinfected by the cannibal tribe.
CHACO LOSOJOS: SALVATORE BASILE
Expert tracker, expert assistant director and expert dentist who leads Professor Monroe into the Amazon to find the idiot filmmakers. Laughs at what leeches do to someone else.
FELIPE OCANYA: RICARDO FUENTES
Another expert tracker, this time the one that leads the filmmakers into the jungle. Gets bitten by a trouser snake hiding in his boot and gets totally legless. Identified later by his teeth.
Sig. Deodato: Sei un vero pezzo di merda
A white man’s penis is a strange thing indeed.
Leeches are a laughing matter: to some, that is.
Cannibals can smell their own.
Snuff films have music and sound effects added, even when they’re filmed with a camera which cannot capture sound.
A rock dildo, a rape with said object, severe cranial damage and a trip in a canoe constitute date night in the Amazon.
In the heat of the jungle, a cold beer urinated in by a skunk is not welcome.
Some ladies should just not be naked at all.
Expert trackers can also be expert dentists.
Projectionists cannot be trusted at any cost: not even at a cost of $250 000.00
Cannibal tribes can be bought with tape recorders, even though they have nowhere to buy replacement batteries.
Inner jungle tribes have film transfer facilities.
A quick snake bite cure can leave you totally legless - literally.QUOTES
Professor Monroe: “I wonder who the real cannibals are.”
Alan Yates: “There’s only one thing that scares me and that’s marriage.”
Lieutenant [spitting out beer] “A skunk must have p****d in that!”
Jack: "Careful, Alan: I'm filming."
Chaco [looking down a rifle’s barrel] “It’s full of sh*t! Clean it!”
Lieutenant: “Look at this. A cannibal with a lighter!”
Chaco: “Hey Professor! I know these teeth! This is Felipe Ocanya. He knew the jungle as well as I do – I wonder what was his mistake?”
Jack: “Keep rolling! We’re gonna get an Oscar for this!”
Mr Tomasso: “My son? My son was a sonofab***h.”STUFF TO WATCH FOR AND THROW UP AT
1:00 I think someone forgot to adequately brief Riz Ortolani about the nature of this film. This is a cannibal film, not a love story!
2:15 I think J.J. Abrams would be able to do a lot with the flare off that guy’s teeth.
5:40 Urrggghhh, eating an arm......You want some fries with that?11:20 RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST GOOD BEER!
17:36: His mistake was being in this awful film.
22:00: Heyyy...... its date night in the Amazon!
24:53: If I had such a small penis, I wouldn’t be shouting about it, much less put it on show.
31:28:That’s nothing, that’s just your friendly neighborhood butcher.
31:50: Oh no: cannibal porn!
35:00: That shrine reminds me of Brother Flackbait’s garden ornament avatar.
36:00: I wonder who took the films out of the camera in the Amazon transfer facility?
40:00 Looks like a good deal but what is he going to do when the batteries run out? Is there a Radio Shack nearby?
45:32: Urghh... please put your clothes on, lady!
48:54: After hearing that creep talk, I’m glad my Dad loved me.51:54: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A TURTLE!
57:14: Someone should give that snake a medal.
1:01:22: I’m actually afraid to.
1:07:00: Oh yuck: this is probably the most disgusting sex scene ever and I’ve seen SOCIETY.
1:10:26: They probably think the four of you are a bunch of uncaring, unwashed a***oles.
1:10:27: And that idiot is peeing in what is probably their wash water: how’s that for civilized?
1:10:30: She's dying: why aren't they helping her?
1:12:00 Where did these obstetricians train? At a Nazi concentration camp or at Unit 731?
1:18:50: There is an Afrikaans joke about being “op die paal” [on the pole: pregnant] but I won’t use it here.
1:21:30: Foreskin to the fore, I see.
1:24:05: I could handle watching this entire sequence if that horrible deooo, deooo music would stop playing.
1:29:00: Yippee ~ die, you buggers, die! Truly amazing that (a) the films survived the heat, that (b) the jungle has a lab to develop and put sound and music on the film and that (c) a Bolex camera can record sound.
1:29:54: The stronzo
filmmakers who made this horrible movie, that’s who the real cannibals are.THE PLOT
A national tragedy has occurred: four well known documentarists have disappeared in the Amazon and Professor Harold Monroe, he of the corncob pipe, stylin' 'tache and small male organ, volunteers his services to go and look for these filmmakers, deep in what is known to some as the Green Inferno and to others as “Yo, sucka: you go down there, you gonna be knocking on the devil’s door and sooner or later, someone gonna answer you.”
Note the light, guarded sarcasm in the words “a national tragedy”.
We are shown
, sorry, I meant to write shots
of these four “filmmakers” preparing to leave for the Amazon and then, no word from them for months. Their families worried and their employers chafed at the bit so those who cared about them left a light on in the house's window in hope of their safe return one day.
Nothing happened, except that the house burned down.
In desperation at failing ratings, the television station dispatches Professor Monroe to the Amazon to locate the four and if not them, their footage. On arrival in the Amazon, Monroe joins up with a bunch of trigger-happy soldiers whose daily jollies include using Uzis in shooting down cannibals who have just had a few friends for dinner – literally – and have also lost just one of their number to a poison dart. The guy in charge cannot stand the heat, the flies and the beer that comes with a chaser of skunk urine.
Monroe and his friends Chaco and Miguel take the trail in search of the four journalists and after witnessing the rites of date night in the Amazon ~ a tribesman raping his wife with a dildo shaped rock and then beating her to death with the same rock ~ make contact with the tribe and find out to their horror that not only have the tribe been heavily influenced and “civilized” by the filmmakers, said filmmakers have been eaten alive by the tribe: a shrine containing what is left of them is hidden from public view including what looks suspiciously like Flackbait’s garden ornament avatar, just with bugs and spider webs all over it.
Worse still: there is a laboratory in the Amazon which has removed the films from the camera and the footage may already have been seen. Professor Monroe manages to trick the tribe into handing over the cans of exposed film in exchange for his tape recorder and after a lovely lunch of *puke* human entrails, the three intrepid adventurers manage to flee the jungle. Back in New York, Professor Monroe asks to see the developed footage and while this is being set up, interviews family members and friends of the four, some of which give the impression that their offspring’s and friends’ demises were welcomed.
The media organization also shows Monroe footage of executions in Africa in a documentary tenderly entitled THE LAST ROAD TO HELL after the viewing of which we are informed that Allan Yates, the director [of traffic, as he has no other apparent talents] relied on the tactics used by CBS, the BBC and Granada TV in South Africa during the apartheid era – i.e. phony, set up scenes to promote a reaction in the viewer – and this gives us further insights into the douche bag nature of the filmmakers.
[Sorry, Andrew: the use of the term 'douche bag' is not politically correct: the PC term for these people and what they do can best be typified by the use of several four letter words and the four letter word G O O D is not one of those descriptive terms.]
The found footage finds the filmmakers getting down and dirty in the jungle where they find lots of trouble and also find out that their surgical skills both at rescuing a colleague and eating out are sadly lacking as their guide gets literally legless due to a snake bite and a poor old turtle gets ninja’d when it is shelled and eaten.
After various encounters with the jungle wildlife, the filmmakers find the Yacumo tribe and almost immediately start trouble by creating footage for their cameras by herding some of the tribe into a hut and burning it down, killing them, all for the sake of footage.
Remember: the Yacumo were an outwardly peaceful tribe
before these dumb-asses arrived.
They also infiltrate the so-called Tree People and cause even more havoc there, leading to the people rising up against each other and the infiltrators, again, all for the sake of footage. Among other wonderful things captured by the cameras are the rape of a tribeswoman by the camera crew each taking a turn, Alan and Faye having awful sweaty, filthy sex – the act is not filthy, they just haven’t bathed in a long time – and that same woman that the crew raped is later found impaled through the mouth and certain southern areas, leading Alan to grin broadly at this horrific sight until one of his bozo cameramen reminds him that he is filming.
After instigating such violence, it isn’t long before Mark, Jack, Faye and Alan get their welcome comeuppance – the first three’s demises are captured by Alan, encouraged by Jack to “keep rolling – we’re going to get an Oscar for this!” What they get is death, one by one and worse, rape, severing of penises, dismemberment, and decapitation without anyone calling cut and print.
As the director falls to the ground – his camera still recording the horrific violence – I had one phrase of praise for the director: Ruggero Deodato: sei un vero pezzo de merda
. (You are a real piece of sh*t)
“It’s full of s**t! Clean it!”
Wise words from the tracker Chaco, all the while gazing down the barrel of a rifle and one would have sincerely wished that he’d pulled the trigger while doing so. Those words could also refer to this entertainingly squalid piece of Italian mondo cinema, banned in over thirty countries and also a distant relative of the controversial "mondo" films Africa Addio, Mondo Cane, Addio Zio Tom, Faces of Death
and the stomach churning La Ultime Grida Savanna,
aka Savage Man, Savage Beast
, the latter film containing tender, loving footage of an unfortunate German tourist being mauled to death by a lion after the aforementioned bozo leaves his car to say wazzup to a pride of lions.
South Africa was one of the thirty countries that this film was banned in and it was only unbanned here in 2005. Ruggero Deodato’s film occupies the first place on my DVD shelf but only because I am very anal about my collections and they must be in alphabetical order. The first I viewed this, I was aware of the film’s controversial nature and I was also aware of the fact that director Deodato was charged with murder because of the alleged deaths of the actors in it, including Luca Barbareschi, who was killed so well that he later became a minister in Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government.
The film pushes the envelope and the unwary viewer’s gag reflex to the brink and it is difficult to sit through a second or even a third time, even when you know for sure that the only real violence was the animal violence and that no one was actually killed on camera. Although the actors’ respective careers were almost killed by being in this movie.
The actions of the crew anger me greatly as the setting up of scenes in order to get a reaction and obtain great shots by hook or by crook (crook mostly) reminds me way too much of the film crews who came to this country under false pretenses in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s to film what was going on in South Africa to swing world opinion against us.
Before someone chucks shoes at me for allegedly supporting apartheid, I should just add here that the anti-apartheid/anti-South African filmmakers deserve applause
for highlighting the horrors of apartheid in films such as The Colour War, The Colour Line, 25 Years of Apartheid, White Africa, The Dumping Grounds, Discarded People
, while not forgetting the charmingly titled South Africa Loves Jesus
and the immortal CBS Reports: Sabotage in South Africa
, hosted by Walter Cronkite and sponsored by Bristol-Meyers, the makers of Bufferin headache tablets.
However, those same filmmakers also deserve a kick up the proverbial backside for conveniently forgetting the troubles in their OWN countries (and focusing on South Africa instead) and their manner of filming here, i.e. entering the country under false pretenses and making so-called ‘travelogues’. I wonder how those same filmmakers would feel if I went to their countries to film deceptively there? Most definitely a little PO'd, I would reckon.
Filmmakers such as Richard Donner, Chris Menges, John G Avildsen, Euzhan Palcy and Richard Attenborough also deserve a kick up the rear end for making anti-South African films while their own country's racial issues remained largely unaddressed: foreign filmmakers should all follow the example of French filmmaker Matthieu Kassovitz who made La Haine
: a searing indictment of his own country's harassment and persecution of minorities instead of focusing on another country.
Rant over: sorry.
Alan, Jack, Mark and Faye go about their business of creating havoc, dissent and killing innocent people and animals, all for the sake of FOOTAGE, much in the same vein as the anti-South African filmmakers did way back when (except for the killing, that is) and their ultimate comeuppance is richly deserved – the final shot of the bloodied face of Alan reminds me eerily of the final shots in The Blair Witch Project.
Those that thought (and some continue to think) that this film was in fact a snuff movie should take note of the fact that the Bolex cameras used by the crew cannot record sound for a start. That apart, a camera like this cannot be loaded in bright sunlight – although Jack is seen loading the camera at one point – and the final nail in the “snuff” accusation is that music and sound effects have been miraculously added to the film. Nuff said, I think.
Taken as a whole, Cannibal Holocaust
can be seen as a gruesome travel film, not for the weak of stomach or for the faint of heart and I fall into both categories, unfortunately. Aside from the wonderful theme tune – which is oddly used when Faye is beaten to death and decapitated – and the cinematography, this is a horrible little film, which, while it has its’ defenders, should have been burned by the projectionist instead of him selling it for $250K.
My final thoughts? Simple. This DVD he go, man he go, frisbee'd through my window to the street below. So.