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Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Unrated | | Adventure, Horror | 19 June 1985 (USA)
1:07 | Trailer

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During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.



(story and screenplay), (additional dialogue)
1,276 ( 269)



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Complete credited cast:
Francesca Ciardi ...
Perry Pirkanen ...
Mark Tomaso (as Luca Giorgio Barbareschi)
Salvatore Basile ...
Ricardo Fuentes ...
Lieutenant Ochoa
Carl Gabriel Yorke ...
Alan Yates (as Gabriel Yorke)
1st Executive
Lionello Pio Di Savoia ...
2nd Executive (as Pio Di Savoia)
Luigina Rocchi ...
Undetermined Role (credit only)


A New York anthropologist named Professor Harold Monroe travels to the wild, inhospitable jungles of South America to find out what happened to a documentary film crew that disappeared two months before while filming a documentary about primitive cannibal tribes deep in the rain forest. With the help of two local guides, Professor Monroe encounters two tribes, the Yacumo and the Yanomamo. While under the hospitality of the latter tribe, he finds the remains of the crew and several reels of their undeveloped film. Upon returning to New York City, Professor Monroe views the film in detail, featuring the director Alan Yates, his girlfriend Faye Daniels, and cameramen Jack Anders and Mark Tomaso. After a few days of traveling, the film details how the crew staged all the footage for their documentary by terrorizing and torturing the natives. Despite Monroe's objections, the television studio Pan American still wishes to air the footage as a legitimate documentary. In order to change their... Written by Helltopay27

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most grueling film ever made. See more »


Adventure | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

19 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) | (animal cruelty-free) | (Québec)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (2001 re-release)


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ruggero Deodato intended for the natives to eat fake brains from a fake monkey head. The natives talked him out of it because monkey brains were a delicacy to them. See more »


At the very beginning, during the television exclusive on the missing film crew, the group is near a seaplane, introducing their guide. Mark is to the far right, doing maintenance on his camera, which is shut off. When Professor Monroe views the team's film reels, one reel shows the same scene as shot by Mark on his camera. See more »


[first lines]
PABS Reporter: Man is omnipotent; nothing is impossible for him. What seemed like unthinkable undertakings yesterday are history today. The conquest of the moon for example: who talks about it anymore? Today we are already on the threshold of conquering our galaxy, and in a not too distant tomorrow, we'll be considering the conquest of the universe, and yet man seems to ignore the fact that on this very planet there are still people living in the stone age and practicing cannibalism.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end credits: "Projectionist John K. Kirov was given a two-month suspended sentence and fined $10,000 for illegal appropriation of film material. We know that he recieved $250,000 for the same footage." See more »


Featured in The Dark Side of Porn: Does Snuff Exist? (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Deodato's compelling, soul-grinding, matchless masterpiece
14 January 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Finally available in a slightly edited form in the UK, Ruggero Deodato's infamous 'video nasty' stands apart from almost every other banned title by virtue of the fact that it looks stunning, is well-directed, unflinchingly acted and stops at nothing to get its message across. Not since the notoriously disturbing documentary THE ANIMALS FILM (1981) or Mick Jackson's harrowing THREADS (1984) has a movie so comprehensively knocked the stuffing out of me with its grim-faced persistence, huge swathes of seething anger and sheer kinetic energy.

I sat down to watch Cannibal Holocaust one evening and was captivated from the outset, as Deodato's camera glides across the Amazon to Riz Ortolani's enormously haunting score. When the film ended, it seemed as if only half an hour or so had passed, because all my attention had been with the events unfolding on the screen. Deodato does not allow room for the viewer to breathe, let alone become distracted, as he pummels us with moments of shattering brutality, amazing tranquility, adrenalin-soaked fear and escalating madness. Whilst the point Deodato has to make is simple - that our 'civilized society' is every bit as rapacious and disgusting as the primitive society of the jungle tribes - the way he chooses to make it is anything but, effortlessly juggling the real and the imagined (the line between the two becomes even more blurred with the introduction of the infamous 'Last Road To Hell' sequence), turning the audience against the supposed good guys and forcing us by fair means or foul to re-evaluate where we stand in relation to the issues raised with every frame that passes. Cannibal Holocaust is NOT a film to be taken lightly, or watched with friends as a Friday night beer-and-burgers movie. It deserves your undivided attention and utmost seriousness, because only then will its raw power and unremitting intensity hit you as hard as the director intended.

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