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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hump-Day Harangue: Cannibal Holocaust--What's the Big Deal?

Going along with the Cannibal Holocaust theme today, I bring you a special guest HDH from Vault contributor Marilyn Merlot, who was less than impressed with the notorious film, and clearly has a much stronger constitution than poor little me (except when it comes to turtles)...

So, after so much hype surrounding this movie, and so many people asking me if I’d ever seen it, I really felt like Cannibal Holocaust must be the movie to see. I was also hoping it was going to leave a lasting impression on me. I guess in some ways it did, because I still can't get over what a letdown it was!

The movie is concerned with a documentary team of three young men and a young woman. They are heading for the South American jungle to search for real cannibals. But did anybody else feel this movie was more about torturing and killing animals than humans? Cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh of other human beings. Granted, don’t get me wrong, this movie did have its graphic, violent rape and torture scenes (though not nearly enough).

I felt like for the most part these people were running around lost in the rain forest and killing animals. Maybe this is why I was let down. When you have the word CANNIBAL in the title, I’m thinking the movie is going to have more to do with violence against humans than animals. Also--and this has happened to me before--I think I may have watched it way past its prime. Maybe it would have had more of an effect on me if I had watched it when it was first released in the U.S. in 1985, when I was only 10 years old.

Anyway, to end my little rant, for those of you who may have not seen it yet, I will leave you with the one thing that really got to me. I’m all for something gruesome and a little gory, but Holy Ninja Turtle, that scene with the giant river tortoise can almost make anyone vomit. So please watch with caution, and with a bucket or toilet nearby...

11 comments:

christopher zenga said...

funny thing, this film has always eluded me, but as a kid i needed to see two things, faces of death and cannibal Holocaust. I did get a full dose of faces of death, but have still never got around to CH. I still want to see it, just to say I did but I have always thought the same thing, am I 20 years to late??

Later days,

Christopher Zenga

C.L. Hadden said...

I didn't really find it to be the "most horrific film ever!!!" either. But that turtle... man, that was hard to take. And I doubt I'll ever watch it again. No reason to.

Maweanne said...

The thing that really stuck with me after that movie was the music. So haunting.

Tower Farm said...

Yeah...this one just isn't my thing. I find it too gross and too boring to really enjoy. I think "Jungle Holocaust" is slightly more watchable, but only because it's just plain silly.

-Billy

B-Sol said...

The music really is haunting. The guy who wrote it, Riz Ortolani, had previously won an Oscar for Best Song for composing "More" for the '60s movie Mondo Cane. It's really beautiful--and SO completely out of whack with what's happening on screen!

Planet of Terror said...

I'm curious as to why Marilyn says the movie was hyped and a let down. I'm wondering from what context specifically. Because its anything but a 'good' movie. I've never seen this billed as anything more than a complete gross out, toss your cookies affair (at least among the horror loving populace).

MarilynMerlot said...

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. When you hear or read something like that, to me, this is a must see movie and felt it was over hyped. A let down (for me) when I felt the movie dealt more with the killing of animals. When the title of the movie is Cannibal Holocaust I was ready to see more of human vs human.

The Film Reel said...

One of my friends swore this was the most disturbing thing he had ever witnessed so of course I had to watch it.

I was also let down by the movie. It's pointless, boring and by no means did I find it disturbing. It's just one of those movies that's grown a legend around it and I think it's undeserving.

B-Movie Becky said...

Even with the animal-torture free version of the film, is there really any substance to it? I think you gave it a fair look, but I think it's silly that people would call you out for not watching it. Who says horror fans have to partake?

Pidde Andersson said...

I'm sitting at the central station in Malmö, Sweden, killing time, trying to surf the computers for free - which is ALMOST possible: besides handful of selected, free sites (all crap), you can actually check out blogs on Blogger, albeit without the images. I suppose it's some kind of bug.
So, I'm checking out some favorite blogs, and some new discoveries - like Vault of Horror - and read old (and not so old) entries.
I must say I find it fascinating people still discuss CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST; one of my favorite movies. I saw it for the first time in the late 80s, I was maybe 19 or 20, but I had heard of it before - all the talk about people getting killed for real. And people STILL ask me about that old movie in which people are killed for real. Nobody talked about the animals back in the 80s. On the other hand, the Swedish release (ca 1981?) was slightly trimmed. I remember that rape and stoning of a woman was missing, but I don't remember if they had cut the animal scenes. I don't think so. And to be honest, they never really bothered me. Yes, I'm a heartless soul.
However, the reason people still talk about C.H., still watch it, still TRY to watch it, PLAN to watch it, and that distributors keep on releasing it, is of course the fact that it's a piece of extremely skilled filmmaking. No matter what you think of its contents - Deodato knew what he was doing.
I don't think it's the most horrific movie ever, maybe not even the most controversial either. But it's a really well-made, good movie that keeps on fascinating and affecting new and old audiences.

B-Sol said...

I'm glad you discovered my blog, Pidde, I hope you're enjoying it! You bring up some great points about CH, and yes, I agree that it is a skilled piece of filmmaking, so matter what my opinion of its contents may be.

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