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Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Cannibal ferox (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Horror | 11 November 1983 (USA)
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.


Umberto Lenzi


Umberto Lenzi (story), Umberto Lenzi (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ... Mike Logan (as John Morghen)
Lorraine De Selle ... Gloria Davis
Danilo Mattei ... Rudy Davis (as Bryan Redford)
Zora Kerova ... Pat Johnson (as Zora Kerowa)
Walter Lucchini Walter Lucchini ... Joe Costolani (as Walter Lloyd)
Fiamma Maglione Fiamma Maglione ... Myrna Stenn (as Meg Fleming)
Robert Kerman ... Lt. Rizzo
John Bartha John Bartha ... Mafioso
Venantino Venantini ... Sgt. Ross
'El Indio' Rincon 'El Indio' Rincon ... Juanito


Anthropologists take a trip to the jungles of Colombia to study native cannibals. Instead, they find a band of drug dealers, using the natives to harvest coca leaves. After awhile, the natives are tired of being tortured slaves, and turn on their masters, as well as the anthropologists, thus filling the screen with gruesome splatter! Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They were cold, sadistic killers who thought they could hide from justice. But now they must face the harsh law of the jungle... See more »


Adventure | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





Italian | English | Spanish

Release Date:

11 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cannibal Ferox See more »

Filming Locations:

Amazon Rainforest, Colombia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) | (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The alternate title of this film, "Make Them Die Slowly," was used by the band White Zombie as the title of their second album. See more »


(at around 37 mins) When Mike and Rudy get into a fistfight, twice Mike pulls his gun and you can hear the sound of the hammer being cocked. Both times, you can see the gun and the hammer is clearly down. See more »


Pat: Why couldn't we have made it Acupulco, instead of this poison paradise?
Gloria Davis: All you would have found there would have been white widows.
See more »


Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »


Red River Valley
Written by James Kerrigen
Sung by Lorraine De Selle and Zora Kerova
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of my all-time favourite films is no picnic for those easilyupset
15 August 2000 | by Casey-52See all my reviews

CANNIBAL FEROX is one of those "forbidden gems", one of the short list of films that only those with strong stomachs and undying dedication to horror films can endure. Also on that list are films like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, MEN BEHIND THE SUN, SALO: 120 DAYS OF SODOM, and a handful of others that are not for the weak of heart or those easily offended. I have finally seen FEROX and have only good things to say about it.

The plot is rather simple: a drug dealer and his co-hort torture and kill some natives in the Amazon jungle and escape, but after encountering a college group, they are captured and brutalized for the cruelties they have caused. All of the four main actors are excellent (Giovanni Lombardo Radice/John Morghen, Lorraine de Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova) and I plan to seek out all of their films. I seriously enjoyed the acting, which may come as a surprise to those who watch this film for yucks. I never once laughed during this film, I took it totally seriously and the film actually works this way. I can't stress how unbearable some of the scenes in this film are. There are several instances of real animal killings (a turtle, an alligator, a pig, and almost a mongoose), castration, decapitation, mutilation, humiliation, a piranha attack, and poison darts. All of the scenes in the jungle are expertly filmed and create an otherworldy environment that puts us, the viewers, through hell and back. By the end of the film, we have experienced everything that the protagonists have and have come out alive, as well. I think that that, as well as viewing the film itself, gives a sense of triumph as an end result.

Now the one problem with the film: the NYC scenes. Filmed on location in New York City, the scenes are wonderfully nostalgiac and are scored by an irresistible disco score, but the acting is horrible (except perhaps porn star Richard Kerman/R. Bolla), the dubbing bad, and it just breaks the main storyline too much. It tells the story of why Mike Logan and Joe (the drug dealers) escaped to the Amazon. But does it really matter? Joe explains it during his story, so why shoot 20 minutes of new footage with a totally different cast? Director Umberto Lenzi does a wonderful job with the jungle footage, some of his best work, and had also done cop thrillers. I guess he couldn't resist showing off his ability to shoot action scenes. These NYC scenes are well shot and campy like most Italian cop thrillers, but should have been in a different film. Here, they just distract from the jungle action and almost ruin what could have been a classic film. Instead, this film is for the most part ridiculed and called a rip-off of the stronger CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

The music by Budy-Maglione is superb and is available on CD through some on-line mail order video companies. It's so good I listen to it every day. The NYC disco theme is marvelous, but my favorite is still the morbid symphonic choir piece that accompanies the horrific scenes in the jungle. It is both beautifully composed and effectively filled with dread. I would list some stand-out scenes, but why ruin a good thing? Go into CANNIBAL FEROX by knowing as little about it as possible, including the now famous murder sequences, and prepare to be shocked beyond belief. Grindhouse Releasing has released the definitive version, so seek that out for cool extras, including commentaries by John Morghen and Umberto Lenzi and three trailers!

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