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Cannibal Holocaust (1980) Poster

Trivia

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Ten days after its premiere in Milan, the film was seized by the Italian courts, and director Ruggero Deodato was arrested and charged with obscenity. He was later charged with murdering several actors on camera, and faced life in prison. The cast had signed contracts requiring them to disappear for a year after shooting, to maintain the illusion that they'd died. Deodato contacted Luca Barbareschi and told him to contact the three other actors who played the missing film team. When the actors appeared in court, alive and well, the murder charges were dropped.
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The iconic poster image for the film shows a cannibal girl impaled on a stick. In court, Ruggero Deodato explained that the girl sat on a bicycle seat attached to the pole's base, while holding a small pointed piece of balsa wood in her mouth. Fake blood was added afterward. He commented that the girl was unusually calm, and remained very still during filming.
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The second highest-grossing film in Japan in 1983, behind E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
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After seeing the film, director Sergio Leone wrote a letter to Ruggero Deodato, which stated, "Dear Ruggero, what a movie! The second part is a masterpiece of cinematographic realism, but everything seems so real that I think you will get in trouble with all the world."
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Robert Kerman was a porn actor trying to establish himself in mainstream films. After this movie, "legitimate" roles dried up, and he went back to porn.
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The father of the actor who played Miguel was murdered during filming. Production was delayed so the actor could go home for the funeral. When Prof. Monroe, Chaco, and Miguel are sitting outside the Yanomamo village, immediately after discovering the bone shrine, the actor is crying over his father's death.
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Director Ruggero Deodato said he based the film on film he saw about a documentary crew who died while investigating cannibals in Africa. The documentary, showing incidents he depicted in the film, was destroyed after its discovery. An Italian cable network claimed it had a copy and was going to show it uncut. It never showed the film, but confirmed that they had a copy of the original.
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When the professor bathes naked in a river, the women in the scene were hired from a local brothel.
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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.
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Ruggero Deodato intended for the natives to eat fake brains from a fake monkey head. The natives talked him out of it because monkey brains were a delicacy to them.
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A final subtitle at the end of the film states "Projectionist John K. Kirov was given a two-month suspended jail sentence and fined $10,000 for illegal appropriation of film material. We know that he received $250,000 for that same footage". The line (keeping with the fake documentary nature of the movie) "explains" the viewers how could the movie exist if the projectionist character was ordered to burn the reels.
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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.
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Perry Pirkanen cried after filming the turtle scene.
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Ruggero Deodato has said he now regrets everything he did, especially the animal deaths. He said once that he was stupid for including animals in the film in the way he did.
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Various sources have claimed that the film was banned in 50 countries. Italy banned it for 3 years. It wasn't allowed a theatrical release in the United States for five years and was also seized at a 1993 Birimingham Comic Fair. Norway banned it until 2003.
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In a 2005 interview, Carl Gabriel Yorke said that while rehearsing the sex scene with Francesca Ciardi, she suggested that they go out in the middle of the jungle and "actually do it". Yorke declined, saying he had a girlfriend back in New York. In 2009, Ciardi stated that the sex scenes were not simulated, and that she and Yorke were lovers off-screen during filming.
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The production team could not find any local women to play the adulteress. Head of Wardrobe Lucia Costantini ended up with the part. She was completely covered in mud to look like a native.
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The film has 6 unofficial sequels.
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"The Last Road To Hell" sequence includes authentic execution footage from Nigeria and South East Asia.
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The animal deaths in the movie were real. The list of dead animals includes a coatimundi, a yellow-spotted river turtle, a snake, a tarantula, a young pig, and 2 squirrel monkeys. The monkey-killing scene was shot twice, so two monkeys were killed for that scene. The dead animals were given to the tribes for food.
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The Yanomamo and Shamatari are real-life South American native tribes. Neither is accurately portrayed in the film.
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When the professor meets the shaman's son for the first time, the boy has a symbol "tattooed" on his nape. The same symbol can be seen on a truck passing by at the very last scene, right after the professor says "I wonder who the real cannibals are".
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With the possible exception of Perry Pirkanen, Carl Gabriel Yorke's voice is the only one used in the English-language dub of the film, despite virtually all of the dialogue, including those performed by the Italian actors, being performed in English.
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Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen and Carl Gabriel Yorke were opposed to the real animal death scenes. In the script, was Yorke's character who killed the pig, but due to his refusal, Luca Barbareschi did it without any problem (even during the scene kicked wildly the animal before shoot him). Yorke said that it was very difficult to continue with the scene while he heard pig's agonizing screams, and he was unable to say his lines correctly. He also said that if he would know that animals would be killed during the filming, he wouldn't have accepted to make the movie. Although Pirkanen was in a way an active part during the turtle scene, according with Ruggero Deodato, he cried after that scene and after the death of every animal. Ciardi also spoke negatively about that scenes, especially the monkey and turtle scene, and described last one as the worst experience of her life. After the monkey scene, some people of the cast and crew said that if another animal was killed for an scene, they'll drop out the filming, but nobody could keep that promise.
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The original title for the film would have been "The Green Inferno" but was changed at the last minute to it's current title as it was considered more shocking (especially with the word "holocaust"). Eli Roth would later make a cannibal themed horror film titled The Green Inferno (2013) as an intentional homage to this film.
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Ruggero Deodato was inspired to make the movie after seeing his son watch a violent news report on TV. He noticed that the journalists focused on the violence, and believed that some news angles were staged to capture more sensational footage.
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To create "The Last Road To Hell" sequence, Ruggero Deodato watched hours of execution footage. He later claimed that some of the footage he watched showed up in the "Faces Of Death" videos, and that he'd rejected it because it seemed fake.
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Ruggero Deodato wanted a scene in which the natives fed an enemy tribesman to piranhas, but he didn't have a working underwater camera. Only still shots of the scene exist.
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Second of Ruggero Deodato's "Cannibal Trilogy".
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Both Guillermo (Felipe Ocaña) and the unknown name guy who plays Miguel, were actually jungle guides and not actors.
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In the ten days between its release and its banning in Italy, the movie grossed approximately $1.9 million ($5.2 million in 2012 dollars). Because of its infamy and several subsequent re-releases, some claim the film has grossed $200 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation), though that has never been verified.
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A small segment of music from Don't Torture a Duckling (1972) was reused by Riz Ortolani in this film.
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Both Yacumo Chief and Yanomamo Chief were played by the same man.
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Although Ruggero Deodato always has said that real animal deaths were improvised in the moment in order to make food for the crew, the truth is that scenes were even in Gianfranco Clerici's script.
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During an interview in 2015, Me Me Lai and Francesca Ciardi we're asked if they had difficulty in performing the full nudity that was demanded for their roles. Lai said "Well, I was very shy, but the crew there was nice and so were the actors, everyone was so good about it. I think we did two versions of Cannibal: one which was nude and one where I was covered up in something like a monkey suit. I was very uneasy at first, but I was treated with great respect and I wasn't gaped at." Chiardi said "I felt uncomfortable, not so much an issue with nudity but with how director Ruggero Deodato filmed the nude scenes. This bothered me very much and I felt I was being asked to do something I didn't want to do. But he was right. Looking at the film some 30 years on, this was how it needed to be filmed."
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Filmmakers Oliver Stone and Eli Roth are fans of this movie. The village that burns down in Platoon bears a striking resemblance of the village in this movie. Eli Roth's Green Inferno is heavily inspired by cannibal holocaust.
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After filming the sex scene between Carl Gabriel Yorke and Francesca Ciardi, due the several takes of the scene, one of the natives congratulated Yorke for his resistance, believing that them were having real sex.
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During the right-wing military dictatorship in Chile, the film tried 2 times to get the approval from the Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica, but it was banned in all the instances: First rejection was on March 31, 1982 for its 35mm version and second rejection was on August 31, 1989 for its video version. A third attempt was made in January 30, 1995, under the government of Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, but the law was the same that during the dictatorship, so the video was banned again.
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Is considered to be the goriest film ever made by the critical community. Even more gory than Suspiria (1977), Day of the Dead (1985), Faces of Death (1978), The Wizard of Gore (1970) and The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009).
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Some sites attribute to Italian actress Luigina Rocchi the character of the impaled woman. According with Ruggero Deodato, the character was played by a [non-actress] Brazilian girl.
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On some occasions, Ruggero Deodato has said that there wasn't a full script when they shoot the movie, and he used to invent the scenes to shot the day before. However, Carl Gabriel Yorke has said that he was hired in the movie some days after the start of filming, and when he arrived he was the only one who hasn't the script, and he needed to ask the other people for the script to can learn his lines. Actually, there was a script, and the movie is very loyal to it, even in some irrelevant details.
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Uncredited actress who plays the Lady Executive, was Robert Kerman's then girlfriend.
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After work with him in Concorde Affaire '79 (1979), Ruggero Deodato offered Robert Kerman the main role of this movie. Years later he said that if he had know that Kerman was a porn actor, he wouldn't have hired him. Ironically, Jake Teague, one of the actors who appears with Kerman as a traffic air controller in the previous movie, was also a porn actor.
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Francesca Ciardi has stated more than once, including in a DVD audio commentary, that she felt the nudity she was required to do was "excessive" and unnecessary for her role. In one instance, she told director Ruggero Deodato that she didn't want to bare her breasts during the sex scene between her and Carl Yorke. Deodato then dragged her off the set and screamed at her in Italian until she agreed to do it.
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Though uncaring towards the nature of his film during shooting, Ruggero Deodato now regrets everything he did, mostly the actual animal killings. He said once that he wishes now that he never made the movie.
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Guillermo, who played the guide Felipe Ocaña, was actually the jungle guide of the movie crew. According with Ruggero Deodato (in an audio commentary with Robert Kerman), some time after the movie filming, he was arrested for guide a tourists excursion, consisting of finding indigenous people and shooting them to dead. However, in another interview he tells the same story, but in that case was a guide woman the protagonist of the story and not Guillermo.
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This is the only movie that Chelsea Rebecca from the Dead Meat Podcast (2018) has not been able to finish. James A. Janisse also hates this film.
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The role of the adulteress was popularly attributed to wardrobe manager Lucia Costantini, and it's probably wrong. Deodato has said that the character was played by a wardrobe manager from the Colombian crew, but nobody from the Colombian crew appears in credits, and Constantini's filmography only has Italian movies.
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Robert Kerman's pistol was a Smith and Wesson .32.
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Francesca Ciardi is of Italian ancestry.
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Francesca Ciardi's debut.
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Francesca Ciardi's character name is Shanda Tomaso in Italian language version instead of Faye Daniels.
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Director Cameo 

Ruggero Deodato: Sitting on a blanket outside of NYU.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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