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


Ruggero Deodato


Gianfranco Clerici (story and screenplay), Giorgio Stegani (additional dialogue: Italian version)
1,192 ( 133)





Complete credited cast:
Robert Kerman ... Professor Harold Monroe
Francesca Ciardi ... Faye Daniels
Perry Pirkanen ... Jack Anders
Luca Barbareschi ... Mark Tomaso (as Luca Giorgio Barbareschi)
Salvatore Basile ... Chaco Losojos
Ricardo Fuentes Ricardo Fuentes ... Undetermined Role
Carl Gabriel Yorke ... Alan Yates (as Gabriel Yorke)
Paolo Paoloni ... 1st Executive
Lionello Pio Di Savoia Lionello Pio Di Savoia ... 2nd Executive (as Pio Di Savoia)
Luigina Rocchi Luigina Rocchi ... Undetermined Role


In 1979, intent on venturing into the vast and unexplored areas of the virgin Amazon rainforest, a small American film crew attempts to make a documentary about the region's indigenous cannibalistic tribes, only to disappear without a trace. As the noted anthropologist, Harold Monroe, and his team of seasoned guides embark on a rescue mission to locate the missing documentarians in the heart of the Green Inferno, fearful tribes, that no white has ever seen before, will soon start to take an interest in them. Inevitably, as the professor unearths more evidence about the fate of the film crew by sheer luck, a desperate battle to recover the raw footage that was paid in blood will commence--after all, the world must learn all about the savage and unspeakable atrocities captured on the riveting unedited footage. In the end, what has happened to the overambitious explorers, and the shocking final two reels? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The film they did not want you to see! See more »


Adventure | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Immediately after a pig was shot and killed, Carl Gabriel Yorke botched a long monologue that Ruggero Deodato wanted to include in the movie. After rehearsing the line several times and doing fine, Yorke says he screwed up during filming because he heard the pig squeal and die. Retakes weren't possible because only one pig was "allotted" to be killed. See more »


Near the beginning, Oliveira is killed by a poison dart. When Professor Monroe flies in, Oliveira is standing behind the lieutenant. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The Grindhouse Releasing (USA) and Siren Visual (Australia) DVDs/Blu-rays omit the United Artists Europa logo in favor of a text crawl regarding the film's violent content: "The following motion picture contains intense scenes of extreme violence and cruelty. As distributors of this film, we wish to state with absolute sincerity that by no means do we condone the artistic decisions employed by the makers of this film. However, as firm believers in the constitutional right of free speech, we do not believe in censorship. To quote Thomas Jefferson, 'it behooves every man who values the liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasion of it in the case of others.' Therefore, we are presenting CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST for the first time in its uncut, uncensored original form, with all sequences photographed by the filmmakers, however offensive and repugnant, presented fully intact. What you will see will definitely shock and offend you. Nonetheless, it should be viewed as a disturbing historical document of a bygone era of extreme irresponsibility which no longer exists, and, hopefully, will never exist again. 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' - George Santayana" See more »

Alternate Versions

The film became one of the most notorious video nasties and was unavailable in the UK for many years. The 2001 version from VIPCO (VHS and DVD), rated 18, was heavily cut by 5 minutes 44 secs by the BBFC and removed all footage of genuine animal killings and mutilation, as well as editing the rape scenes and the infamous torture scene with the spiked mud-ball. The later release from Blackhorse featured the same cut print. In 2011 the uncut version was again submitted to the BBFC for DVD release (on the Shameless label) and surprisingly most of the previous cuts were waived, with only 15 secs of cuts required to the genuine killing of a muskrat. See more »


Featured in DVD-R Hell: Return of the Ewok (2013) See more »

User Reviews

Once you've seen it, you'll never unsee it...
14 March 2019 | by peytong00See all my reviews

Cannibal Holocaust truly is one of the most disturbing and uncomfortable films I've ever seen. Released in 1980, the movie has gained a reputation over the years as being one of the most controversial films ever made, and I think it rightfully deserves that title. Now this is a hard film to recommend, especially considering all of the brutal onscreen violence, rape, dismemberment, genital mutilation, and of course the incredibly hard to watch real life animal killings. However, whether you love or hate the film you can't argue that it's very well crafted. As with most Italian movies the cinematography is great, the soundtrack beautiful and the locations exotic. The tropical scenery truly is stunning to watch and music even greater to listen to.

The film focuses on a group of young film makers who venture out into the Amazon Rainforest to make a documentary on the local tribes, and as to be expected they never return. A professor is destined to recover the lost footage to put the story to rest and hopefully find out what happened to the crew. What unravels next is an example of one of the earliest found footage horror films ever conceived, made nearly two decades before The Blair Witch Project, and similar to that film the director strived to convince the audience that what they were seeing was real, so much so that he had the actors sign contracts to disappear from the media for a year to let the realism of the film sink in which later lead to his arrest, as the courts were convinced that the deaths depicted in the movie were genuine. However once he was able to get in touch with the actors and have them appear in court all charges were dropped, other than a small fine for the animal killings.

From its shocking visuals to its gritty realism Cannibal Holocaust is a very effective film that, like many people have said, is very realistic and has a much deeper meaning to it than one might think. Director Ruggero Deodato's intention (or so I think) was to make a film that deglorified our civilized society, showing the viewer that we, the civilized people, are the true monsters, not the cannibals. The movies' pessimistic tone and negative outlook on society actually makes for an overall depressing and unpleasant experience, a film that truly makes you feel bad in the end.

The movie has quite a sporadic fan base, with famous directors like Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino and Sergio Leone all supposedly being confessed fans of it. So much in fact that Oliver Stone payed homage to the film by replicating one of the most famous scenes in his movie Platoon (1986) and Sergio Leone wrote a letter of gratitude to Deodato complimenting him on the realism and the ability to produce such an effective and encaptivating movie. If you're looking for a fun horror film to watch with friends this is definitely not it. The movie is very dark and unsettling, making the viewer feel horrible after watching. Approach with caution, this movie is not for the squeamish, faint of heart, or easily offended and I suggest that those younger than 17 should avoid completely, only recommended to the most hardcore of horror fans and exploitation enthusiasts. You have been warned.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Grindhouse Releasing




English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 February 1980 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust See more »

Filming Locations:

Guri, Venezuela See more »


Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

F.D. Cinematografica See more »
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Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)| Dolby Digital (2001 re-release)


Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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