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Cannibal Holocaust

Theatrical poster
Directed by Ruggero Deodato
Produced by Franco Di Nunzio
Franco Palaggi
Written by Gianfranco Clerici
Starring Robert Kerman
Carl Gabriel Yorke
Francesca Ciardi
Perry Pirkanen
Luca Barbareschi
Music by Riz Ortolani
Cinematography Sergio D'Offizi
Editing by Vincenzo Tomassi
Distributed by Grindhouse Releasing (USA)
Release date(s) Italy:
February 7, 1980 (1980-02-07)
United States:
June 19, 1984
Running time 95 minutes
Country Italy
Language English
Spanish
Budget US$200,000[1] (estimated)

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is a controversial exploitation film directed by Ruggero Deodato from a screenplay by Gianfranco Clerici. Filmed in the Amazon Rainforest, the movie tells the story of four documentarians who journey deep into the jungle to film indigenous tribes. Two months later, after they fail to return, famous anthropologist Harold Monroe travels on a rescue mission to find the group. Eventually, he recovers and views their lost cans of film, which reveal the missing filmmakers' fate. The film stars Robert Kerman as Monroe, Carl Gabriel Yorke as director Alan Yates, Francesca Ciardi as Alan's girlfriend Faye, Perry Pirkanen as cameraman Jack Anders, and Luca Barbareschi as fellow cameraman Mark Tomaso.

Cannibal Holocaust is a well known exploitation film because of the controversy following its release. After premiering in Italy, the film was seized by a local magistrate, and Deodato was arrested on obscenity charges. He was later accused of making a snuff film due to rumors which claimed that certain actors were killed on camera. Although Deodato was later cleared of these charges, the film was banned in Italy, the UK, Australia, and several other countries due to its graphic depiction of gore, sexual violence, and the inclusion of six genuine animal deaths. Many nations have since revoked the ban, yet the film is still barred in several countries. This notoriety notwithstanding, some critics view Cannibal Holocaust as a social commentary about civilized society.[2][3]

Contents

Plot

There are two timelines in the film, one that depicts Monroe's trip into the jungle to determine the fate of the American explorers, and the other that involves Monroe's subsequent analysis of the recovered films made by the missing explorers. Much of the film is the depiction of the recovered film's content, which functions similarly to a flashback and grows increasingly disturbing as the film progresses.

Synopsis

The film begins with a television documentary about a missing film crew and their expedition to the Amazon Rainforest to make a documentary about cannibal tribes. The crew consists of Alan Yates, the director; Faye Daniels, his girlfriend and script girl; and their two cameramen, Jack Anders and Mark Tomaso. Professor Harold Monroe, a New York University anthropologist, has agreed to lead a rescue team and flies to the Amazon to meet his guides, Chaco and his assistant, Miguel. Due to a military raid, the group has a hostage from a tribe known as the Yacumo to help negotiate with the natives. After a long trek, they happen upon a Yacumo male raping and murdering his wife as a punishment for adultery. They follow the Yacumo to a large clearing, where they negotiate the release of their hostage if they are taken to the Yacumo village.

Upon their arrival at the village, the group is greeted with hostility. It is soon revealed that the missing film team caused great unrest. Miguel quells their fears by offering the Yacumo a switchblade as a sign of good faith. The next day, the three head even deeper into the rainforest to locate two warring cannibal tribes, the Yanomamo and the Shamatari. They follow a group of Shamatari warriors to a riverbank, where they save a smaller group of Yanomamo from certain death. In gratitude, the Yanomamo invite Monroe’s team back to their village, but they are again treated with suspicion. In order to gain their trust, Monroe bathes naked in a river, which a group of Yanomamo women find amusing. They lead him to a shrine made from the bones of the missing filmmakers, confirming Monroe’s fears. Frustrated, he confronts the Yanomamo in their village, and after playing a tape recorder for them, he is able to trade it for the team’s reels of film.

Once Monroe is back in New York, executives from the Pan American Broadcast Company inform him that they wish for him to host the airing of the film team’s documentary. Monroe asserts that he will acquiesce only if he views the film first. They agree, and to introduce him to the works of Alan Yates, they show him a short segment from the group’s previous documentary, The Last Road to Hell. After viewing, a female executive informs him that the whole scene was staged by Yates to acquire more exciting footage. Puzzled, Monroe continues on to view the recovered footage.

The first reel begins by detailing the group’s trek through the jungle. Deep in the jungle, their guide, Felipe, is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies. The remaining four continue on to locate the Yacumo. They come across a group of Yacumo in a clearing, and Jack shoots one in the leg so they can follow him to the village at their leisure. As the projectionist changes reels, Monroe expresses his disapproval toward the team’s actions. The second reel then starts with the group’s arrival at the Yacumo village, where they almost immediately force the entire tribe into a hut and burn it down in order to stage a scene for their film. Monroe again expresses his concerns over the staged scenes and unethical treatment of the natives, but his worries are ignored. He continues viewing the footage the next day, in which a pregnant Yacumo woman has her fetus forcibly removed.

Back at the station, Monroe expresses his disgust toward the executives’ decision to air the documentary. In an attempt to change their minds, he offers to show them the remaining, unedited footage. The final two reels begin with the team locating a young Yanomamo girl, whom the men gang-rape as Faye tries to stop them. Afterward, they arrive at a site where the same girl is impaled on a wooden pole and claim that the natives killed her due to an “obscure sexual rite.” Once they move on, the Yanomamo attack them in revenge for the girl’s death. Jack is impaled by a spear, but instead of attempting rescue, Alan shoots him to ensure that they film the natives castrate, disembowel, cook, and eat his corpse. While the remaining three attempt escape, Faye is then captured, and Alan insists that they rescue her. Mark films as Faye is gang-raped and beheaded, after which, the Yanomamo locate the final two in their hiding spot. The camera falls to the ground, and Alan’s bloody face falls in front of the lens as the reel ends. At first silent, the executives order for the footage to be burned as Monroe leaves the station.

Production

Production began in 1979, when Deodato was contacted by German film producers to make a film similar to Ultimo mondo cannibale, which was also directed by Deodato. He accepted and immediately went in search of a producer, choosing his friend Francesco Palaggi. The two first flew to Colombia to scout for filming locations. Leticia was chosen as the principal filming location after Deodato met a Colombian documentary filmmaker at the airport in Bogotá, who suggested the town as a location ideal for filming. Other locations had been considered, specifically the locations where the film Queimada by Gillo Pontecorvo was shot, but Deodato rejected these locations due to lack of suitable rainforest.[1] Leticia was only accessible by aircraft, and from there, the cast and crew had to travel by boat to reach the set.[4][5] The locale presented many problems for the production, in particular the heat and sudden rain storms, which sporadically delayed filming.[4][6]

Filming began on June 4, 1979, but it was delayed shortly while awaiting the arrival of Yorke. The scenes featuring the film team were shot first with handheld 16mm cameras in a cinéma vérité style that mimicked an observational documentary. After shooting with the film team was completed, Kerman flew down to film his scenes in the rainforest and then to New York to film exterior shots in the city. The interior shots of New York were later filmed in a studio in Rome.[7][8] Production on the film was delayed numerous times while filming in the Amazon. After the original actor to play Alan Yates dropped out, filming was halted for two weeks as new casting calls began and the crew awaited the arrival of Yorke from New York City.[5] During principal filming with Kerman, the father of the actor who played Miguel was murdered, and production was again halted as the actor flew back to Bogotá to attend his father's funeral.[8]

Tensions on the set were high, due in part to the location and to the content of the film itself. Yorke describes the set as having "a level of cruelty unknown to me,"[5] while Kerman described Deodato as remorseless and uncaring.[7] (He and Deodato got into long, drawn-out arguments every day of shooting, usually because of remarks made by Deodato.)[7][8] One particular aspect that led to disagreement amongst the crew was the genuine animal killings. Kerman stormed off the set while the death of the coatimundi was filmed,[9] and Yorke refused to partake in the death of the pig (which he was originally scripted to execute), which left Luca Barbareschi to have to shoot it. The squeal of the pig when it was shot even caused him to botch a long monologue, and retakes were not an option because they had no access to any more pigs.[5] Perry Pirkanen also cried after filming the "Turtle Scene".[8] Other cast members who objected to the film's content include actress Francesca Ciardi, who did not want to bare her breasts during the sex scene between her and Carl Yorke. When she refused to comply with Deodato's direction, he dragged her off the set and screamed at her in Italian. She had earlier suggested that she and Yorke actually have sex in the jungle before filming, in order to relieve the tension of the upcoming scene. When Yorke declined, she grew upset with him, alienating him for the rest of the shoot.[5]

The missing "Piranha Scene."

Writing

The story of the film was conceived by Deodato while he was speaking with his son about news programs concerning the terrorism of the Red Brigades. Deodato noticed that the media focused on depicting the violent acts with little regard for journalistic integrity and also believed that the media staged certain news angles. The film team in Cannibal Holocaust represented the actions of the Italian media.[8]

The script was written by long-time Italian horror screenwriter Gianfranco Clerici, who had collaborated with Deodato in his previous film, Ultimo mondo cannibale. There are several changes in the film from Clerici's original screenplay, including characters' names, especially in the film crew. Clerici also had originally written several scenes that are lacking from the film's final cut, the most famous of which involved a group of Yanomamo cutting off the leg of a Shamatari warrior and feeding him to piranha in the river. Due to a malfunctioning underwater camera, however, and because the piranha were difficult to control, the scene was dropped and filming was never finished. Photographs taken during the scene's partial execution are the only known depiction of this scene in existence. As a result, the "Piranha Scene" is a popular topic amongst fans of the film.[8]

Casting

Much of the cast of Cannibal Holocaust were inexperienced stage actors found at the Actors Studio in New York City. The casting of Luca Barbareschi and Francesca Ciardi hinged on the fact that Deodato needed two Italian actors who also spoke English. Deodato had decided to make the film in English in order to appeal to a wider audience and to lend the film "credibility." At the time, however, it was necessary for a European film to have an official nationality to assure free circulation among European countries.[10] Under Italian law, in order for Cannibal Holocaust to be recognized as an Italian film, Deodato needed at least two actors who spoke Italian as a native language to star in the movie.[1][10]

Also at the Actors Studio, Deodato hired Perry Pirkanen and another actor who dropped out of the project minutes before the production left for the Amazon (although he appears in the film as an ex-colleague of Yates).[8] To replace him, casting director Bill Williams contacted several other actors, including Carl Gabriel Yorke, who ultimately received the role. Yorke was chosen because all the costumes for the film had already been purchased, including size 10½ boots, the same size Yorke wore.[5]

Robert Kerman had years of experience working in adult films under the pseudonym Richard Bolla before working in Cannibal Holocaust, including the famous Debbie Does Dallas. Deodato contacted Kerman about playing Harold Monroe after he had been recommended to Deodato for his previous film, The Concorde Affair, in which Kerman played an air traffic controller. Kerman also went on to star in the Italian cannibal films Mangiati vivi! and Cannibal ferox, both directed by Umberto Lenzi. Kerman's girlfriend was cast as the female executive when the production needed an actress to be available in both New York City and Rome.[9]

Direction

Film historian David Kerekes contends that the realism of the film is due to the direction and treatment of the film team’s recovered footage.[11] Utilizing the cinéma vérité technique he learned from his mentor, Roberto Rossellini, Deodato created Cannibal Holocaust by incorporating a filming method which production designer Massimo Antonello Geleng calls "hyperrealistic."[4]

David Carter of cult horror webzine Savage Cinema says that the methods used by Deodato add a first-person quality to the film team’s footage, claiming, "The viewer feels as if they are there with the crew, experiencing the horrors with them."[2] Kerekes agrees by stating the "...shaky hand-held camerawork commands a certain realism, and 'The Green Inferno,' the ill-fated team's film-within-a-film here, is no exception," and later continues with, "...this very instability gives the 'Green Inferno' film its authentic quality."[11] Deodato himself is proud of other aspects of the cinematography, namely the numerous moving shots using a standard, shoulder-mounted camera (that is, without the use of a steadicam).[8]

The inclusion of animal slaughter and The Last Road to Hell, which features footage of human executions, also adds a sense of reality to the film.[11] Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Entertainment compares the effect to Vsevolod Pudovkin’s theory of montage, stating, "In Cannibal Holocaust, we see the actors kill and rip apart a giant sea turtle and other animals. The brain has been conditioned to accept that which it's now seeing as real. This mixture of real and staged violence, combined with the handheld camerawork and the rough, unedited quality of the second half of the movie, is certainly enough to convince someone that what they are watching is real."[12] Deodato says he included the execution footage in The Last Road to Hell to draw similarities between Cannibal Holocaust and the Mondo filmmaking of Gualtiero Jacopetti.[8]

Reaction

Cannibal Holocaust premiered on February 7, 1980, in the Italian city of Milan. Although the courts confiscated the film based on a citizen's complaint, the initial audience reaction was positive.[1][8] After seeing the film, director Sergio Leone wrote a letter to Deodato, which stated, [translated] "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."[13] In the ten days before it was seized, the film had grossed approximately $2 million.[1]

Critical response

Critics remain split on their stances of Cannibal Holocaust. Supporters of the film cite it as serious and well-made social commentary on the modern world. Mike Bracken called it one of the greatest horror movies ever filmed, and also stated, "Viewers looking for a film that's powerful, visceral, and disturbing have a new title to add to their must-see list."[14] Sean Axmaker praised the structure and set up of the film, saying, "It's a weird movie with an awkward narrative, which Deodato makes all the more effective with his grimy sheen of documentary realism, while Riz Ortolani's unsettlingly lovely, elegiac score provides a weird undercurrent."[15] Jason Buchanan of Allmovie said, "...while it's hard to defend the director for some of the truly repugnant images with which he has chosen to convey his message, there is indeed an underlying point to the film, if one is able to look beyond the sometimes unwatchable images that assault the viewer."[16]

Detractors, however, criticize the acting, question the genuine animal slayings, and point to an alleged hypocrisy that the film presents. Nick Schager criticized the brutality of the film, saying, "As clearly elucidated by its shocking gruesomeness – as well as its unabashedly racist portrait of indigenous folks it purports to sympathize with – the actual savages involved with Cannibal Holocaust are the ones behind the camera."[17] Schager's racism argument is supported by the fact that the real indigenous peoples in Brazil whose names were used in the movie – the Yanomamo and Shamatari – are not fierce enemies as portrayed in the movie, nor is either tribe truly cannibalistic (although the Yanomamo do partake in a form of post-mortem ritual cannibalism).[18]

Robert Firsching of Allmovie made similar criticisms of the film's content, saying, "While the film is undoubtedly gruesome enough to satisfy fans, its mixture of nauseating mondo animal slaughter, repulsive sexual violence, and pie-faced attempts at socially conscious moralizing make it rather distasteful morally as well."[19] Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson said it is "...artful enough to demand serious critical consideration, yet foul enough to christen you a pervert for even bothering."[20] Cannibal Holocaust currently has a 70% fresh rating on the film review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.7.[21] The film came in eighth on IGN's list of the ten greatest Grindhouse films.[22]

Interpretations

Cannibal Holocaust is seen by some as social commentary on various aspects of modern civilization by comparing Western society to that of the cannibals. David Carter says, "Cannibal Holocaust is not merely focused on the societal taboo of flesh eating. The greater theme of the film is the difference between the civilized and the uncivilized. Though the graphic violence can be hard for most to stomach, the most disturbing aspect of the film is what Deodato is saying about modern society. The film asks the questions 'What is it to be 'civilized'?' and 'Is it a good thing?'"[2] Mark Goodall, author of Sweet & Savage: The World Through the Shockumentary Film Lens, also contends the film's message is "...the rape of the natural world by the unnatural; the exploitation of 'primitive' cultures for western entertainment."[3]

Deodato's intentions regarding the Italian media coverage of the Red Brigades have also fallen under critical examination and has been expanded to include all sensationalism. Carter explores this, claiming that "[The lack of journalistic integrity] is shown through the interaction between Professor Monroe and the news agency that had backed the documentary crew. They continually push Monroe to finish editing the footage because blood and guts equal ratings."[2] Director Lloyd Kaufman claims that this form of exploitative journalism can still be seen in the media today and in programming such as reality television.[12]

Despite these interpretations, Deodato has said in interviews that he had no intentions in Cannibal Holocaust but to make a film about cannibals.[12] Actor Luca Barbareschi asserts this as well and believes that Deodato only uses his films to "put on a show."[23] Robert Kerman contradicts these assertions, however, stating that Deodato did tell him of political concerns involving the media in the making of this film.[9]

These interpretations have also been criticized as hypocritical and poor justification for the film's content, as Cannibal Holocaust itself is highly sensationalized. Firsching claims that, "The fact that the film's sole spokesperson for the anti-exploitation perspective is played by porno star [Robert Kerman] should give an indication of where its sympathies lie,"[19] while Schager says Deodato is "pathetically justifying the unrepentant carnage by posthumously damning his eaten filmmaker protagonists with a 'who are the real monsters – the cannibals or us?' anti-imperialism morale."[17]

Controversy

Since its original release, Cannibal Holocaust has been the target of censorship by moral and animal activists. Other than graphic gore, the film contains several scenes of sexual violence and genuine cruelty to animals, issues which find Cannibal Holocaust in the midst of controversy to this day. It has also been claimed that Cannibal Holocaust is banned in over 50 countries,[24] although this has never been verified. In 2006, Entertainment Weekly magazine named Cannibal Holocaust as the 20th most controversial film of all-time.[25]

Original Italian controversy

The original controversy that surrounded the film's release was the belief that Cannibal Holocaust was an actual snuff film, or that the actors were murdered in order to film their deaths for the movie. The film was confiscated ten days after its premiere in Milan, and Deodato was arrested. The courts believed not only that the four actors portraying the missing film crew were killed for the camera, but that the actress in the impalement scene was actually skewered in such a manner. To make matters worse for Deodato, the actors had signed contracts with him and the producers ensuring that they would not appear in any type of media, motion pictures, or commercials for one year after the film's release in order to promote the idea that the film was truly the recovered footage of missing documentarians. Thus, when Deodato claimed that he had not killed the group, questions arose as to why the actors were in no other media if they were alive.[1][8]

The film's impalement scene was examined by the courts to determine whether the special effects were genuine.

Eventually, Deodato was able to prove that the violence was staged. He contacted Luca Barbareschi and told him to gather the other three actors. After he voided the contracts in order to avoid life in prison, Deodato brought the foursome onto the set of an Italian television show, which satisfied the courts. He still had to prove, however, that the impalement scene was merely a special effect. In court, he explained how the effect was achieved: a bicycle seat was attached to the end of an iron pole, upon which the actress sat. She then held a short length of balsa wood in her mouth and looked skyward, thus giving the appearance of impalement. Deodato also provided pictures of the girl interacting with the crew after the scene had been filmed. After they were presented with this evidence, the courts dropped all murder charges against Deodato.[1][8]

Although Deodato was exonerated for murder, the courts decided to ban Cannibal Holocaust because of the genuine animal slayings, citing animal cruelty laws. Due to this ruling, Deodato, the producers, screenwriter, and the United Artists representative each received a four-month suspended sentence after they were convicted of obscenity and violence. Deodato fought in the courts for three additional years to get his film unbanned. In 1984, the courts ruled in favor of Deodato, and Cannibal Holocaust was granted a rating certificate of VM18 for a cut print. (It would later be re-released uncut.)[1][8]

International censorship

Cannibal Holocaust also faced censorship issues in countries around the world. In 1981, video releases were not required to pass before the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) for certification in the UK. Cannibal Holocaust was released there straight-to-video, thus circumventing the possible banning of the film. In 1983, the Department of Public Prosecutions compiled a list of 74 video releases that were not brought before the BBFC for certification and declared them prosecutable for obscenity. This list of "video nasties" included Cannibal Holocaust, which was successfully prosecuted and banned. The film was also banned in Australia, Norway, Finland, New Zealand and several other countries in 1984,[26] although most of these countries have since lifted the ban. In 2001, the BBFC passed Cannibal Holocaust with an 18 certificate after extensive cuts to remove all animal cruelty (save for the deaths of a snake and a spider) and eroticized sexual violence, thus putting an end to the 18 year ban.[27] In order to comply with censorship laws, however, any version of Cannibal Holocaust that does not include these cuts is still banned in the UK. In 2005, the Office of Film and Literature Classification in Australia also revoked the ban, passing Cannibal Holocaust with an R18+ rating for the uncut print. In 2006, however, the film was banned in its entirety by the OFLC in New Zealand. Cuts to retain an R18 classification were offered by the Office, but they were eventually refused.[26]

Animal cruelty

Many of the censorship issues with Cannibal Holocaust concern the on-screen killings of animals, which remains a major issue today. Seven animals were killed during the film's production, six of which are seen on screen:[1]

  • A coatimundi (mistaken as a muskrat in the film) is stabbed multiple times in the neck by an actor.
  • A large turtle (about three feet long) is captured in the water and dragged to shore, where it is then decapitated and its limbs and shell removed. The actors proceed to cook and eat the turtle.
  • A large spider is killed with a machete.
  • A snake is killed with a machete.
  • A squirrel monkey has its face cut off with a machete.
  • A pig is kicked twice and then shot with a rifle.

Many condemn this as animal cruelty for the purpose of mere sensationalism and only to attract controversy, and it has also been called "animal torture." Deodato himself has condemned his past actions,[8] saying "it was stupid to introduce animals."[28]

^ While in the movie it appears that only six animals are killed, the scene depicting the monkey's death was shot twice, resulting in the death of two monkeys. Both of the animals were eaten by indigenous cast members (who consider monkey brains a delicacy).[5]

Film influence

Deodato drew influence from the works of Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, documentary filmmakers of whom Deodato was a fan.[29] Prosperi and Jacopetti produced several Mondo films, which are documentaries similar to the one made in Cannibal Holocaust. These documentaries focused on sensationalistic and graphic content from around the world, including bizarre local customs, death, and general cruelty. Deodato followed suit in ways of similar content, such as graphic violence and animal slayings. Although fictional, Deodato created a similar exposé of worldly violence, such as Prosperi's and Jacopetti's Mondo cane.[29]

Certain scenes in Cannibal Holocaust have been noted as being similar to scenes in Antonio Climati's Mondo film Savana violenta, specifically the scene in which Monroe bathes naked in the river and the scene of the forced abortion rite. The cinéma vérité style used heavily in Cannibal Holocaust also was used before in Climati's first Mondo film, Ultime grida dalla savana, in a scene where a tourist is attacked and killed by a pride of lions. Another scene, in which a native man is captured, tortured, and murdered by mercenaries in South America, uses a similar filming style, and both scenes may have been influential on Deodato's direction.[3] Mark Goodall, author of Sweet & Savage: The World Through the Documentary Film Lens, and David Slater and David Kerekes, authors of Killing for Culture: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff, have also suggested that Deodato was attempting to comment on the documentary works of Climati with his film.[3][11]

Cannibal Holocaust was innovative in its plot structure, specifically with the concept of the "found footage" being brought back to civilization and later viewed to determine the fate of the crew that shot it. Later films, such as The Last Broadcast and The Blair Witch Project, use similar plot structures. Each film uses the idea of a lost film team making a documentary in the wilderness, and their footage returned. Advertisements for The Blair Witch Project also promoted the idea that the footage is genuine.[30] Deodato has acknowledged the similarities between his film and The Blair Witch Project, and though he holds no malice against the producers, he is frustrated at the publicity that The Blair Witch Project received for being an original production.[1] The producers of The Last Broadcast have denied that Cannibal Holocaust was a major influence.[31]

Cannibal Holocaust bears similarities to other cannibal films made during the same time period, notably Cannibal ferox, which also stars Robert Kerman and Perry Kirkanen. Although Cannibal ferox director Umberto Lenzi has not acknowledged any influence, star Giovanni Lombardo Radice says Cannibal ferox was made based on the success of Cannibal Holocaust.[32] Cannibal Holocaust also spawned numerous and similar unofficial sequels, some with scenes mirrored from the original.

Soundtrack

The cover of the rare soundtrack release of Cannibal Holocaust by Lucertola Media.
Problems listening to this file? See media help.

The film's soundtrack was composed entirely by Italian Riz Ortolani, whom Deodato specifically requested because of Ortolani's work in Mondo Cane, particularly the film's main theme, "Ti guarderò nel cuore" (also known as "More"). The music itself is a variety of styles, from a gentle melody in the "Main Theme", to a sad and flowing score in "Crucified Woman", and faster and more upbeat tracks in "Cameraman's Recreation", "Relaxing in the Savannah", and "Drinking Coco". The instrumentals are equally mixed, ranging from full orchestras to electronics and synthesizers.[33] The original soundtrack release was a limited release of 1,000 copies in Germany in 1995, on the Lucertola Media label.[34] In August 2005, the soundtrack was released again, this time in the United States, on the Coffin Records label.[33].

Track listing

  1. "Cannibal Holocaust (Main Theme)"
  2. "Adulteress' Punishment"
  3. "Cameraman's Recreation"
  4. "Massacre of the Troupe"
  5. "Love with Fun"
  6. "Crucified Woman"
  7. "Relaxing in the Savannah"
  8. "Savage Rite"
  9. "Drinking Coco"
  10. "Cannibal Holocaust (End Titles)"

Releases and sequels

Due to its graphic content, there are several different versions of Cannibal Holocaust in circulation which are edited to certain degrees. Many uncut releases also differ in content as there are multiple versions of the "Last Road to Hell" segment of the film, which includes footage of genuine political executions from Nigeria[8] and South East Asia. An extended version of "The Last Road to Hell" includes approximately ten seconds of footage not seen in an alternate, shorter version. This additional footage includes a wide-angle shot of firing-squad executions, a close-up of a dead victim, and extended footage of bodies being carried into the back of a truck. The longer version also includes different titles that correctly name the film team as they appear in the final film, while the shorter version gives the names of the film team that originally appear in the script.[35]

A Thai poster for Natura contro that advertises the film as Cannibal Holocaust 2

The longer version of "The Last Road to Hell" is no longer found in the film’s negatives,[35] but it was included in the original Dutch Ultrabit DVD release by EC Entertainment in 1999. This digital version has since been rereleased and licensed for other various DVD releases in Europe. The Grindhouse Releasing DVD release in the United States and the Siren Visual release in Australia have the shorter version of "The Last Road to Hell" within the feature film but include the extended version in the special features on the first disc. Another common release is the British VIPCO (Video Instant Picture Company) DVD that has been edited to a PAL format running time of 86 minutes to correspond with BBFC regulations.[27]

Although no official sequel has been released, several films have adopted the moniker Cannibal Holocaust II as to be associated with Cannibal Holocaust's notoriety. These films were originally released under different titles that were then changed for various releases, although none have been directed by or associated with Deodato. The first of said films came in 1985 with Mario Gariazzo's Schiave bianche: violenza en Amazzonia. Known in English as Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story, it has also been released on European DVD as Cannibal Holocaust 2: The Catherine Miles Story. In 1988, Mondo film director Antonio Climati made his film Natura contro, which was released as Cannibal Holocaust II in Thailand and the UK. Italian director Bruno Mattei also made two straight-to-video films back to back in 2003, which have been released as Cannibal Holocaust sequels in Japan.[36]

In 2005, Ruggero Deodato officially announced that he planned to make a companion piece to Cannibal Holocaust entitled Cannibals.[37] Deodato was originally hesitant about directing his new film, as he thought that he would make it too violent for American audiences. While in Prague filming his cameo appearance in Hostel: Part II, however, Deodato viewed the first Hostel film and decided that he would direct after all, citing Hostel as a similarly violent film that made a mainstream release in America.[38] Although the screenplay, written by Christine Conradt, was completed, a financial conflict[37][39] between Deodato and the film's producer led to the project's cancellation.[40]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ruggero Deodato (interviewee). (2003). In the Jungle: The Making of Cannibal Holocaust. [Documentary]. Italy: Alan Young Pictures. 
  2. ^ a b c d Carter, David. "Savage Cinema". Savage Cinema. http://www.savagecinema.com/cannibalholocaust.html. Retrieved 2006-09-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d Goodall, Mark (2006). Sweet and Savage: The World Through the Shockumentary Film Lens. London, UK: Headpress. ISBN 1-900486-49-0. 
  4. ^ a b c Gelend, Antonio (interviewee). (2003). In the Jungle: The Making of Cannibal Holocaust. [Documentary]. Italy: Alan Young Pictures. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Carl Gabriel Yorke. Interview with Sage Stallone. Alan Yates Uncovered. Cannibal Holocaust DVD Extras. Palo Alto, California. 2005-05-12.
  6. ^ D'Offizi, Sergio (interviewee). (2003). In the Jungle: The Making of Cannibal Holocaust. [Documentary]. Italy: Alan Young Pictures. 
  7. ^ a b c Kerman, Robert. Interview with Sage Stallone; Bob Murawski. Cannibal Holocaust DVD Commentary. Cannibal Holocaust DVD Extras. Tarrytown, New York. 2000-11-12.
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