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August 30, 2005


I'm about to watch this for the first time as part of my blog horror marathon. I figure it'll be something of a test - to see whether or not I can stomach it, and to see if I can possibly hate anything more than Michael Bay's [i]Bad Boys II[/i]. If there's a contender out there, this is it.

Have fun, Rob. And by fun, I mean "squirming, covering-your-eyes no fun."

Your use of "fun" is apt. I felt like dying for about the last fifteen minutes; it's been a long time since a movie outright depressed me. Free speech my ass. I know you hate The Passion of the Christ even more than I do, but at this point I feel like commending it as a humanitarian effort compared to this thing.

I loved this movie. It made me feel more awful than any other movie. Michael Haneke could learn a lot from watching Cannibal Holocaust.

Reactions to this movie always amuse me. Moral outrage is the most typical reaction. The animals deaths are gloated over as being evidence that the filmmakers are truly evil - as if these animals' deaths were somehow more morally dubious than those killed in the name of McDonalds, or for leather. If killing animals for "entertainment" or "art" is morally wrong, what about all the leather fetish gear that BDSM fetishists use? Isn't it the same thing?

The movie does indeed demonstrate a level of racism against the South American native population. To my mind, it's no different from the racism directed towards North American natives in the average "cowboys vs. Indians" Western. I'd say that it's less racist than some.

The violence towards humans in the movie is shockingly convincing, to the extent that Deodato was put on trial for murder; the Italian courts refused to believe that he had not really filmed people being killed on camera, until he was able to produce the still-living actors. This speaks to the technical facility that Deodato and his crew bring to the proceedings. The scenes of the Professor and the tv executives are less convincing, and in my mind are ill conceived, but that's life in the world of low-budget movies.

My opinion is that the moral outrage this movie provokes is based on personal hurt. This movie really savages the audience, to an extent that Haneke's thematically similar, though more antiseptic and distanced, films like Funny Games or Bobby's Video could never manage. The viewer thinks "That movie really hurt me, in a way that movies do not hurt me," and takes the position of outrage based on their personal feelings of violation. It's not just the violence or the animal killings that causes this hurt - it's the cumulative effect of the whole movie. "Africa Addio" has more violence - more real animals being killed, and plenty of real people being killed - but does not achieve quite the same level of moral outrage.

Forget message or theme - the movie has both, but more importantly it has power. It's up to the viewer to sort out how they feel about that power. I applaud it just for being so damned effective. Others might want to ban or even destroy it. The virulence of their feelings speaks to the movie's effectiveness.

Hey, this post might be quite late, but the movie is clearly a HOAX! really
thats all

I'm happy to see that someone besides me pegged Bad Boys II as their most-hated movie. That movie is absolutely toxic.

Cannibal Holocaust was pretty horrific all right. The worst part was the slaughter of the giant tortoise, since that was real. Of course, butchers do that to the animals we eat every day. So I guess you could say we're savages too.

I think this movie is sickening. Why someone wants to watch this diabolical rubbish is beyond me.

People are quite happy to buy slaughtered animals at their supermarket, but are outraged at seeing animals actually being slaughtered. That is pure hypocrisy. And why not spend the time you are morally outraged about some stupid film to care about the millions of real atrocities that are going on in the world. I applaud the film maker because he actually captures some of the genuine horror that can be real life, that people who object to the film are in denial about. Object to the second world war, object to real massacres in Africa that the west doesn't care about etc etc etc

yes i'm in denial of course, and i'm a hypocrit sure, because i eat meat but i don't want to see animals getting murdered in a movie. what is wrong with me?
haha. anyone who thinks this movie is making a critique or a comment on civilization is the one in the denial. this crappy excuse for a film is nothing but an exploitation film made to satiate the morbid hunger of a sick audience. it tries to justify itself as being critical of what it is depicting, i just think that's the easiest getaway. just because i eat cow doesnt make me an uncivilized or hypocrite, but it does make that of the filmakers. it's like trying to show me how smoking is bad for me by smoking a couple of packs in front of me, except that wouldnt be so horrible to watch.

This film is just rubbish. Yes it was sickening and disturbing but not in the way you enjoy most horror films. I'm not outraged by the animal killings, and the rape and murder scenes were as unconvincing as the worst B movies you've ever seen. There's no explanation of why the crew making the lost documentary are psycho killer rapists, it makes no sense but doesn't work as a "senseless" horror either.

It is just completely unconvincing all the way through, the tribes are cartoon cavemen and the cannibalism scenes would be laughable if you weren't already so bummed from the whole film being terrible. why a whole tribe seem content to sit in a shed and burn to death when they could have pretty much walked out past the 3 people that told them to get in there i don't know, which pretty much makes the events that follow as pointless. The scene with the girl on the pole is impressive but that doesn't save the rest of the film from being crap. I've never been so disappointed by a "cult" film, when it ended everyone i was watching it with looked at each other with that expression of "we just wasted a saturday night"

If you want to be able to say you've seen it, then watch it. But be warned, it's not what it's talked up to be at all, and no amount of post film analysing will help. We sat for hours tryng to find something that worked or made any sense, anything that made this film what it was talked up to be, did we miss the point? we all came to the conclusion that it was just shit and over hyped.

I love how much this movie annoys people. Y'all tend to react like the filmmakers just killed your dog and then shat on your lawn, rather than like you just saw a movie you didn't like. Cannibal Holocaust got to you, and you just don't want to admit it.

The point of the movie is to show that mankind is messed up, i disagree with your rating. And calling out the race card is stupid, he isn't putting these indigenous people down, he is just showing the audience what they expect to see.

OK, yeah the movie was crap, but was it any worse than many of the big budget 'horror' flicks that hollywood is producing nowdays? I love the horror genre, and am a huge fan of the Hammer productions. They were all crap. This is what horror should be. Lots of skin, and lots of missing skin and all that entails. I downloaded the film to see it, and now I'm going to buy it in all its craptastic glory! Well done!

I find it interesting that no-one ever seems to condemn animal cruelty in canonical films such as Coppola's Apocalypse Now, but films without such a pedigree are viewed as fair game. It is also worth remembering that, while unacceptable now, animal cruelty was commonplace in exploitation cinema before Deodato made Cannibal Holocaust (just look at Mondo Cane, Deep River Savages and whole load of other titles). It always amuses me that people react to this film as if it is the only film to feature such scenes - it wasn't even the first by a long way.

Cannibal Holocaust is a film that has been hugely influential, the makers of The Blair Witch Project have often cited it as an inspiration. It isn't supposed to be cosy entertainment - it is a film designed to sicken and challenge it's audience, making you question the whole notion of violence as entertainment (beating Haneke to it by a good decade or so).

I don't have any interest in ever seeing this, for similar reasons that I don't watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The world is too full of examples to encourage an abiding misanthropy & disgust for the human race, I don't need artificial ones too. I really like your review of this, because it distills the dead-eyed facility of this wallow in the well-covered & much-better-articulated-elsewhere darkness in human nature.

My issue is this, Nick: I have read many of your horror reviews and many articulate a quasi-sexualized appreciation for carnage. In fact, your review of Hostel (a clear antecedent of Cannibal Holocaust) chastised it for not going far enough.

Both movies are built on the same idea: the thrill of nihilistic, fetishistic destruction of living things & the joy in others' suffering. So my question is this: what's the line, then? Is one thing not repulsive enough and another too much?

I love your stuff but your arguments on this point confuse and ultimately negate one another.

That said, you managed to explode the idea of this "classic" with more clear elucidation in one paragraph. Respect!

Idi Amin supposedly loved this movie and gave it four out of five coconuts, claiming, "it's the feel good family movie of the year!"

Only assholes like this movie.

It should be mentioned that the natives ate all the animals that were killed for the making of the movie. The director didn't even want to use real monkeys originally but the natives convinced him to because the brains were a delicacy to them.

Why is this film notorious? The name 'Cannibal Holocaust' itself could barely be more chilling, people eating people, nasty! and Holocaust certainly will hit a nerve deep in the psyche, together the two words form a toxic, thrilling and most definitely scary title for a horror film. The real life legal issues where the cast were believed to have been murdered for real also add to its notoriety. I have seen the film, meh. Okay the turtle killing was gross, apart from that pretty forgettable, there is enough real darkness in life to worry about fictional evil.

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