Mar 17, 2021

Cannibal Ferox (1981)


Another Italian cannibal film; this one by Umberto Lenzi.  Judging by the VHS box art, I'd always thought this was up there with Cannibal Holocaust (1980), perhaps a sequel.  While it shares a lot in common, with awful animal killings and unflinching gore, it doesn't have anywhere near the gritty "snuff" vibe of Cannibal Holocaust.

Some cool shots of the city as we follow a druggie through town.

The druggie is killed.  The detectives are on the scene - and there's the ubiquitous Book of Lists - found in every home in the seventies.

Pat Johnson (Zora Kerova) travels with photographer Rudy Davis (Danilo Mattei) and his sister Gloria Davis (Lorraine De Selle) who has come to the rain forest to research cannibals.

Gloria explains to Pat that the the so-called "cannibal ferox" is a myth.  It was made up by the white man to legitimize the killing and enslavement of the native people.  She has come here to prove her theory.

Their jeep gets stuck in mud and they have to go the rest of the way on foot.

They come upon a gory scene; a girl has been impaled by a spiked ball.

The come upon a couple of drug dealers: crazy Mike Logan (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) and his badly injured partner, Joe Costolani (Walter Lucchini).

Gloria immediately gets a bad vibe from Mike.

They stay in the village of natives who seem peaceful.

Pat and Mike do cocaine naked.

Mike and Pat abuse a native girl for no damn reason except to be cruel.

Rudy tries to stop them, and we see that Mike is completely unhinged.

Mike's partner spills the beans - telling of the atrocities they committed.

Joe explains that they used the natives as slaves to harvest their cocaine and pan for emeralds.  Mike brutally killed one of the natives.

Back in the city, things get ridiculously boring and irrelevant. Myrna Stenn (Fiamma Maglione), who lived with Mike, is interviewed by Lt. Rizzo (Robert Kerman). It seemed to be a requirement to have Kerman in every cannibal movie.  The Myrna-Rizzo story line is so pointless and awful; yet it takes up a decent amount of screen time.  Myrna travels to the rainforest to look for Mike for godsakes. 

Rudy and Gloria can sense that something bad is about to happen in the village. Their senses prove correct.

The natives disembowel and eat Joe.

Gloria and Rudy try to escape but are captured.

The natives are sick of being treated like shit by the white man.

Pat, Rudy and Gloria are imprisoned in a cage stuck in leech filled water.

Mike is castrated.  Grossest scene in the movie; hardest to watch.

The natives take them to another location up river.

Rudy dies from piranhas, and Pat and Rudy are kept in a pit.

Castrated Mike is also surrounded after an attempted escape.

Pat gets brutal treatment as well.

Her blouse is ripped open.

Gloria watches in horror.

Hooks are stuck through Pat's boobs!

Mike is dealt with.  That's the top of his head poking through the table.  Pretty gruesome.

With the help of a kindly native, Gloria is able to get away from the village.

Later, trappers find gloria laying in the mud, near death.

Gloria makes it to safety and writes a book called. Cannibalism: End of a Myth.  It's total bullshit to support her theory, and she leaves out all the atrocities that took place on her watch. THE END

Gore-hounds will love this; some of the grossest shit I have ever seen. However, I wasn't super impressed with the film itself. First, the animal cruelty is worse than Cannibal Holocaust, and that's saying something. Apparently, Giovanni Lombardo Radice was against it and refused to be in the scenes where it was taking place.  It's pretty fucking bad.  I mean, if you're going to eat the animal, it's one thing.  But man, this was rough.  Also, the whole vibe feels a bit campy - not anywhere close to the soul-crushing nihilism of Cannibal Holocaust.


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