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Cannibal Holocaust (1980) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1)
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 had 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 native 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 film, "legitimate" roles dried up and he went back to porn.
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The father of the man who played Miguel was murdered during filming. Production was delayed so he 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 man is crying over his father's death.
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Director Ruggero Deodato said he based the film on a 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 of the film and was going to show it uncut. It never showed the film, but it was confirmed that they did have a copy of the original.
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When Carl Gabriel Yorke arrived in the Amazon for shooting, he was not given a script or any idea of what the film 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 another character's leg. In a later interview Yorke said that, while in the jungle, he did not know whether the film was a Hollywood production or a snuff film.
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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 film) "explains" the viewers how the film could even 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 film. 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 were not possible because only one pig was "allotted" to be killed.
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Ruggero Deodato has said he now regrets everything he did, especially the actual animal deaths. He said once that he was stupid for including animals in the film the way he did.
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In the scene where the professor bathes naked in a river, the native women in the same scene were hired from a local brothel.
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Ruggero Deodato intended for the natives to eat fake monkey 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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Perry Pirkanen cried after filming the turtle scene.
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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 native women to play the adulteress, so the 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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Various sources have claimed that the film was banned in 50 countries. Italy banned it for three years. It was not allowed a theatrical release in the United States for five years and was also seized at a 1993 Birmingham Comic Fair. Norway banned it until 2003.
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The film has six unofficial sequels.
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"The Last Road To Hell" sequence includes authentic execution footage from Nigeria and Southeast Asia.
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The animal deaths in the film were real. The list of dead animals includes a coati, a yellow-spotted river turtle, a boa constrictor, a tarantula, a young pig, and two squirrel monkeys. The monkey-killing scene was shot twice, so two monkeys were killed for that scene. The dead animals were then given to the natives for food.
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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 in the very last scene right after the professor says "I wonder who the real cannibals are."
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The Yanomamo and Shamatari are actual South American native tribes. Neither one of them is accurately portrayed in the film.
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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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The original title for the film would have been "The Green Inferno", but it was changed at the last minute to its 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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Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen and Carl Gabriel Yorke were opposed to the real animal death scenes. In the script, it was Yorke's character who killed the pig, but due to his refusal, Luca Barbareschi did it without any problems (even though, during the scene, the animal kicked wildly before being shot). Yorke said that it was very difficult to continue with the scene while he heard the pig's agonizing squeals and he was unable to say his lines correctly. He also said that if he had known that animals would be killed during the filming, he would not have agreed to make the film. Although Pirkanen was, in a way, an active participant during the turtle scene, according to Ruggero Deodato, he cried after that scene and after the death of every animal. Ciardi also spoke negatively about those scenes, especially the monkey and turtle scenes, and described the last one as the worst experience of her life. After the monkey scene, some members of the cast and crew said that if another animal was killed for a scene, they would drop out of the filming, but no one could keep that promise.
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Ruggero Deodato was inspired to make the film after seeing his son watch a violent news report on TV. He noticed that the journalists focused on the violence and believed that some of the news angles were staged in order 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 had watched later showed up in the "Faces Of Death" series of direct-to-video films and that he had rejected it because it seemed to be fake.
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Both Guillermo (Felipe Ocaña) and the man who played Miguel (name unknown) were actual jungle guides and not actors.
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Ruggero Deodato wanted a scene in which the natives fed an enemy tribesman to piranhas, but he did not have a working underwater camera. Only production stills of the scene exist.
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The Yacumo chief and the Yanomamo chief were both played by the same man.
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The second film of Ruggero Deodato's "Cannibal Trilogy".
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In the 10 days between its release and its banning in Italy, the film 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), although this claim has never been verified.
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During an interview in 2014, Francesca Ciardi said she knew in advance that she would be required to strip off in this movie. "I was comfortable with that," she maintained. "The nudity I knew about, but I am not happy with all of it, because Ruggero shot some scenes with a double that was not me. I complained terribly, especially of the scene at the end when you see me naked with the cannibals splitting my head open."
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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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After filming the sex scene between Carl Gabriel Yorke and Francesca Ciardi, due to the several takes of the scene, one of the natives congratulated Yorke for his resistance, believing that they were having real sex.
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Although Ruggero Deodato has always said that real animal deaths were improvised in the moment in order to have food for the crew, the truth is that such scenes were even in Gianfranco Clerici's script.
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During the right-wing military dictatorship in Chile, the film tried two times to get the approval from the Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica to be released, but it was banned in both instances: The first rejection was on March 31, 1982 for its 35mm version and the second rejection was on August 31, 1989 for its video version. A third attempt to release the film was made on January 30, 1995 under the government of Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, but the law was the same as it had been during the dictatorship, so the video version was banned for a second time.
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Filmmakers Oliver Stone and Eli Roth are both fans of this film. The village that burns down in Platoon bears a striking resemblance to the village in this film. Eli Roth's Green Inferno is heavily inspired by Cannibal Holocaust.
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Though originally uncaring toward the nature of this film during shooting, Ruggero Deodato now regrets everything he did in it, mostly the actual animal killings. He once said that he now wishes that he never made the film.
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This film 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 film sites attribute the character of the impaled native woman to Italian actress Luigina Rocchi. According to Ruggero Deodato, the character was actually played by a [non-actress] Brazilian girl.
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On some occasions, Ruggero Deodato has said that a full script was not available when they shot the film and he used the unfinished one that he had to invent the scenes he had shot the day before. However, Carl Gabriel Yorke has said that he was hired for the film some days after the start of filming and when he arrived, he was the only one who had not seen the script and he needed to ask the other people for it so he could learn his lines. Actually, there was a full script and the film was very loyal to it, even in some irrelevant details.
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Francesca Ciardi has stated more than once, including in a DVD audio commentary for this film, 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 did not 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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The uncredited actress who played the female executive was Robert Kerman's then-girlfriend.
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After working with him in Concorde Affaire '79 (1979), Ruggero Deodato offered Robert Kerman the main role of this film. Years later, he said that if he had known that Kerman was a porn actor, he would not have hired him. Ironically, Jake Teague, one of the actors who appears with Kerman as a traffic air controller in the previous film, was also a porn actor.
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Guillermo, who played the guide Felipe Ocaña, was actually the jungle guide of the film's crew. According to Ruggero Deodato (in an audio commentary with Robert Kerman), some time after the film's shooting, he was arrested for being the guide of a tourist excursion consisting of finding natives and shooting them dead. However, in another interview, he told the same story, but in that case, it was a female guide who was the protagonist of the story and not Guillermo.
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This is the only film 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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In the Italian version of this film, Faye Daniels is named Shanda Tomaso, and Mark Tomaso is named Mark Williams. In the script, Faye was named Shanda Williams. Also, according to her sister, Faye's real name was Tina, but in the script it was Edith.
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The role of the adulteress is popularly attributed to wardrobe manager Lucia Costantini, but this is probably wrong. Deodato has said that the character was actually played by a wardrobe manager from the Colombian crew, but no one from the Colombian crew appears in the credits and Constantini's filmography only has Italian films.
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When the movie American website was created at mid 2000s, were created some biographical records of the main characters, with some info created for the website, which wasn't in the movie or in the script, for example, some surnames. Chaco was called Jacko Losojos, Miguel was called Miguel Lujan (the correct spelling of this surname is Luján), Felipe Ocaña was called Felipe Ocanya, and Faye Daniels, which real name was Tina according with her sister (in the script was Edith) was called Christina Murphy. Also were created names for Alan and Mark's dads, Faye's sister, Jack's wife and son and former Alan's co-worker (with the exception of Jack's wife's name, none of this names appear in the script or in the movie). However, all this info is not official from the movie or the script, and was invented by the website's creators.
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Robert Kerman's pistol was a Smith and Wesson .32.
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This is Francesca Ciardi's debut film.
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Carl Gabriel Yorke became severely upset while filming a scene in which his character takes a part in the rape of a native girl. "I was the last one to rape her. I dropped my pants and jumped on her and did my best to pretend. And then Francesca, as my movie girlfriend, pulled me backwards off the girl. She did a good job of it, sending me right down into the mud on my ass. Or I should say in my ass. I felt the mud go right up my butt. And that's when it happened. That's when I couldn't control my human feelings. A huge wave of anger rose up through my torso like lava. I felt like I had superhuman strength as I grabbed Francesca and threw her to the side, then dove back on to the girl and 'finished' the rape. That might be my most honest moment in the movie. As soon as we were done raping that girl, we all had lunch together. This is reality on a movie," he said.
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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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