A young woman teams up with an adventurer to find her missing sister in the jungles of New Guinea and they stumble upon a religious cult led by a deranged preacher whom has located his commune in an area inhabited by cannibals.
Ilsa is an evil Nazi warden at a death camp that conducts "medical experiments". Ilsa's goal is to prove that women can withstand more pain and suffering than men and therefore should be allowed to fight on the front lines.
An 18 year old Catherine Miles graduates from her boarding school and takes a trip with her parents to the Amazon. While on a boat ride, her parents are brutally murdered by a local cannibal tribe and she is taken prisoner. In order to survive, she adopts the customs of the tribe with the help of a warrior who has fallen in love with her, all the while planning vengeance for her parents' death. He later helps her to escape, and now free, she goes to find who exactly was behind the death of her parents. Written by
I went into this movie expecting toned down mockery of Cannibal Holocaust, and to say the very least, that it was going to suck. I was more excited that I had found a copy of this movie than seeing the movie itself. When I saw it, I was very pleasantly surprised. This is no masterpiece, no doubt, but for the fans of B-grade cinema, Amazonia is right up their alley (which is one reason why I enjoyed it); the problems don't outweigh the fun. It's not exactly action packed, but there are some scenes that make gore-mongers cheer. The most surprising aspect of the film is not how similar it is to Cannibal Holocaust, but how similar it is to The Man from the Deep River. The events are almost exactly mirrored, so obviously the Cannibal Holocaust connection is pure marketing. It's more of a drama and a romance than a horror movie, which can be found odd for most enthusiasts. Those strongly hoping for a bloodbath beware: this isn't the movie for you, but those looking for a pleasant surprise and few laughs, pick this one up.
The story is narrated by Catherine Miles, who is on trial for the double murder of the people responsible for her parents' deaths. She leaves her boarding school and can't wait to visit her parents on a nice trip to their plantation in the Amazon. However, when they're on a boat ride down the Amazon River with her uncle and aunt following behind in a motorboat, her parents are blow darted to death, and Catherine passes out after being hit in the arm with a poison dart. She wakes up to see Umukai standing over her, as he proceeds to remove her parents' heads as trophies. He spares her because of her youth and beauty (trying to keep up with the rest of the corny plot) and meets up with the other warriors, who take her back to the village, some several miles away. Catherine is bought from the chief by an old, "rich" villager, who finds he can't pleasure himself with her because she's a virgin. Basically, she's tormented and deflowered by a wooden dildo, but before she has the misfortune of being raped by an old man, Umukai challenges him to the death for her, and, of course, he wins. The rest of the story is Umukai trying to win Catherine over (as she is now his woman, his property), but Catherine can't because she thinks he killed her parents. But when he tells her the truth of what happened on the boat almost a year ago, she does fall in love with him, and he helps her exact her revenge, which is one of the best scenes in the movie.
This is one example of exploitation at its finest, and while it doesn't have the non-stop sleaze and fun of Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, it's grostesque enough, and exploits some factors, such as nudity, to above what you're normally seeing. Again, it's not soft-porn, but it's unadultered and uncensored. But other than the exploitation factor, there's plenty of things that keeps it from being far from perfect. The biggest problem with this is that it screams to be a blockbuster adventure movie, but frankly, it's not. It tries to copy elements from other, more successful films instead of trying to be all that it is. For instance, it tries to blend genres of the adventure/cannibal movie with a crime/trial drama. But it doesn't make it look like a more sophisticated film; it blows up in its face. The same goes for the non-chronological storyline. It needed to just stay with the basics, keep it simple. You're dealing with a somewhat obscure genre, so by changing the norm, you only risk alienating your film from the limited number of fans of the genre. The Man from the Deep River worked because not only was it a better movie, but it was the first cannibal movie. The reason I enjoyed it enough was that I looked past this farce and saw more than just the cannibal genre in it. Though it is indeed slow moving at times, there's more to it than what meets the eye. First off, it's a mystery movie. There is no other film in the cannibal genre that's a mystery movie. The twist at the end is very clever and unique, and, again, not a lot of these fils have any plot twists (or ones well executed). However, some of these twists bring question into the plot. For instance, one twist is that Umakai falls in love with the modern outsider. Why? Because of her beauty? That's what we're led to believe. The only point is to build the plot around it. Where's the character development? It only comes from Catherine, while it should come from both.
So while it's definitely not perfect, it has enough substance to not only make it bearable, but rather enjoyable. As usual, some mysogyny is present, but like the violence, it's very toned down. Like almost all exploitation movies (save a select few), this isn't exactly what you would call a "good" movie, and, most likely, only B-movie fans will enjoy it. However, even if cannibals and exploitation isn't exactly your forte, there's still enough action in the movie to keep you interested. Not to say it doesn't have problems, which it's chocked full of. The bad acting and dubbing drags it down, and the trial drama aspect could be wiped out completely. The biggest problem to me is the makeup and wardrobe, as the "primitive" tribe looks to neat and clean. Other than that, there's no plot holes, and flows easily enough. So most of the problems are merely superficial. It has its own certain "bad movie charm" that makes fans of outrageous cinema smile. Still, it's specially made for cannibal-genre die hards, so for anyone other than that, it's just an interesting obscurity.
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