|Modern Pulp||Jan 28 2010|
What you’re looking at are two pieces of Japanese promo art for the Italian shocker Cannibal Holocaust. Released in 1980, the film was so disturbing that it was banned by several countries, and resulted in director Ruggero Deodato being dragged before authorities who were seriously intent on jailing him for the rest of his life. In order to avoid that fate, he had to prove that his actors had not been killed during filming, and in particular, he had to show that the scene of an indigenous Amazonian girl impaled on a pole was just a special effect. But even knowing the impalement, a castration, a disembowelment, a beheading, and the cannibalism are all fake doesn’t make the film any easier to stomach, mainly because it features some real atrocities, such as a three-foot long turtle being de-shelled, a pig being shot to death, and a monkey having its face cut off with a machete. On the plus side, the Brazilian scenery is beautiful. Cannibal Holocaust’s central premise of lost film footage being found and reviewed in order to determine the fate of the foolhardy foreigners who shot it sets up like familiar horror, but in all other respects the film pushes the envelope so far it’s on the outside looking in. Think you’re tough? Give this one a try. Cannibal Holocaust premiered in Tokyo in January 1983.