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Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

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

Director:

Ruggero Deodato

Writers:

Gianfranco Clerici (story and screenplay), Giorgio Stegani (additional dialogue: Italian version)
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Cast

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)
Claudia Rocchi Claudia Rocchi ... Undetermined Role (as Luigina Rocchi)
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Storyline

In 1979, intent on venturing into the vast and unexplored areas of the virgin Amazon rainforest, a small American film crew attempt 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 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 know the savage and unspeakable atrocities captured on the riveting unedited footage. In the end, what has really happened to the overambitious explorers, and the shocking final two reels? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Better to rest in peace in the warm body of a friend than in the cold ground See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Grindhouse Releasing

Country:

Italy

Language:

English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

7 February 1980 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Cannibal Holocaust See more »

Filming Locations:

Guri, Venezuela See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

F.D. Cinematografica See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When the cannibals begin to mutilate Jack, his pants are down to his ankles. When they lay him on the ground, his pants are pulled back up. See more »

Quotes

[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

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 UK Blu-Ray disc from Shameless includes a number of differences:
  • A United Artists Europa Inc. title is placed at the beginning before the film starts.
  • The opening music is an alternate take that differs when compared to the mono version.
  • The subtitles for the foreign scene has been changed; although they still have the same meaning.
  • The killing of the muskrat has been replaced with various alternative shots.
  • A very brief second has been added to the end of the muskrat scene to make the cut between this and the adulteress punishment scene smoother.
  • Subtitles added to the scene where Miguel tries to make peace with the cannibals.
  • The last road to hell has been fully restored although the music is slightly different, and the quality has been downgraded slightly.
  • A few frames have been deleted at the beginning of the scene when Professor Monroe is interviewing Alan's father. This makes the cut more jagged.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Robot Holocaust (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A brutal cinematic masterpiece that you will not want to watch again, but will still feel that urge to watch it again
25 December 2007 | by isaac-cadySee all my reviews

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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