cannibal ferox

MOVIE REVIEW: Cannibal Ferox (aka Make Them Die Slowly) (1981)

MOVIE REVIEW: Cannibal Ferox (aka Make Them Die Slowly) (1981)

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.Any horror fan worth their weight in shrunken heads, has at least heard of Italian director Ruggero Deodato’s infamous carnival of cannibal carnage, Cannibal Holocaust, and how its notoriety set off a mini-explosion of cannibal knock-offs during that same period. Not to be bested, City of the Living Dead helmer Umberto Lenzi wanted to see if he could equal, if not top Deodato’s, claim to ‘fame’, and the result was a nearly identical ‘homage’ to Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox (retitled under numerous names as most films of the period were but recognized mostly under the alternative Make Them Die Slowly).

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.You’ve got to hand it to the Italians; when it comes to mixing and matching hybrids, they go for broke, which makes for some of the goofiest, most unexpected plot twists and turns you’ve ever seen! Not content to simply settle for Cannibal Holocaust’s scenario of having ‘students’ going into the Amazonian wilds for anthropological reasons, Lenzi begins his screenplay as…wait for it…A CRIME THRILLER.

The story immediately starts off with a bait-and-switch, with a guy who we think will be a major character, until he’s promptly murdered by two goons in a New York apartment. Turns out they’re looking for a guy named Mike, who swindled them out of a lot of money, and unfortunately for him, they didn’t believe he had no idea where Mike was.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.Enter the cops, as the murder case is headed up by Lt. Rizzo (Robert Kerman) and Sgt. Ross (Venantino Venantini). If Rizzo looks familiar, he should. Kerman also appeared in Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, underscoring the intentional similarities in the two pictures. But just wait…Lenzi encroaching on Cannibal Holocaust’s turf doesn’t stop there!

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.Cut to: somewhere near Bogota, Colombia. (Yeah, the transition is just that abrupt – get used to it!) Gloria Davis (Lorraine De Selle) has come here with her brother Rudy (Danilo Mattei aka Bryan Redford) and her best friend, the model/actress/free-spirit Pat Johnson (Zora Kerova), for something of a dual purpose. It’s for an adventure in the Amazon, sure, but Gloria is also a student of anthropology (shades of Cannibal Holocaust!), who is here to work on a dissertation that will disprove the entire concept of cannibalism and expose it as a myth created by colonialists who wanted to paint indigenous tribes as some kind of evil threat to more “civilized” people and, therefore, justify their extermination.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.It takes a while for the fun to begin— nearly the entire first act — as Gloria, Rudy, and Pat eventually make their way down the Amazon River and begin their trek into the jungle to find the village that is the center of Gloria’s intended research. The usual ‘antics’ take place along the way: a cute little — lemur? Anteater? I’m not sure what the hell it was, but it was given to Pat by a native on the boat trip— is horrifically crushed to death by an anaconda (and probably eaten later, off-camera); the jeep gets stuck; and they wind up having to make their way to the location on foot.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.Dying screams of agony lead them to a clearing where they find the slashed and impaled bodies of another native man and woman, and wouldn’t you know it — here’s where our intrepid heroes run into…MIKE! As in the “Mike” everyone’s looking for back in NYC. Mike Logan (Giovanni Lombardo Radice, the iconic star of such Lenzi hits as House on the Edge of the Park and City of the Living Dead, billed here as John Morghen) runs into them with his wounded buddy, Joe Costolani (Walter Lucchini aka Walter Lloyd) in tow.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.When questioned by Rudy about what happened to them and the two dead bodies, Joe recounts a fantastic tale of looking to score some “really good shit” down here, when they ran afoul of a native tribe that enjoys snacking…on humans. He and Joe barely make it out alive, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. Having seen enough of these, it’s not hard for the audience to see from the jump that Mike is more full of shit than a livestock farm. Pat, however, is immediately intrigued. (I guess you know where THAT’S going.)

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.The now-enlarged group of five finally does make it to Gloria’s village, but for the most part, they find it nearly deserted, save for a bunch of elderly indigenous men, some women, and a few kids…none of the young men around whatsoever. And things are just about to get a lot stranger…and dangerously awkward.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.

It takes a good little while to get to the “making them die slowly” part, but remember: it’s not about the destination, but the JOURNEY. Mike turns out to be an even bigger asshole than any of them realized, and it’s his actions that bring about the gruesome retribution from the natives, well-deserved or not. And unlike the jaw-droppingly realistic effects of, say, The Green Inferno, the practical and visual work here may elicit more giggles than screams from viewers since a 21st Century audience can’t help but notice how painfully “primitive” the bloodletting is. (Though it was probably anything but for moviegoers of that time period.)

The same thing that has many overly sensitive horror fans concerned about Cannibal Holocaust is present in Cannibal Ferox: the real-time, on-camera killing of animals. The anteater-thing that was Pat’s pet, as well as a large turtle that the natives dismember and eat ‘au naturel’, will probably be more of a turn-off to some than what happens to the humans. Yes, the anaconda sequence seems especially cruel, as it feels more like something set up intentionally by Lenzi in order to get some exploitative footage.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.But to be completely realistic about it, anyone who’s seen a nature documentary has witnessed everything you’ll see here in the way of animal deaths and worse. The butchering and consumption of the turtle are so matter-of-fact, you can pretty much tell that it wasn’t the first time the tribe had consumed such a meal and probably wouldn’t be the last. Yes, it’s questionable that something so unsettling should have been used as the basis for entertainment, but it’s a bit hypocritical to dwell on this as an issue if you’re going out after the movie for a Wendy’s Triple if you get my drift.

But back to the movie. The NYC/Amazon scenario split keeps you wondering if it’s all going to come together eventually in a way that makes any kind of sense, and I guess it does at the climax.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.Whether or not Cannibal Ferox one-ups its Cannibal Holocaust predecessor is up for you, the viewer to decide. For my taste, it’s just way too close to call. The very “Seventies” message that the violent nature of “civilized” man is contagious seems rather quaint now, or way too obvious to take seriously from a film that — let’s face it — hasn’t aged very well. As expected, the scenery chewing and horrendous English dubbing job are present as usual, though no one can ever say the cast wasn’t up to Lenzi’s demands. Everyone gives their best, and Radice is especially hissable as the amoral Mike.

Cannibal Ferox (1981) / Fair use doctrine.As for the direction, Lenzi is very similar to his contemporaries — Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, etc.— in the way that nothing ever stands between him and telling the story. Crappy acting, substandard special effects, iffy locations, hiccups in photography and/or editing — none of it matters. You may scream, cry, puke, be repulsed or tickled pink…entertainment is the main objective, and there’s no way that anyone into the human fast-food sub-genre WON’T be completely captivated. And there’s something to admire in that determination and sense of commitment — even if it’s only good enough for grindhouses and drive-ins.

For never being boring and maintaining its promise of off-beat entertainment at the very least, Cannibal Ferox gets two-and-a-half leg-gnawing stars out of five.

Posted by Samuel Glass in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: Cannibal Metropolis (October 31, 2014)

BOOK REVIEW: Cannibal Metropolis (October 31, 2014)

By Nick Durham

Cannibal Metropolis

Just when I thought my trek through cannibal land would come to an end, I discover this little fucker right here. A novel by Saurav Dutt (I just want to say right now that I am so fucking glad I have the luxury of typing this thing. If I had to try to say his name out loud for a video review or something, there's no way I could ever pronounce it correctly.), Cannibal Metropolis is a glorious mix of zombie horror and cannibal trash. It also manages to beat you over the head with political social commentary, so that way the whole affair isn't just flesh eating, genital mutilation, and rape.

In other words, this is what every kid in school today should do a book report on.

Anyway, Cannibal Metropolis follows a government-led experiment involving a cannibal tribe which eventually turns some soldiers into superhuman cannibal zombies (yes, you read that right) that enjoy raping, pillaging, and eating people alive. There's tons of characters that all have names based on classic genre actors (Biehn, Saxon, Atherton, Englund, and Henriksen) that don't really mean much to the overall story, because we care little about them. It's the violence and brutal way that people are assaulted and munched on that is the main attraction here. Eventually the undead cannibals grow in number (zombie rules get followed to a degree, but just because these fuckers are undead doesn't mean that all they do is shamble around and eat, their brains still function.), and shit begins to really hit the fan when New York City becomes the main target during an Occupy-style protest, and that's when shit really hits the fan.

Needless to say, this book is absolutely disgusting...and super fucking enjoyable. Seriously, I read through this 250 page book in no time flat. Even though the characterizations are stock and boring, the events taking place definitely aren't. The political stabs (no pun intended) are really heavy handed, though. Subtle social commentary is something this thing doesn't really have, but that's beside the point. Cannibal Metropolis knows what it is, and Dutt knows what he's written here, and he delivers the goods that we sick fucks are looking for.

Cannibal Metropolis isn't anything revolutionary or genre-changing, but like I said, it is really fucking enjoyable for what it is. That being said, if you're a fan of zombies and want a little something different, or if you're a fan of cannibals and want a little something different (I swear I didn't type that way on purpose), then you should check this out. I can't find much background info on author Saurav Dutt, so I have no idea if this is his first foray into this kind of thing. If so, I hope he churns out some more of this stuff. Anyway, check out Cannibal Metropolis. If you get it off of Amazon, try to grab a barf bag too.

Rating: 4 severed penises out of 5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Ferox (1981)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Ferox (1981)

By Nick Durham

ferox1

Here we go again...

Cannibal Ferox is the not as well-known little brother to Cannibal Holocaust, though it does have quite the following regardless. Directed by Umberto Lenzi (who like Ruggero Deodato, has a lot of experience with this type of filth), Cannibal Ferox, also known as Make Them Die Slowly, is somehow a tad more ferocious in tone than its more well-known brethren. Yes, I'm serious. Also like Cannibal Holocaust, Grindhouse Releasing has blessed us with a beautiful Blu-ray release of the film, which I'll be talking all about shortly.

Anyway, Cannibal Ferox revolves around a handful of anthropologists that take a trip to the Colombian jungle in hopes of proving that cannibalistic tribes are just a myth. Of course things don't work out that way, because then we wouldn't have a fucking movie here would we? They run into a guy named Mike; who is a drug dealer on the run from the New York City mob. He's also a total sick fuck, and has done some extremely terrible things to the local natives...and even if you've never seen this film before (or any cannibal film honestly), you already know where all this is going.

Cannibal Ferox is a truly deplorable film in every sense of the word, and I'm not afraid to say that either. Whereas Cannibal Holocaust is a nasty film that's hard to watch, it has that little bit of subtext and social commentary that set it apart from others of its ilk that made it memorable. Cannibal Ferox has none of that...and you know what? That's actually okay. This is a grindhouse/exploitation movie after all, and we're all here to see people get tortured and eaten, and that's what we fucking get. Body parts are severed, flesh is eaten, there's animal death, and all the other elements that you'd expect from a cannibal film are here, and on full fucking display. It is absolutely perverse how enjoyable it all is...to a degree. It also features Cannibal Holocaust and Debbie Does Dallas star Robert Kerman as well...I'm not saying that as a negative point, I'm only mentioning it because this is the one film he's in where he doesn't show his cock, so I didn't recognize him right away.

I won't lie, I have a harder time watching this than I do Cannibal Holocaust. Where I had said that Cannibal Holocaust has subtext, etc. and Cannibal Ferox does not, that's saying it lightly. Cannibal Ferox is just plain fucking cruel. It's vicious to its core and unapologetic about it too. Not to mention the film as a whole feels uneven. The tone between the jungle scenes and the scenes in New York contrast each other so much it's like you're watching two different films. Maybe that's an effect that Lenzi was going for? The civilized world versus the jungle?

Nah, I'm giving him too much credit with that one.

Grindhouse Releasing has outdone themselves again with this Blu-ray release. The picture and sound are absolutely brilliant as one would expect, and there's a bonus remastered CD soundtrack as well. There's also some rarely seen deleted footage, a commentary by Lenzi, new interviews, a horde of trailers, and a very interesting documentary that features interviews with Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, Robert Kerman, and more. It's an awesome set, even better than what Grindhouse provided us with the Cannibal Holocaust Blu-ray release believe it or not. My only gripe, and this is totally personal, is that there's no feature to skip the animal deaths like the Cannibal Holocaust Blu-ray had. I just can't watch that shit, and I've seen some really nasty stuff over the years. Maybe I'm soft. If I am, fuck it, I don't care.

All in all, Cannibal Ferox isn't nearly as impactful a film as Cannibal Holocaust, but if this is your kind of thing, you should check it out regardless. If you are a fan and you don't own this, you're missing out. Pick this up while you can, you'll be happy that you did.

Also, I just want to say that if it's one thing watching all these cannibal movies has taught me, it's that if I end up in the jungle I will seriously blow my brains out before anyone tries to eat my dick.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

By Nick Durham

cannibalhol

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 in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Jungle Holocaust (1977)

MOVIE REVIEW: Jungle Holocaust (1977)

Ultimo Mondo Cannibale

By Nick Durham

JunlgeHolocaust3
I've been on a bit of a cannibal kick lately. This is mostly because of the looming release of Eli Roth's much-maligned The Green Inferno, but in all honesty, that's beside the point. The cannibal film, much like the giallo, is a seemingly lost sub-genre of horror that experienced a boom back in the day, but has sadly been all but forgotten in recent years. Going back over the many cannibal films of years past, I came across Jungle Holocaust. Released before the more infamous Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox, Jungle Holocaust isn't remembered all that fondly. However, there's good reason that Jungle Holocaust isn't as revered as either of its more well-known brethren...

...and it's because it fucking sucks.

Directed by future Cannibal Holocaust director Ruggero Deodato, Jungle Holocaust tells the story of an oil prospector named Robert Harper who, along with a couple others, lands in the middle of the jungle. Before you can say "what's cooking", Robert runs afoul of a cannibal tribe that proceeds to capture and humiliate him, which ranges from being stripped naked to having his dick fondled (seriously) to witnessing the fine delicacies of cannibalism. There're also assorted moments of rape, animal death, and hilariously dubbed voices as well. This is a cannibal movie after all, what the fuck else would you expect?

Anyway, it isn't long before a native girl frees Robert (and gives him a handjob...before he rapes her later on...which she seems totally okay with...because reasons) and they're on the run, with the cannibals on their heels. Will Robert ever make it home? Do we even care? Fuck no, because he's so fucking unsympathetic that it isn't even funny. Granted I usually wish everyone involved in these films meets a brutal and gory death, but this guy in particular? Eat him. Eat him alive. Eat him until you're all full. Fuck, I'll carve off a piece, too, if I have to. I like to participate in group activities after all.

The only thing really notable at all about Jungle Holocaust is that Ruggero Deodato made this before Cannibal Holocaust, which I already mentioned. That's pretty much it. It's a shit movie plain and simple. Even the actual cannibal action is lacking. For a movie of its type, it is nowhere near as graphic or unflinching as others of its ilk. Well, then again, it does claim to be a "true story" (seriously), so I guess that's something?

Yeah, this is a true story...and those actors aren't dubbed either. I hope the handjob that the real Robert Harper (I can't believe I just fucking typed that) received in the jungle made the whole ordeal worth the trip. So, yeah, let's just ignore that shall we?

If you're new to the cannibal genre, don't put Jungle Holocaust high on your watch list. It's notable only because Ruggero Deodato learned his lessons from this as shown in the monumental Cannibal Holocaust a few years later, and that's pretty much it. Oh, and the look on the female native's face while giving the previously mentioned handjob is unintentionally hilarious, so I guess there's that too.

Fuck this movie.

Rating: 1.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

MOVIE REVIEW: Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

Cannibal Holocaust

By Dixielord

Cannibal Apocalypse

I have mentioned before that I am a big fan of horror movies of the 70s and 80s. I'm especially fond of those low budget schlockers from the period, and even more so those films branded as a Video Nasty. I have been a fan of the zombie films of the period for a long time and have recently started searching out the Italian cannibal movies from around the same time. This search lead me to Cannibal Apocalypse.

At first I thought this was going to be just another cannibal epic set deep in the jungles of New Guinea, or the Amazon, a la Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox. However doing some research Cannibal Apocalypse turned out to be something entirely different.

Cannibal Apocalypse stars horror legend John Saxon as Gordon Hopper, a Viet Nam vet still haunted by a traumatic event during the war. In a dream we see him flash back to Viet Nam, where he is bitten by one of two captured service men, one of whom he knew from back home. He wakes up to get a call from one of the soldiers, Charlie Bukowski (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) who has just been released from a mental hospital.

Bukowski wants to meet up with his war buddy for coffee. However, Hopper, disturbed by the dream, and being hit on by his (possibly underage) neighbor Mary, refuses. Bukowski feeling abandoned and betrayed again, set off on his own. After attacking a woman in a movie theater, he goes on a rampage, killing several people and biting a police officer before being subdued and carted back to the mental hospital. Meanwhile, Hopper has been experiencing a desire for raw meat. He breaks out Bukowski and two other infected, Thompson (who bit Hopper) and an infected nurse. The four fugitives then lead police in a chase across Atlanta and into the cities sewers, spreading the cannibal contagion as they go.

Cannibal Apocalypse is a strange film on many fronts. While ostensibly it belongs to the European Cannibal sub genre, it many ways it's closer to the zombie movies of the same time period. It treats cannibalism similar to the zombie virus, as it can be transferred through a bite. However, it's set mostly in the city of Atlanta where most European zombie and cannibal films of the period were set deep in the jungle.

While Cannibal Apocalypse is far from bloodless, it is relatively tame in the gore department, especially for a video nasty. Honestly, watching it I never really understood why this film would be banned, other than the fact it dealt with cannibalism. Director Antonio Margheriti isn't so much known for gore but more for gothic horror, and it's believed producers pushed him to add gore just for commercial reasons. The gore that the film has is good, the bites are deep and bloody, and there is a shot gun killing that goes on forever with bloody consequence.

The film borrows heavily in some scenes from Dawn of the Dead, which is only fitting since Dawn was the founder of the Italian gore craze of the era. There is a shoot out with a gang in a flea market. In another nod to Dawn, a large part of the second half is a group of four people on the run, a group of one black man, two white men and a white woman, the same makeup as the main group in Dawn. Even the wardrobes of Saxon and Actress May Heatherly seem eerily similar to Gaylen Ross and David Emge of Dawn. There were times that looking at May, I thought, “Damn, she really looks a lot like Gaylen.”

You could even posit that Cannibal Apocalypse is a reverse copy of Dawn. In Dawn of the Dead we follow a group of uninfected as they flee, seeking shelter from the infected undead. In Apocalypse, it's reversed with a group of infected (soldiers versus police) fleeing from those not rabid for human flesh.

Even though technically this is a European Cannibal film borrowing heavily from the zombie genre, it's more than a horror film. Beyond all this Cannibal Apocalypse is a movie about the Vietnam War and its effects on the men who fought it.

John Saxon's Hopper is a vet who outwardly seems normal and healthy, but inside he's haunted by his time in the jungle. He dreams about it at night and in the day time struggles with the blood lust (represented by cannibalism), that he needed to survive the war. Fellow vets Bukowski and Thompson aren't as lucky. After being held prisoner by the Vietcong, their minds have broken, their blood lust is uncontrollable. Coming home, they are locked away and forgotten, even by their comrade Hopper.

After Bukowski is “cured” all it takes is a war movie and an act of sexuality to fully reawaken his rage and hunger. Being in the presence of his fellow vets causes Hopper's fragile, but well maintained control to break

You could make the case that Cannibal Apocalypse is a condemnation not only of the Vietnamese War but of war in general. War, where we take young men, teach them how to kill, but when the war's over we don’t teach them how to not kill anymore. We drop them into hell and force them to adapt, then expect them to adapt easily back into normal life. Those who can't end up locked away, or more so recently, living on the streets.

While Cannibal Apocalypse might not be great, high cinema, it is certainly a better film than many of the video nasties. That's not meant as a knock to those films, many of which I truly love, but a lot of them were made for purely shock value and to make a quick buck. There's a story to Cannibal Apocalypse, and it's a damn good story worth watching and worth talking about - especially today with our country involved in wars and rumors of war, with our streets, and hospitals overcrowded with wounded vets. Today, when soldiers are dying faster by their own hands than the hands of their enemies, and there's no answer for PTSD in sight.

Cannibal Apocalypse will never have the impact of films like Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, or Born on the Fourth of July, but for a gory horror film, it's pretty damn deep.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

In Praise of Grindhouse Releasing

By Nick Durham

grindhouse releasing

One thing that horror fans have over fans of nearly any other film genre is the quality of the physical media release, in this case Blu-ray and DVD. You know The Criterion Collection? That line of films that feature a bevy of special features and picture restoration and are kind of pricey? Criterion features plenty of films that are worth your time (and somehow Michael Bay's Armageddon...I'm dead fucking serious) and even has a few surprising horror entries in their lineup as well (Videodrome, Naked Lunch, Don't Look Now). That being said, aside from maybe Arrow Films and Scream Factory to a lesser extent, no one delivers in terms of deluxe horror and genre releases like Grindhouse Releasing.

Co-founded by film editor Bob Murawski and the late Sage (son of Sylvester) Stallone, Grindhouse Releasing has picked up and distributed some super rare or in some cases never before seen films for small theatrical releases and Blu-ray/DVD releases as well. These range from grindhouse cinema classics like Cannibal Holocaust and The Beyond to shit you've never heard of like The Swimmer and Gone with the Pope. There're other films in their lineup (not all horror either), some which may sound familiar to you, including Cannibal Ferox, Massacre Mafia Style, Corruption, An American Hippie in Israel, The Big Gundown, Pieces, Cat in the Brain, and I Drink Your Blood. Hell of a lineup right?

I had mentioned Arrow Films and Scream Factory earlier. While both those labels are favorites of mine and offer some quality releases, a majority of the films featured on either label have something in common: we've heard of most of them at the very least. That's not the case with a majority of Grindhouse's lineup. While yes, we've all heard of Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, and The Beyond; is there anyone that remembered Corruption? Hell, I love Peter Cushing and I never even heard of it let alone knew of its existence. Imagine the shock on my face when I realized one of the classiest men in horror starred in a film where he was killing young women to supply his wife what she needed to maintain her appearance, and that there were tits aplenty. It's things like that that really separate Grindhouse Releasing from the rest of the pack.

I could go on and on about Grindhouse Releasing, but I won't. Not because I don't want to, but only because they offer films that deserve your attention. The fact that they painstakingly restore and re-release these little known films for wide audiences today is a beautiful thing indeed. We should all take the time to love and appreciate what they've done not only for horror fans, but for the genre as a whole.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments