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Monday, March 22, 2010

Italian Horror- Cannibal Holocaust

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Today we look at what most would consider the most controversial movie in the history of cinema, RUGGERO DEODATOS CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.
Written by Gianfranco Clerici(who also wrote such amazing gialli as the New York Ripper, Phantom Of Death, and Ruggero Deodatos next feature, The House On The Edge Of The Park)this movie has to be one of the most depraved and horrible but also most intelligent and shocking movies i have ever seen.The movie is incredibly well paced and violent but i think it explains so much about the human psyche, race, and about trying to capture the perfect moments to show on TV. Yes, there is animal cruelty, and in no way do i condone this, but i felt it added to the films shock value. The film begins with a New York anthropologist named Professor Harold Monroe travelling to the jungles of South America to find out what happened to a documentary film crew that disappeared two months before while filming a documentary about primitive cannibal tribes deep in the rain forest. He meets two tribes, the Yacumo and the Yanomamo. While being looked after by the Yanomamo, he finds the remains of the crew members, and several reals of their undeveloped film. When he returns to New York, he views the films in detail which reveals that after a few days all of the footage was staged by the director Alan Yates, his girlfriend Faye Daniels, and cameramen Jack Anders and Mark Tomaso by them terrorizing and torturing the locals. This movie even has the power to mess with our sympathies in a devilishly clever way. Cannibalism seems horrible to most of us, but at the end aren't we almost pleased to see the protagonists eaten by the natives when they have spent the previous half hour mistreating and abusing them?The movie contains many sickening moments, such as a tribeswoman being punished for adultery by having a huge stone dildo shoved in her, and then a mud ball with spikes pushed up inside of her. And a fetus being torn out of another woman with it being buried in the ground and then the woman being stoned to death. But nothing prepares you for the carnage at the end. When this film was released in 1980, Ruggero Deodato was actually arrested because people believed that cannibal holocaust was a snuff movie.After proving that he did not murder any actors for the film, the Italian magistrate banned the film due to the genuine animal cruelty depicted. Director Ruggero Deodato, the film producers, screenwriter, and a United Artist representative were fined and given a four month suspended sentence after being convicted of obscenity. This film really is a true classic, and weather you agree with its content or not, it has to be seen as it is one of the greatest horror movies in existence.