The 10 Best Super-Gory Italian Films

by garden-17 | created - 28 Jul 2011 | updated - 28 Jul 2011 | Public

When people think of gory horror films these days, they think of present-day films from America, Japan, and Great Britain. However, Italian films from the '70s and '80s make many of today's films appear tame in comparison. These are the 10 best and goriest of Italian films from the '70s & '80s!

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1. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Unrated | 95 min | Adventure, Horror

22 Metascore

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

Director: Ruggero Deodato | Stars: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi

Votes: 43,810

This film is, quite simply, terror recorded on film. While notorious for its usage of actual animal-cruelty, "Holocaust"'s cruelty towards humans is just as extreme.

2. Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Horror

Three friends out to disprove cannibalism meet two men on the run who tortured and enslaved a cannibal tribe to find emeralds, and now the tribe is out for revenge.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova

Votes: 7,745

Eye-gouging, castration scenes, animal cruelty, cocaine usage: A recipe for over-the-top gore!

3. ...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror

A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John

Votes: 16,902 | Gross: $0.12M

While Roger Ebert may have hated this movie, I did not. It features people getting dissolved by lye, as well as one of the greatest "head-shots" in cinema history. It's not recommended viewing if you've just tried peyote for the first time...

4. Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

R | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Giovanni Lambardo Radice and John Saxon are Vietman vets that bring back contagious virus that turn people into cannibals when bitten.

Director: Antonio Margheriti | Stars: John Saxon, Elizabeth Turner, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Cinzia De Carolis

Votes: 2,501

The must unique part of the "Cannibal"-trilogy (the other two, being "Cannibal Holocaust" and "Cannibal Ferox"), it features very little animal-cruelty, although its gore is still notorious. It's also one of the few Italian cannibal-based films to take place somewhere other than a jungle (in this case, Atlanta).

5. Jungle Holocaust (1977)

R | 88 min | Adventure, Horror

An oil prospector escapes from capture by a primitive cannibal tribe in the Philippine rain forest and heads out to locate his missing companion and their plane to return home.

Director: Ruggero Deodato | Stars: Massimo Foschi, Me Me Lai, Ivan Rassimov, Sheik Razak Shikur

Votes: 2,777

AKA: Jungle Holocaust. Fitted with some good, old-fashioned practical effects (.i.e.: gore), this film is unusual, in that it's gory, yet still a character-driven piece.

6. Zombie (1979)

R | 91 min | Horror

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver

Votes: 21,981

If the poster wasn't any indication, this is a pretty gory film. Arguably one of Lucio Fulci's finest films. I really enjoy the scene of a zombie fighting a shark!

7. Antropophagus (1980)

R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of tourists become stranded on an uninhabited island where they are stalked by an insane, violent, and grotesque killer that slaughtered the town's former residents.

Director: Joe D'Amato | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini

Votes: 4,360

Tons of gore (some very strange gore); tons of fun!

8. Wild beasts - Belve feroci (1984)

Unrated | 92 min | Horror

The water supply for a large city zoo becomes contaminated with PCP, and the animals go crazy and get loose.

Director: Franco Prosperi | Stars: Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, Ugo Bologna, Louisa Lloyd

Votes: 652

Animals and children get violent, after PCP (AKA: Angel Dust) is accidentally dumped into the water-supply at a zoo. Awesome chaos ensues! This film is actually not very well known, but if you can find it, check it out!

9. Sacrifice! (1972)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Horror

After a photographer is captured by a native tribe and put through several trials, he must fight to protect the village and his new love interest, the chief's daughter.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Ivan Rassimov, Me Me Lai, Prasitsak Singhara, Sulallewan Suxantat

Votes: 1,641

This film is touted as the film that started the cannibalism-craze in Italian cinema, and is one of the oldest films on this list. Don't let that fool you, however: This is a gory film! That's Me Me Lai's ("Jungle Holocaust") gorgeous body on the poster, by the way.

10. Addio zio Tom (1971)

Unrated | 123 min | Drama

Two documentary filmmakers go back in time to the pre-Civil War American South, to film the slave trade.

Directors: Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi | Stars: Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi, Cicely Browne, Lewis E. Ciannelli

Votes: 1,147

"Mondo Cane" is a great Italian documentary, that started another craze in Italy: The "shockumentary". It ultimately led to "Faces of Death", "Goodbye Africa", and this film. However, I chose this film, because--unlike the other films on this list--it's based entirely on true-stories. "Tom" is an unflinching, graphic, disturbing portrayal of slavery in the U.S., from the perspective, and taken from the diaries of slaves, slave-owners, and slave-traders. Prepare to be disturbed...by the truth.