An aging porn star agrees to participate in an "art film" in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
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
When Carl Gabriel Yorke arrived in the Amazon for shooting, he wasn't given a script or any idea of what the movie was about. As soon as he arrived, director Ruggero Deodato shouted, "That's my star! Get him into makeup!" His first scene, shot almost immediately, was the amputation of a character's leg. In a later interview, Yorke said that in the jungle, he didn't know whether the film was a Hollywood production or a snuff film. See more »
When the cannibals disembowel Jack, the skin-colored plastic trash bags holding in his fake torso and organs are visible. See more »
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.
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In the opening credits: "For the sake of authenticity, some of the sequences have been retained in their entirety" See more »
A brutal cinematic masterpiece that you will not want to watch again, but will still feel that urge to watch it again
Cannibal Holocaust is very deserving of it's controversy, but it is definitely not tacky and for pure shock value, something I half expected (I discovered this movie while reading about the August Underground movies and was way more intrigued by a controversial movie with meaning and plot). It's in your face, it at least seems real (and is real in some parts). Never have I ever seen such convincing special effects in a movie and this was a low-budget 70s movie, CGI will never recreate it. But beyond the special effects there is a message and meaning and very engaging story.
I'll break down the review into sections.
Plot/story (9/10): Think of The Blair Witch Project, except not trying to put itself off as real. A group of 4 documenters go into the amazon jungle to film the "savages" and cannibals that live there. They do not return and it is up to an anthropologist to find them or at least what was left of them. Throughout the movie we learn of the documentary crew's tendency to push and bribe people into committing extreme acts of violence through actual footage from people being killed by soldiers in Nigeria. The movie portrays it as if it was a documentary shot by the crew in which they payed the soldiers off to kill innocent people execution style. As the story progresses the viewer is forced to try and comprehend who exactly are the real savages. Not to mention the social overtones of how modern society ties into all of this. It loses a point, though, because the dialog sometimes is very iffy, even though you can tell they were trying to be realistic, but this hinders the actors, especially with their lack of experience.
Acting (7/10): This is where the movie suffers. It gets better as the movie progresses and things get more intense (this may be do to the actual moralities of the actors and how they felt about the movie showing through in their characters). But when it starts out, I'm almost reminded of campy b-movies. The cinematic presentation and pure intrigue is what kept me going. Again, though, the script writing obviously provided some challenges for the actors.
Cinematography (10/10): Speaking of cinematic presentation, this movie does it beautifully, even from the opening shot from a helicopter flying over the rain-forest. The studio and movie-style aspects of the film are very convincing and very well-done. Hollywood couldn't do better with a 10 million dollar budget. The creativity and use of close-ups really pulls you in, and you begin to question the reality of even the part of the movie that is presented as fictional. And that doesn't even cover the great mockumentary work. The director's understanding of how documentaries are made and how they work is extremely convincing. the use of normal scenes of the crew kind of doddling around really help to present a feeling of reality. And the aspects of limited film and the amateurish/spontaneous filming style are almost convincing enough to make the viewer think they used real footage to build a fictional movie around.
Audio (10/10) Again, I'm reminded of Apocalypse Now. The music is melodic and somewhat peaceful, adding a real eerie tone to the serious and macabre theme of the movie. It is very 70s though, and I would not expect to here the same soundtrack in a new movie, although some of the musical flavors are indeed timeless. And there are some more intense scores in the film, but they are not over-intense like most Hollywood today. Then we get into sound design, which is very convincing, the tearing and the screaming all sound real, or as I would expect them to sound. The new mixing with stereo is well and really helps immerse the viewer.
On the animal violence: This is something that I thought would disturb me. The animal scenes in Amorres Perros disturbed me even though they were not real, but this was real and I wasn't that perturbed by them. People have said that the killing of the animals is useless and doesn't help the plot of the movie, but I feel otherwise. It brings into light that you do have to kill to survive. The documenters kill 6 animals (one is a spider, which some may not count, I do) on screen and 1 is killed off screen. And it obviously irks the actors a little bit (note: when you see vomit, it is indeed real). But the animals are eaten. And all of this adds to the reality of the documentary. It would have been hard fake some most of that. Plus, think of the meat industry today. Hundreds of thousands of cows and pigs slaughtered and millions of chickens and turkeys slaughtered every day in gruesome ways, just so we can eat them. "Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen". Our society frowns upon killing animals, but that burger doesn't magically appear. Blood had to be spilled for our dining pleasure.
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