31 Aug 2011

Cannibal Holocaust - Lisa's Review

This is one I wanted to get over with as soon as possible after the contents of Cannibal Ferox and the knowledge that this contained similar scenes. In fact, I found this movie much more disturbing, disgusting and really wanted to switch it off after half an hour. The fact I wouldn’t have completed the challenge stopped me, coupled with the fact it would be kind of wet to switch off a movie because I found it hard to watch when I’m watching a list of all the banned movies. What’s to be expected really…

There is a warning as the movie starts about the graphic nature of its scenes and the fact we can only be glad this sort of thing is no longer tolerated… how true.

This movie, like Cannibal Ferox is set in the Amazon rainforest among the indigenous tribes people and centers on the concept of cannibalism, although that is the least disturbing part of the movie. We cut between New York
and the amazon as a search party are sent out led by Harold Monroe, an anthropologist sent to find out what happened to a documentary crew who went to film the tribes people but have been missing for 2 months.

Like Ferox there is unforgivable animal cruelty and 7 actual real animal slaughters. I was just absolutely disgusted and for only the 2nd time since I started watching movies from this list, I agreed with the banning of this movie.
It should never have seen the light of day and the fact there is a market for people who enjoy this kind of thing is staggering.

After 1 animal slaughter and a disgusting sexual torture and death scene for a woman who had apparently been unfaithful carried out by her husband, we see the second group gaining the trust of the tribes people by saving them from a rival tribe.
They witness some horrible atrocities, tortures of women in the tribe and rapes.

Eventually they come across the video footage of the lost documentary crew and start to discover what happened to them. This is where our story switches from our second recovery team to our original documentary crew. At the start of the footage that is found, there looks to be real documentary footage of executions and horrible shootings. I’m not sure where its from but it definitely didn’t look like movie footage to me. Apparently the director staged some of the scenes for effect.
I’m starting to get more and more peeved at this film the further we go into it.

We then move on to the group starting their trek through the jungle and another downright graphically disgusting and nasty death of a turtle. I thought I coped quite well with Ferox but it had absolutely nothing on this. Ok so I’m angry now. The makers of this documentary just seem set on shock and disgust at any costs. The turtle is killed for food as they have been trekking for 6 days, so they dissect and eat it. As they move further on, one of the group is bitten by a snake and has to have his leg amputated by way of a large machete. Well deserved I say!
It doesn’t save him and he dies anyway… well at least he experienced some of what the turtle did before he was dispatched!

After getting out of water just in time for a crocodile and anaconda not to catch them (damn) they come across some tribes people killing monkeys (for real) in the most grotesque of ways (I’m sickened) . They shoot one (native) in the leg to slow him down so they can follow him to the village. Once they reach the village, they shoot a little pig (yup for real)…. I actually want to get my hands on the makers of this and carry out some torture of my own!!! They round the tribes people into a hut and proceed to set it alight to stage a scene for the documentary.
Nice people then…

They just continue to disrespect them by pissing in their streams, killing and wasting animals they use for food, filming in a nonchalant manner an old womans last moments when she has slunk off to die, which is something the tribes people do. I found the next scene confusing. The tribes women string up a young pregnant woman, remove her unborn baby and bury it in the mud. The documentary team say they have to eliminate weakness from their tribe? Not getting this at all.
They then proceed to bash the womans head in with rocks.

We keep cutting back to New York where a member of the second rescue team has obviously made it back with the footage and the TV execs are viewing it and want to air it. He keeps trying to persuade them not to such is the graphic nature of what is on the reels.
Undeterred they want to go ahead.

Back to the amazon and our documentary makers capture a very young tribes girl and they all proceed to rape her one at a time. The woman in the group - Faye doesn’t seem keen on wat they are doing, but doesn’t seem to do an awful lot to stop it apart from whine and whinge. Her main problem seems to be when her boyfriend joins in. Their friend and camera man hold her down while her boyfriend ‘has his turn’. All the while the tribes people are in hiding watching whats going on. Again disgusted and one of those scenes which went on longer than it needed to and seemed to be played for male titillation rather than the vile act it is. They impale her on a wooden pole (thankfully not shown) and the camera man has to remind his friend to take the smile off his face and look disgusted at what natives are capable of, as they’re getting the blame in the footage. A powerful message here of what man in general is capable of I think.
Just goes to show, we’re all the same when supposed civility is stripped away. How they did the pole effect here deserves some credit as it was remarkably realistic.

We’re approaching the end… I’m breathing a sigh of relief. One of the team – Jack is hit by a spear and they decide to shoot him to see what the natives do. What would we do with friends like this?? What follows is probably the best and most realistic make-up work and effects Ive ever seen. I can see why it was thought to be a snuff movie as the barbaric disecting of the body by brutal force and the way the carcass behaved looked unbelievably realistic. The severed head looked real and the organs were obviously real animal organs. Very realistic, very well done and very disturbing.

Next Faye, the lady in our group is captured and is brutally raped (which again goes on for far too long. She is finally beaten and beheaded. All the while her ‘friend’ is filming all of this. He meets a nasty end as well though as the camera drops to reveal him lying on the ground covered in blood getting the same bludgeoning as Faye just got. Come-uppance? I think so…

So the TV execs have seen all the footage, they finally agree it isn’t for public consumption and ask for it all the be burnt.
The final question posed is.. I wonder who the real cannibal is?

My thoughts? Well I think I made it pretty clear what I thought about most of this movie. I hated it. Would never watch it again. Thought it contained unnecessary suffering, the animal bits were unforgivable and the rape scenes were played too much for titillation, one of my pet peeves. It seemed to do anything to shock rather than concentrate on producing a good movie. Whats a shame is that the effects and gore were fantastic and probably the best I've seen. They rival anything out there today, but for sitting through the rest of it… simply not worth it. Best avoided unless you’re sick in the head.

Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.

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