Fascination with horror movies spans generations, race, and gender, and those of us who do more than scratch the surface of the genre inevitably find one of the most renowned (or reviled) films: Cannibal Holocaust. Directed by Ruggero Deodato, Cannibal Holocaust is an exemplar of the Italian horror genre in the 70s and 80s. While it’s not the goriest film ever made or the most terrifying, but it has become, in some ways, a proving ground for movie buffs. The film used a found footage format long before The Blair Witch Project and features brutal killings, sexual assault, and actual violence against a variety of animals, including a turtle and monkey being killed on screen. Since its release, it has been banned in several countries, including the UK where such films are known as ‘video nasties,’ and to this day, remains banned in some of them.
Aside from those illustrious distinctions, Cannibal Holocaust finds itself set apart in another way: it had to prove it wasn’t a snuff film. Shortly after its initial premiere in Italy, local authorities arrested Deodato and charged him with obscenity, then demanded all copies of the film be turned over. However, the film was able to be distributed internationally through various underhanded means and once the film had screened in France, speculation lead one magazine to propose that the on-screen deaths had actually occurred. Authorities then added murder to the charges against Deodato.
The fact that no one had publicly seen the actors who had been killed in the film fuelled the idea that Cannibal Holocaust was a snuff film. In reality, the director had the white actors who had been killed on-screen sign agreements stating that they would not appear in any media such as promotions or commercials for a year following the release of the film. Deodato did this in the hopes it would further the idea that the film had actually been made from found footage from a documentary gone horribly wrong. Another one of the actors killed on screen was an indigenous woman who lived in the Amazon, where the movie had been filmed.
The court demanded an explanation for the actor’s lack of media appearances and even cited it as evidence that they had truly been murdered. In order to prove his innocence, Deodato got in contact with the actors and the four of them all appeared in an interview together. He also went on to explain how the crew had achieved the effects for each of the controversial murders.
To this day, critics have varied opinions on the film, but it continues to serve as a right of passage for those who seek entrance into the more underground sect of the horror fandom.
July 18, 2018 at 7:23 am
Laurie…this is that film I told you about
July 18, 2018 at 6:36 am
Kenneth TheRed Jonas Olivo
July 18, 2018 at 5:40 am
THis movie is trash. Just like roar. All hype no substance, i found myself think why am I watching this boring shit. Any korean gore film better. Any. One. I don’t see this as ground breaking, considering people from the film admit to faking the eating scenes. It has a cool name and thats it
July 18, 2018 at 8:41 am
It was groundbreaking back in the day Mr. Dailey
July 18, 2018 at 10:14 am
I guess jello and beef sides are ground breaking ( we watched this together)
July 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Give me titles of these gore flicks senor
July 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm
Oliver Lucifer Lindell
July 19, 2018 at 10:33 pm
The main soundtrack theme song is dope though.
July 18, 2018 at 5:23 am
This movie was one of my heaviest cinematic experiences.
July 18, 2018 at 4:01 am
July 18, 2018 at 3:42 am
July 18, 2018 at 3:53 am
the real horror movie!