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Cannibal Holocaust.
February 18, 2007 10:21 PM   Subscribe

Gang rape. Animal cruelty. Exploitation. Cannibalism. Put these elements together and you have Cannibal Holocaust, arguably one of the most well known exploitation films ever made. [Some of the following links are arguably NSFW]. Released in 1980, Cannibal Holocaust was a film so shockingly violent that it saw director Ruggero Deodato arrested by Italian authorities on the mistaken belief that he had made a snuff film and saw it being banned in almost every western country in the world for the actual deaths of several animals in the film. Although Deodato now regrets the introduction of the animals and although this ban has now been lifted in many of the countries that originally censored it, the horror of this landmark film is still as powerful as it ever was, a point evidenced by the often visceral reviews the film has garnered in its time. Whilst an official sequel has never been made (there have been at least two unofficial sequels), following his cameo appearance in Grindhouse movie Hostel II, Deodato has said an official sequel is in the works with an expected release date of 2009.
posted by Effigy2000 (59 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, and an interesting, well-written review, as well.
posted by retronic at 10:37 PM on February 18, 2007


I'm too scared to even go near the links, and yet I'm still commenting.
posted by Dizzy at 10:39 PM on February 18, 2007


arguably one of the most well known exploitation films ever made.

I'd like to have an argument, please.
posted by dw at 10:40 PM on February 18, 2007


Thanks for the warnings.
posted by facetious at 10:40 PM on February 18, 2007


There is an extra / at the end of the first link...that is why it doesn't work.
posted by GavinR at 10:44 PM on February 18, 2007


dw beat me to it, but let me just say I knew about and had seen I Spit On Your Grave long before Cannibal Holocaust. I didn't decide that I needed to own a copy of CH until I saw the trailer on another Grindhouse Releasing DVD, probably I Drink Your Blood. It also had a trailer for Cannibal Ferox which seems almost too similar to Cannibal Holocaust to even be a separate movie.
posted by Venadium at 10:51 PM on February 18, 2007


I was just thinking about this for some reason. The part that really disgusted me was the turtle slaughtering. Not disgusted in a 'ooh, what a raw and visceral experience' kind of way. Just the regular kind of disgusted.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:53 PM on February 18, 2007


I cannot believe, in spite of the claims to the contrary, that the footage about halfway through the movie does not show real executions. It seems to me that the deaths are far too realistic for such a low budget piece of trash as Cannibal Holocaust. This is one reason why the movie disgusted me so much--what's real is described as fiction, what's fictional is described as real.
posted by Tarn at 11:17 PM on February 18, 2007


It's interesting how the animal scenes evoke a different or stronger reaction than the scenes of the filmmakers or natives being killed and tortured. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the scenes with the animals are real, but when I watched it once with a friend who didn't know this, he still had the same reaction to the turtle and monkey scene.
posted by Venadium at 11:21 PM on February 18, 2007


I really don't understand films like this. Why make them in the first place? It's just disgusting (++, bob sarabia).

And rape really turns my stomach. My ex-girlfriend was (gang-) raped, not once but twice. I never thought lightly of it before I'd met her, but actually talking to someone who's been raped really changes your perceptions.
posted by VirtualWolf at 11:36 PM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the turtle scene keeps me from watching the movie again, even though there was a recent release on DVD that has a version with the animal scenes cut out.
posted by dozo at 11:52 PM on February 18, 2007


So is there even a line between Cannibal and more recent movies like Hostel or Saw III?
posted by rsanheim at 12:01 AM on February 19, 2007


These films are the visual equivalent of a stomach ache.
posted by tkchrist at 12:04 AM on February 19, 2007


So is there even a line between Cannibal and more recent movies like Hostel or Saw III?

Line? It's on a different fucking planet, man.

Ugh. I feel dirty just thinking about it.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:05 AM on February 19, 2007


So is there even a line between Cannibal and more recent movies like Hostel or Saw III?

Sure. Hostel and Saw III work hard to make violence cool, glamorous, and exciting. That's why they're much more socially acceptable.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:14 AM on February 19, 2007


What amazed me about these movies is how unbearably boring they are. Yes, there are scenes of extreme and unnecessary violence, but they're not violence in the dramatic way of hollywood which serves the greater story (ok, not always, but whatever). The scenes are just incredibly cold, flat, depictions of death (simulated or not). As such, they evoke a "why the fuck do the filmmakers think this is the best way to make this film??" They just come off as incredibly callous and bad filmmakers.
posted by beerbajay at 12:15 AM on February 19, 2007


I really don't understand films like this. Why make them in the first place? It's just disgusting (++, bob sarabia).

Well, all due respect to your opinion, but it's not JUST anything. While there's nothing wrong with finding the material disgusting, it's exceptionally myopic to dismiss it as being nothing more than repulsive. In every form of media that has existed in the recorded history of humankind there has always been an audience, a desire and an ability to discuss and depict violence, disturbing subject matter and the vilest depradations of the human condition. Whether it's the glorification of the hunt, inter-tribe battle or an imaginary cannibal holocaust, we've always used available media to express our frustrations and fascinations harmlessly. We may be born innocent, but we grow up with completely developed capacities for anger, violence, depravity and debasement. It's our ability to deal with these feelings and reactions in a healthy manner that enables us to live among society without being locked up. Part of healthy emotional handling is expression, whether it's shouting into your pillow, playing an explosive video game or watching some manner of holocaust that involves the participation of people eating other people. I forget what you would call that kind of holocaust. If you look up enough serial killer biographies, you'll find that a disturbing number of them grew up repressed and abused. With the repression of some religious prescriptivism keeping them from being able to express themselves about their abuse, many of them break and become the boogeymen we hear about.

The point is, it's not that there's something wrong with watching it or enjoying it or making it. It's just that you don't get it. You're free not to get it, and to think it's disgusting. No one could reasonably fault you for that. But others are free to find it entertaining, interesting, or at least worth the hour and a half gut churn, because it's not JUST disgusting. It's a form of escape that serves whatever emotional purpose escapism serves in any individual who enjoys it.
posted by shmegegge at 12:22 AM on February 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


but they're not violence in the dramatic way of hollywood which serves the greater story

Perhaps the filmmakers don't believe there is any "drama" to violence or that it serves any purpose at all.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:34 AM on February 19, 2007


Perhaps they just want to make a quick buck off of the freaks who pay to see this shit?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:36 AM on February 19, 2007


I don't mean that personally; I'm just channeling Ebert's review of I Spit on Your Grave.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:38 AM on February 19, 2007


Maybe. I don't know.

I just don't think it's valid to criticize a film for not depicting something with a slick enough Hollywood sheen.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:40 AM on February 19, 2007


jeezus. Back in the 80's, I had a lot of friends who were heavily into film... and while I was introduced to some really amazing stuff, like Dario Argento's Suspiria, and Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain, and all the Peter Greenaway you could shake a stick at (ZOO: A Zed and Two Noughts, Prospero's Books, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, etc) as well as some good films, but a little more edgy and disturbing, like Caro and Jeunet's Delicatessen, and Rémy Belveaux's Man Bites Dog / C'est arrivé près de chez vous, which is violent and exploitative on the surface, but has a metadiscursive bent... (not that any of these have anything in common other that sheer coolness)

I remember the first time I saw this, and kept asking, naïvely, "is this real?" To which my friends would just nod and say "Shhh. Just watch it." Disturbing, to say the least. I have since learned that there has never been a documented snuff film [defined as "a motion picture showing the actual murder of a human being that is produced, perpetrated, and distributed solely for the purpose of profit. This definition thereby excludes recordings of murders caught by accident, and videotapes of actual murders that were never intended to be released as entertainment films.1]
[ 2]

I saw it a second time, years later, and could only stomach the beginning. jeezus, I can still hear the soundtrack in my head, that sickening falling as the movie descends into complete madness and horror.

I think that the argument can be made that Deodato is trying to make a comment on the nature of voyeurism and the complicity of the media, that there is the flavor of filmic metadiscourse in there, (à la "American Psycho"--the book, not the film) but, as others have said...

ugh.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:42 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


(thinking about it again, "Natural Born Killers" fits the bill too... stylized violence eaten up and commodified for consumption)
posted by exlotuseater at 12:46 AM on February 19, 2007


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America writes "I just don't think it's valid to criticize a film for not depicting something with a slick enough Hollywood sheen."

C'mon, Mr. President; those are pretty damn loaded words. Ebert words this critique (of ISOYG rather than CH, but it applies to both movies) differently: "This movie is an expression of the most diseased and perverted darker human natures. Because it is made artlessly, it flaunts its motives: There is no reason to see this movie except to be entertained by the sight of sadism and suffering.... It is a geek show. "

You must agree that there is an art to making a movie, and a set of techniques and skills that allows a movie to connect emotionally with an audience. These ultra-hard grindhouse movies eschew all of those techniques: they are made with no acknowledgment of the art of film. Now, you might say this is an artistic choice on the part of the filmmakers; a meta-critique on the relationship between the audience and film, or on the role of the media. But I'll say they're cheap opportunists, and make an appeal to Occam's razor.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:54 AM on February 19, 2007


Ebert's review concludes:
This movie is an expression of the most diseased and perverted darker human natures, Because it is made artlessly, It flaunts its motives: There is no reason to see this movie except to be entertained by the sight of sadism and suffering. As a critic, I have never condemned the use of violence in films if I felt the filmmakers had an artistic reason for employing it. "I Spit on Your Grave" does not. It is a geek show. I wonder if its exhibitors saw it before they decided to play it, and if they felt as unclean afterward as I did.

[Buy or rent I Spit on Your Grave from Facets]
posted by ryanrs at 1:43 AM on February 19, 2007


Well, all due respect to your opinion, but it's not JUST anything.

...

The point is, it's not that there's something wrong with watching it or enjoying it or making it. It's just that you don't get it. You're free not to get it, and to think it's disgusting. No one could reasonably fault you for that. But others are free to find it entertaining, interesting, or at least worth the hour and a half gut churn, because it's not JUST disgusting.


My comment came across the wrong way... I wasn't meaning it as in "it's JUST disgusting and nothing else". I probably shouldn't have put that "just" in there. :)

On a cold logical level I agree with you. If it prevents people from going out and actually doing these things, it's a good thing.

However, it still greatly disturbs me that anyone would want to watch this, and indeed make it in the first place. It's more the rape than anything else, though, and to a lesser extent the actual animal killings. Violence in general is nothing new, the media glorifies it and CH just sounds like it's that glorification taken to the extreme (not that I condone it). Sexual violence, though, makes me sick to my stomach, and due to what happened to my ex-girlfriend I can't help but be disgusted.
posted by VirtualWolf at 2:50 AM on February 19, 2007


What amazed me about these movies is how unbearably boring they are.

Seconded. Men Behind the Sun was at least historically interesting. And Odishon (the Audition) had the whole second-half-twist thing going for it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:24 AM on February 19, 2007


I haven't seen this, so I can't comment on it ... but I'm one of those people who just don't get these ultra-gorey grindhouse torture movies. I can watch a violent movie when there's a meaning to the violence--Audition comes to mind, but a better (though more tame) example might be the torture at the end of The Last King of Scotland. Even if that had been more protracted, I could have sat through it, since it was about something.

But these violent movies that seem to be only about proving how much you can take, or about 'probing the dark depths of the human soul' in the shallowest possible way, or whatever--no thanks. To be honest, there's plenty of horror in the real world, and these movies have no relationship to it at all. The real horror is in the history books.

And I have to respectfully disagree with schmegege's idea that, somehow, these grind-core movies are an outlet for people who would otherwise become violent themselves. Surely that argument is (a) unprovable and (b) cuts both ways: these movies enure people to violence; that's clear enough in the way they're presented as a challenge for the viewer to surmount in terms of tolerance and awfulness. To me, there's a difference between violence you watch because you want to learn what really happens, and violence you watch just because. In your example:

Whether it's the glorification of the hunt, inter-tribe battle or an imaginary cannibal holocaust

. . . one of these is obviously not like the others.
posted by josh at 4:41 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Do you have a holocaust joke too, quonsar?
posted by cytherea at 5:46 AM on February 19, 2007


It's the death of the animals that upsets me in this film -- it just seems so unnecessary and cruel. But showing animal death is a staple of exploitation filmmaking. If you've ever watched exploitation documentaries, such as Mondo Cane and their ilk, you know to close your eyes when an animal appears onscreen, because they are not long for this world. And, while their are no snuff films, the filmmakers of Mondo Cane were later charged with having paid to film executions, I believe for Africa, Blood and Guts, and some argued that the executions might not have happened without the payment.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:47 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Perhaps wherever people lack actual violence there is a fascination with pretend violence. Maybe the fact that such a film exists might be testement to the relatively peaceful and happy lives that many people have.
posted by CrazyJoel at 6:46 AM on February 19, 2007


I wonder how many grindcore bands are named Cannibal Holocaust? My rough guess is: 700,000.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 7:18 AM on February 19, 2007


I'll echo the general feeling here about the animal deaths in this movie.
After I saw Cannibal Holocaust for the first time, I couldn't eat meat for about two weeks. I think that's actually why I watch movies like CH, though. I realized that it put a small part of me back in touch with how my food was brought to me. I'm appreciative of that. The directors of modern mainstream gore flicks, for all their millions of dollars, have never inspired feelings in me like these types of films do.
posted by Demogorgon at 7:19 AM on February 19, 2007


Cannibal Holocaust is by far one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen, mainly because you realize, early on, that there is very little these filmmakers aren't capable of doing. The effect that the animal killing has is this--it, in a very cheap, horrible way, lends this degree of realism to the human atrocities depicted. And man, not just that, it's just the general tone of despair and depravity that hangs over the whole thing.

So is there even a line between Cannibal and more recent movies like Hostel or Saw III?
Oh man, you have nooooo idea.
posted by ghastlyfop at 7:44 AM on February 19, 2007


I will never, ever, watch this movie thanks to the information here. Life can be tough enough as it is.
posted by malaprohibita at 8:02 AM on February 19, 2007


I hate these kinds of movies, for the same reason I hate inedibly spicy food or shots of straight everclear; Aesthetic enjoyment shouldn't be an endurance trial.

I can deal with movie violence, I like action films and violent movies and the like, but movies like this, at best are joyless chores to plod through, at worst, they're disturbing and psychologically unpleasant.

The oft-trotted out argument I get from fans of this genre that sound a bit like 'what d00d, can't you HANDLE this??!' Why yes, I can handle getting hit by a car (again) too, doesn't make it any more pleasant, nor am I in a rush to do it again.

It's like being 14 and my sexuality challenged when I didn't want to sit through 5 hours of someone's older brother's porn videos.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:32 AM on February 19, 2007


I've read Charlie Sheen alerted the FBI to the film as a snuff film in the United States.
posted by four panels at 10:57 AM on February 19, 2007


We call it... "The Aristocrats"
posted by Luddite at 11:24 AM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


four panels writes "I've read Charlie Sheen alerted the FBI to the film as a snuff film in the United States."

That was a different movie.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:34 AM on February 19, 2007


All this being said, Salo is the most unspeakably beautiful film I will never watch again.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:02 PM on February 19, 2007


And I have to respectfully disagree with schmegege's idea that, somehow, these grind-core movies are an outlet for people who would otherwise become violent themselves. Surely that argument is (a) unprovable and (b) cuts both ways: these movies enure people to violence; that's clear enough in the way they're presented as a challenge for the viewer to surmount in terms of tolerance and awfulness. To me, there's a difference between violence you watch because you want to learn what really happens, and violence you watch just because. In your example:

Whether it's the glorification of the hunt, inter-tribe battle or an imaginary cannibal holocaust

. . . one of these is obviously not like the others.
posted by josh at 7:41 AM EST on February 19 [+ 1 favorite] [!]


Actually, the argument I put forward is not my own idea, and there have been numerous studies in support of it released over the decades, but since I'm too lazy to go look them up, you can feel free to disbelieve them in favor of your own insupportable gut feeling that the opposite is true. As far as media enuring us to violence, remember that the most violent parts of the world right now, and the most violent parts of our history, are the places and times where we didn't have these movies, or anything approaching their like. I suppose the Sierra Leone warlords were raised on Cannibal Holocaust? Or maybe violent video games?

Seriously, it's one thing to say these things aren't for you. That's fine. But inventing causal relationships just because you don't like them is disingenuous and evidence of the sort of moral conservatism that encourages ignorance of the unknown.
posted by shmegegge at 1:21 PM on February 19, 2007


ignorance of the unknown?! wtf. going back to sleep.
posted by shmegegge at 1:22 PM on February 19, 2007


What an excellent post.
posted by squidfartz at 1:58 PM on February 19, 2007


AstroZombie:

I saw a screening of Salo when I was in college. That was excruciating. I've never seen so many people walk out of a theater, and I've been to Paulie Shore movies.

Like you, while I'd never watch it again, I am somehow glad to have seen it.
posted by Mister_A at 2:49 PM on February 19, 2007


I suppose the Sierra Leone warlords were raised on Cannibal Holocaust? Or maybe violent video games?

On NPR this weekend there was JUST such a tale of the exploited war children in the Congo being force fed Rambo and violent war and slasher films and then handed rifles.
posted by tkchrist at 2:55 PM on February 19, 2007


and evidence of the sort of moral conservatism that encourages ignorance of the unknown.

I would say the results of torture, rape and murder are hardly "unknowns."
posted by tkchrist at 2:59 PM on February 19, 2007


Do you have a holocaust joke too, quonsar?

yes, but it would be wasted on a politically correct humorless stick up the ass like you.
posted by quonsar at 4:27 PM on February 19, 2007


yes, but no one force fed rambo to the warlords. exploited war children in the congo are brainwashed and indoctrinated using media. kind of like beethoven's 9th in clockwork orange. there was nothing wrong with beethoven's 9th, it's a matter of association from brainwashing. but it wasn't brainwashing that made the adults who indoctrinate the children, and it certainly wasn't rambo movies.

similarly, hitler youth were raised on caricatures of jews and nazi propaganda. But there's nothing wrong with caricature or pamphlets. it's the dogma and brainwashing that's the problem.

also, the results of torture and rape were not what I was referring to. I was referring to the unknown of other peoples' desire to see horror or horrifying movies. I already said that it's perfectly reasonable to be disgusted by the movies and not want to see them. The problem is when you see something wrong with someone else wanting to watch them simply because you don't understand their desire to do so.
posted by shmegegge at 5:01 PM on February 19, 2007


also, what's with cytherea randomly calling quonsar out in this thread? I see no quonsar comment in this thread before hers, was it deleted or something?
posted by shmegegge at 5:11 PM on February 19, 2007


The problem is when you see something wrong with someone else wanting to watch them simply because you don't understand their desire to do so.

What I mean is we by nature err on the side of caution. People really REALLY in to intensive violent imagery trigger most folks "psycho filter." Me understanding their motives is not my first priority nor can I trust people to be 100% honest about their motives should they choose to tell me.

I'd rather not be around those types of people. Unfairly generalizing or not. I'd still say that's a reasonable paranoia.
So far I think that has been a prudent and not a too prejudicial attitude.
posted by tkchrist at 5:37 PM on February 19, 2007


makes sense to me, not that you need my permission.
posted by shmegegge at 8:42 PM on February 19, 2007


I also saw Salo in college and wish to god I had never taken that film class. I really thought I could handle the brutality but I could not. What an absolute horror.
posted by hojoki at 1:43 AM on February 20, 2007


actually talking to someone who's been raped really changes your perceptions.

Agreed. I always thought that people's enjoyment, if that's the right word, of ultra-ultraviolent movies increases in reverse relation to their exposure to real-life violence.
posted by scratch at 6:41 AM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


also, what's with cytherea randomly calling quonsar out in this thread? I see no quonsar comment in this thread before hers, was it deleted or something?

yes. and it's too bad, because it was completely delicious and off the wall. however, it was admittedly easy to construe as a hurtful declaration of rape-victim blame instead of the gag it actually was, plus it blended a generous dollop of 9/11 disrespect to top it all off. i imagine it died under a pile of outraged and self-righteous flagging.

you kids become more and more like my parents every day.
posted by quonsar at 2:59 PM on February 20, 2007


wah, what a poor precious snowflake
posted by Snyder at 3:23 PM on February 20, 2007


see?
posted by quonsar at 3:34 PM on February 20, 2007


Nice post on a really great flick. No one's even mentioned the guy getting his penis cut off on camera yet! But it's a disappointing thread - a bunch of people who haven't seen the film complaining and tut-tutting and talking about how they didn't like some other film which may or may not have anything to do with this film and so on. A whole lot of ignorance being displayed here.

In fact, although "Cannibal Holocaust" is unquestionably violent, downbeat and grotesque, it's also quite a feat (and arguably worthy of all its attention) at the level of storytelling - if only for the-then (so far as I know) unique method of having film footage of earlier events found and making up the last portion of the film, a technique later used to much acclaim in "The Blair Witch Project".

Also, for those beating the drum of morality, it might interest you to note that the none-too-subtle point of the film is that the unjust are punished for their transgressions and yes, that "we are the real savages". Since no one has yet mentioned the storyline in-thread (spoilers?): a handful of rather nasty young filmmakers disappear in the jungle. Some other folks go in to see what happened and narrowly escape with their lives and some cans of film. The film is processed and we witness the original crew's journey.

This is a powerful, and here skillfully employed, device to comment on violence and its repurcussions. The initial young filmmakers are themselves deviant thrillseekers - exactly the kind of personality being derided in this thread. Only this bunch go rather further than your average gorehound in seeking thrills; they rape and kill and consistently act in mean-spirited, sadistic ways, even torching a village at one point. And horrible things happen to them as a consequence.

The structure of the film has the desecration of the original crew arrive finally as a sort of inevitable, cathartic conclusion - but there is far more going on here than a simple Judeo-Christian post-coital kill a la "Friday The Thirteenth". The audience are implicated in the outcome, as is media itself (the search is organized by a television studio). This is an angry film which attacks perceived hypocrisy (at the same time arguably perpetuating the very thing it criticises, much like "Natural Born Killers"). I really hope Deodato doesn't actually shoot a remake. Leave this one alone.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:54 PM on February 20, 2007


This is an angry film which attacks perceived hypocrisy (at the same time arguably perpetuating the very thing it criticises, much like "Natural Born Killers").

This is the sticking point for me. It's one thing to attack hypocrisy, it's quite another to become hypocritical in your attacks, (as "Natural Born Killers" and, moreso, "Cannibal Holocaust do, as you mention). It's another to "implicate" your audience, especially when you, as the creator, creates a shallow, overhyped and "style over substance" film like NBK, or, horrifically kill actual animals as in "Cannibal Holocaust." When you are literaly making the very exact thing you are allegedly protesting against, I think you hace ceded any kind of superior artistic/moral viewpoint.
posted by Snyder at 1:10 PM on February 21, 2007


Because film is a visual medium, filmmakers usually wind up at some point having to show you things, even (or especially) that which they are being critical of.

This can become very problematic when simple presentation of the thing itself arguably creates more desire to see (or experience) that thing. This is why it's often seen as difficult-if-not-impossible to make a truly anti-war film - because no matter how explicit you try & convey your bias as a filmmaker, there's still going to be viewers who come away thinking that war is sure exciting and action-packed, etc. Yes, I realise there have been many films which have tried to overcome this phenomenon with varying degrees of success, but the point still stands.

When you are literaly making the very exact thing you are allegedly protesting against, I think you hace ceded any kind of superior artistic/moral viewpoint.

Now, Deodato is most definitely a sleazy character. I'm not trying to portray him as some saint or suggesting he has a superior viewpoint of any kind. But I wish people could somehow get over the fact that animals are - gasp! - killed onscreen. This is not the sum total of the film. Why would Deodato do this? As one of the OP's links suggest, the fact that animals are killed onscreen does make the human deaths to come that much more difficult to take.

It was more or less just a convention of 70s cinema to go a little further with cinematic taboos than had previously been acceptable - there are many examples of onscreen animal death in mondo cinema at this time. As anyone who is familiar with Michael Haneke's films will realise, the decision to kill animals onscreen is still one being made today. Does the simple fact that an animal is killed onscreen render the film no longer worth discussing? Or consideration of merit?

In fact, the totally uncut version of "Cannibal Holocaust" features brief footage of actual human beings being executed (in the "Last Road To Hell" documentary, shown near the beginning). So you may as well criticise him for including this footage as ciriticising him for cutting open a turtle and so on (I swear more people have lodged protest at that poor turtle's death than some real-live atrocities).

I've been a vegetarian for over twenty years now FWIW. And yes, those scenes are disturbing. I still think the film has tremendous value and I still think - obviously - that it's worth seeing. I'd love to go on, but I've gotta split. Heh.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2007


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