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BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

By Nick Durham

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Oh fucking hell, here we go...

The most infamous of all the cannibal movies ever made in the history of fucking ever, Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust, has gotten a wonderful treatment from those beautiful bastards at Grindhouse Releasing. The fact that the film has received such a great physical media release doesn't negate the love/hate relationship I have with it, and the cannibal genre as a whole in all honesty, but man oh man, what a treat this is.

In case you don't already know for some reason, Cannibal Holocaust was Deodato's follow up to his cinematic shit-fest Jungle Holocaust; only this time around we get these little things called subtext and social commentary amidst all the blood and guts. We also get some absolutely reprehensible shots of animal murder to go along with all that...so...yeah...

...like I was saying, fuck all this.

Anyway, Cannibal Holocaust follows Professor Harold Monroe (Robert Kerman) as he makes a trek to the South American jungle to discover exactly what happened to a missing documentary crew. Considering the film has the word cannibal in the title, just take a wild guess. So yeah, Monroe meets the tribe and eventually gains their trust by taking a naked swim. Oh, and I should mention now, if Kerman's cock looks familiar to you at all, chances are it's because you watched him nail the title character of the 70s classic adult film Debbie Does Dallas. Yes, I'm totally fucking serious. Go watch that right now and thank me later. Eventually Monroe discovers the crew's remains as well as a reel of film they had shot, and it slowly reveals through the found footage (oh...so this is how THAT whole sub-genre started) just what happened to these assholes and why. Spoiler alert: they pretty much got what they deserved.

As the genre would be known for, Cannibal Holocaust features many scenes of animal murder, torture, rape, genital mutilation, and some occasionally atrocious dubbing here and there. It's also notorious because Deodato had to appear in court with the actors and effects artists to prove to everyone that he didn't make a fucking snuff movie. Again, I'm dead fucking serious. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Anyway, enough about the movie itself, let's get down to the Blu-ray. Grindhouse Releasing is awesome, as I've said so many times in the past, and this release is no different. There're a couple of commentary tracks featuring Deodato, Kerman, and a few other actors, as well as new and old interviews to boot. There's an assortment of trailers and easter eggs (including Necrophagia's music video directed by The Manson Family and Deadbeat at Dawn helmer Jim VanBebber) as well as the standard collectible booklet that features liner notes by Eli Roth, and reversible cover artwork. The film itself also looks and sounds great, probably the best it ever has. A CD soundtrack is included as well, featuring Riz Ortolani's score remastered and sounding pitch perfect. The most important special feature, at least for me, is the ability to watch the film with the animal death scenes edited out. I can watch people get hacked up any day of the week, but when it comes to animals, man, count me the fuck out. Kudos to Grindhouse for that.

To close things out, you can say what you will about Cannibal Holocaust. It's deplorable, reprehensible, and a total product of its time as a cannibal grindhouse film. It's infamous for a reason, and its subtext somehow manages to still hold up to this very day. This Blu-ray release from Grindhouse Releasing is wonderful, and if you're a fan of this sort of thing, you should go pick this fucker up. If you've never seen it before, there's no better time than now since we're about to get The Green Inferno unleashed upon us. Oh, and no matter what, this is still better than Cannibal Ferox, but we'll get to that one later.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee

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