cannibal holocaust

Tony Newton takes a look back at the Video Nasties in the upcoming VHS Documentary “VHS Nasty” and reference book “VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties”

Tony Newton takes a look back at the Video Nasties in the upcoming VHS Documentary “VHS Nasty” and reference book “VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties”

VHS Nasty is part 3 in the infamous cult VHS documentary series “VHS Lives“. In the early 1980’s, VCR players were in every house, but a legendary cult following developed during the VHS era like no other, those that loved The Video Nasty! Yes kids, with video stores on every corner during the VHS boom, they were flooded with an array of exploitation and horror the likes of which we will never see again. The art on the VHS sleeves was awesome and these unregulated horror, gore and sexploitation films rocked before they were banned in the UK and the hysteria started to spread across the globe!

VHS Nasty delves deep into the cult classic satanic panic that is the video nasties, taking an indepth look at censorship within horror films specifically the video nasty scandal that shook not only Britain in the early 80’s, but shook the world into a frenzy of panic! Talking about cult video nasties such as Faces of Death, Cannibal Holocaust, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Driller Killer and many more.

VHS Nasty is available on Amazon Prime now and coming to DVD in the UK and US from September 23rd

UK DVD available to pre-order from hive.co.uk

US DVD available to pre-order from Barnes and Noble and Alchemy Werks

VHS LIVES : A Schlockumentary Part 1 and VHS Lives :Undead Format  Part 2 are also available on DVD and VOD.

To coincide with the documentary  the recently released book “VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties”  is also now available as a Kindle eBook. Packed with information with over 800 pages of Nastiness, it takes a detailed look at the VHS Video Nasties, Censorship and horror films!

VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties is currently available in the UK and US on Amazon

UK Amazon Kindle

US Amazon Kindle

Posted by Philip Rogers in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Exclusive Interview with Lex Ortega

Exclusive Interview with Lex Ortega

I’m a huge fan of the film Atroz by Lex Ortega. In my opinion it’s one of the best extreme horror films made in the last 10 years… maybe ever. It’s unrelenting and brutal beyond imagining.  I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity to talk with Lex Ortega about it and his future plans to make films.

  • HoTS:  Before making Atroz you were the mastermind behind Mexico Barbaro what made you decide to make Mexico’s first horror anthology movie? How was it received?
  • Lex: Actually I was on the metro and I was thinking what shortfilm should I do next? Then I realized there were a lot of directors thinking the same thing, trying to get their films on festivals, paying fees, trying to finance themselves their production, etc. So I got the idea to unite efforts and make an anthology, in this case we could get distribution, promotion for us as directors, in overall a better projection than a single shorfilm, and maybe have an economic retribution for our job. It had a great reception from the audience all over the world, we got distribution around 8 counties and Netflix America (all continent), and we were in around 50 festivals all over the world.
  • HoTSAtroz was insanely brutal, in the opening it says 98% of the 27,500 murders per year in Mexico go unsolved. Did you make the film as a social commentary, meant to shed light on the level of violence there or did you just want to make an extreme film? Personally, I respect both.
  • Lex: It started weird, at the beginning I just wanted to shoot a torture sequence with no credits and release it on the internet as a supposed “Snuff film”, then I realized a lot of talent was getting involved, as well as my savings that I was going to invest on it so I decided to make it an actual shortfilm (the first video tape you see on the feature), after it was done, I was getting censorship and lots of comments on how brutal this short was. THAT WAS A PUMP OF GAS FOR ME! and I said, I want to scream louder about these topics, then making the documentary investigation to create the profile of the main character (Goyo) I got into these hard numbers you mention, and I turned the story into a social critique to the institutions, from our first social contract that we have as individuals such as family, to the state, and politics that are supposed to be there to protect us as a society.
  • HoTS:  Is your movie an accurate portrayal of violence in Mexico?
  • Lex: In certain ways yes, we don’t have a specific record on serial killers like the US, and in my personal opinion that is because a lot of murders that happen in Mexico are attributed to the Narco, and there is no investigation about it.
  • HoTS: I imagine Atroz might be bad for tourism, how did the Mexican people receive it?
  • Lex: I don’t make tourism promotions, I do horror films so I really don’t mind. When must people watch Atroz they’re shocked, and that makes me happy for 2 reasons, the first one is that for me cinema has to make you feel something, it doesn’t matter the genre, if not, it means it is not working. And second and most important is seeing people freaking out watching violence tells me that we haven’t normalized violence yet, by the time we watch graphic violence and we feel nothing it means that we don’t have empathy for each other, then we will be rotten as a society.
  • HoTS: As a Canadian I was excited to learn you came here to go to a very prestigious school in Montreal. What made you decide to attend the Trebas Institute? How did you like your stay here?
  • Lex: Oh man Canada is very important for me, it means a lot in my life. I was living in beatiful Montreal studying Sound Engineering, How I got there? It was weird, I was studying the second semester of Civil Engineering at UNAM (the biggest university in Latin America) in 1999 it went on strike for over a year and a half, so obviously I couldn’t keep studying there, my dad told me I had to start over in a new university because it seemed like the strike was going to take forever, so I told my old man that I was going to start over but this time I wanted to study what my real passion is, and he goes: Ok, so where and what are you studying? I told him Sound Engineering, but that career didn’t exist in Mexico at that time so I started looking for schools around the world and a good friend of mine went on vacation to Canada from coast to coast and I asked him what was the city he liked the most and he said Montreal, so I applied to Trebas in Montreal and I got it.
  • HoTS: Atroz is presented by extreme horror legend and director of Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato, how did you manage to score such an amazing endorsement?
  • Lex: I meet Ruggero back in 2004 in Bogota, Colombia, me and the producer Abigail Bonilla were presenting Mexico Barbaro in a fest called Zinema Zombie Fest and Ruggero was also a guest from the festival.  We were promoting the crowd funding at that time so Ruggero helped fund it, but further than the economic help he gave us I wanted him to endorse the film.  We asked him if we could use his name on the promotional advertisement for the movie, at that time he was like: Ok, but I would like to see what it is about. When we finished the film we sent it over and he loved it and he said yes to our request and became an associate producer of the film.
  • HoTS: Do you have future plans to make more extreme movies?
  • Lex: Of course hermano!!!, personally I don’t want to do the same thing over and over, I am not interested to make things other than horror.
    The horror genre is huge and I would love to dig deeper into it, to other topics and subgenres, but I definitely like to tell stories in a violent way, where antagonists are not just bad, I want them to be real sons of bitches.
  • HoTS: What are some of the movies and directors that inspired you to get into film?
  • Lex: If I had to pick a top 3 I would say, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Cannibal Holocaust.
  • HoTS: It’s my understanding that you are also a talented musician, what can you tell fans about your band?
  • Lex: I don’t know if I’m talented but I really love music, it’s very important in my life and career, that’s what made me start in the industry. It was music that made me decide to study Sound Engineering, then after working on a studio making sound design for films, that made me decide to grab a camera and shoot my first short film called “Devourment”.  I didn’t know how to direct a film at that time, all I knew was that my premise was: How do zombies hear us?, what if a human screams, sirens and helicopters are so loud and annoying for them, that they just want it to stop and attack to get it done?I started a band called “The Massacre Must Begin” with a couple of friends back in 2009 (Our album is on Atroz’s bluray that Unearthed Film released in the US), then we  broke up, some of them became parents, I guess our interests changed.Now, this week you will be able to hear my new band’s album on Spotify, Apple Music, Itunes and all the streaming platforms. We are called Belibette and we’re relasing our first LP calle 72 Huries, it’s a strong-in your face technical Grindcore. So go and listen to it!
  • Thank you very much for answering all my questions, I enjoyed your answers very much and look forward to watching the next disturbing film you make. I’d also like to thank John Roisland for setting up this interview and being our go between and just an all around good guy. Thank you both for the opportunity.
Posted by Candace Stone in BRUTAL REALITY, Categories, EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

If the animal torture sequences in Cannibal Ferox were an absolute deal-breaker for you, fear not, fauna-sensitive horror fan. We’re now venturing into Eli Roth-land, where the animals get a break, and the people are the ones who get turned into ‘ground round.’ And if you’re more than a bit familiar with films in his canon like the Hostel and Cabin Fever sequels, then you probably already know what to expect from his ‘upgraded’ Italian cannibal horror homage, The Green Inferno.

Young, pretty and more than a bit well-off, college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo) sees a demonstration taking place one day on the grounds of the commons and decides that she wants to get involved. Especially when she sees the charismatic, hot-as-sriracha group leader Alejandro (Ariel Levy).

The Green Inferno (2013) / Fair use doctrine.

Having lunch with her dad, Charles (The Sentinel’s Richard Burgi), who as it happens is also an ambassador at the U.N., she mentions her desire to “make a difference”. Knowing how the world actually works, he lets her know that he admires her good intentions but warns (with foreshadowing as subtle as a jackhammer) that there are other, better and saner ways to do what she can to support a cause.

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But as the “cause” goes, so goes Alejandro, and Justine isn’t about to be swayed, even when she is initially rejected by him and the group, for saying exactly the wrong thing. Even her BFF, Kaycee (Sky Ferreira), smells something wrong with the whole deal, and not just because she knows that her buddy has it bad for Alejandro. Like the good best friend she is, she supports Justine, but she sure as hell isn’t going with her (smart girl!)

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You have to hand it to Justine: even when it’s revealed to the group what their real agenda is as far as protesting goes, she doesn’t back down. They’re going to chain themselves to the equipment being used by an unscrupulous company, to tear out a huge part of the Amazonian rainforest, displacing and even killing the members of a rarely-seen indigenous tribe that lives there. Against the armed mercenaries employed by that company to “protect its interests”, the “ecological Scooby Gang” has only one defense: their cell phones. They plan to live-stream the protest simultaneously to news feeds all over the planet, in case the thugs are thinking about going Rambo on them. So public exposure is their only weapon. Yep, sounds like a plan, right?

If you think that this is a recipe for utter disaster, wait until you hear about the other ingredients that are going into this potential shit stew.

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Alejandro flies the group down to the location, they implement the plan, and things go perfectly…well, almost. When Justine screws up the chaining-herself-to-a-bulldozer-part and almost gets herself killed, Alejandro warns them away with the one thing he knows they know not to fuck with: he tells them that she’s the daughter of a U.N. ambassador. Case closed, everyone stands down.

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Only later, does Justine realize that she’s been set up. Getting her involved was Alejandro’s devious plan all along. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the entire group finds out that they’re all pawns in a sick game of greed and “one-upmanship” that never had anything to do with saving rainforests or Indio tribes in the first place.

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Ah, but you know what they say about spilled milk…and plane crashes. Because a crash is exactly what happens to the prop plane that’s supposed to be winging them back to civilization after “mission accomplished.” You can tell that director Roth was taking notes, whenever he was watching films like Survive!, or the initial episode of LOST. Because the staged crash is one of the most realistic, nauseating and terrifying I’ve seen commended to film. So anyone who might be triggered by something of that nature, consider yourself well-warned.

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One of the few survivors of the crash, when Justine comes to, she finds that if she thought things couldn’t get any worse for her or her ‘friends’, surprise! That tribe that Alejandro went on and on about “saving”? They now have her and all those who made it through the disaster in their canoes, paddling down the Amazon River to their remote, very well-secluded village. You ever see Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox? Well, then, horror honeys, you know exactly where this is going. Everyone’s headed for a lunch break…and we know who’s on the menu.

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And this is where Roth’s penchant for brutally mean-spirited jollies comes in with gusto. Well, it’s only partly his responsibility. When you remember seeing the names of master effects gods Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger in the credits, you know for damn sure there’s going to be some gnarly shit ahead. And that’s an understatement, to say the least.

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The remainder of The Green Inferno is nothing less than watching Justine and her captive friends go stark-raving insane, while either waiting to become native cuisine, watching their friends being butchered and “prepared” for consumption, or their mostly failed efforts trying to escape that horrific fate. And the most revolting and simultaneously fascinating thing about seeing people turned into ‘people food?’ It’s the almost lackadaisical way in which they go about the killing and the “kitchen prep work.” These people think of slaughtering and eating folks the same way that we think of doing it to animal livestock. Now we get a glimpse of how they must feel!

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And don’t worry: the gallows humor that Roth is known for injecting into his scripts is most definitely present, all through the dialogue, and in several scenes, especially two funny and nauseating parts: one involving the duplicitous Alejandro, dealing with the maddening stress of the situation the only way he knows how; the other with one of the few likable characters, Lars (Robert Rodriguez favorite Daryl Sabara).

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First of all, if more than a few of the actors here look familiar to you, they should. While Roth was prepping for this movie, he found time to make another, the terrific disaster/horror film Aftershock, in which many of The Green Inferno’s cast members appeared, including Roth himself, and it was directed by Nicolas Lopez, (who co-produced The Green Inferno, from the script Roth wrote with Guillermo Amoedeo).

Where the films of Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenziexpressed the very “hippy-dippy Seventies” ethos that evil and cruelty are contagious, and that “civilized” man is far more capable of acting out on their most inhumane instincts than any natives ever were, Roth’s darkly nihilistic bent pretty much says ‘get the fuck outta here with all that crap.’ The Green Inferno makes it crystal clear that this point is where it and the films that inspired it part company.

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The unapologetic savagery of man devouring man, both literally and figuratively is inherent on both sides, and the consequences that come due because of that savagery are also richly rewarded all round.

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Gone also are the layers of sleaze and grime that seemed to permeate the Italian cannibal movies. Antonio Quercia’sphotography is razor sharp, and unlike its predecessors, for the most part, there’s no attempt to “cheat” certain angles, pull away from the carnage or allow most of it to happen off-screen. The camera casts an almost casual eye upon the horrors, allowing the audience to see and experience exactly what they would, if they, too, were trapped in a waterlogged, mud-bound bamboo cage, witnessing their friends being butchered and cooked, awaiting their turn.

The Green Inferno (2013) / Fair use doctrine.The Green Inferno (2013) / Fair use doctrine.

Performance-wise, Izzo, Levy, and Nicolas Martinez, who plays Daniel, hail from the Aftershock cast as well, and all give performances as strong as the ones they did in that flick. Though most of the characters here are barely developed enough to even register with viewers, let alone get them to care at all about them, one of the bigger standouts, (sorry, it was there) is Aaron Burns, who plays Jonah. He’s one of the ones who goes through what you might think is unimaginable…until you see this movie, of course.

The Green Inferno (2013) / Fair use doctrine.The Green Inferno (2013) / Fair use doctrine.

And the others are Ramon Llao, unforgettable in Aftershock as ‘Ramon’ and equally terrifying here, credited as “The Bald Headhunter,” and Antonieta Pari in the darkly androgynous role of “The Village Elder.” You want the real Faces Of Death? Here ya go, sunshine. Together or separately, they represent oblivion, ruthless and implacable, and for not being dream-delving child killers, machete-wielding undead murderers in hockey or altered William Shatner masks, or seemingly innocent dollies come to arcane, murderous life, these two characters should haunt your dreams for a very long while to come, thanks to their authentic, enthusiastic performances.

For taut direction that keeps things moving and for those stunning KNB-based effects, I give The Green Inferno three-out-of-five gut-munching stars.

The Green Inferno (2013) / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Samuel Glass in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HORROR HEROES, MOVIE REVIEWS, 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
MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

The Green Inferno:
A Satisfying Feast or Just a Case of Indigestion?

By Dixielord

Lorenza Izzo in Eli Roth's The Green Inferno

Lorenza Izzo of The Green Inferno

Oh Eli, I really was pulling for you on this one. I ignored the bad reviews and kept my hope up. I even managed to build up a sense of dread in the last week or so before it opened. Did I really want to see this? Would it be to much for my fragile soul? Sadly my soul is still intact. Well that part of my soul not devoured by A Serbian Film.

The Green Inferno is the long awaited film by Eli Roth, meant to be a spiritual successor to the cannibal exploitation films of the 70s and 80s, especially Cannibal Holocaust. In it a group of “Social Justice Warriors” head out to the Amazon to rescue a tribe of innocent savages, from the bulldozers of evil civilization. Justine, played by the stunning Lorenza Izzo is eager but extremely naïve. Of course they all end up, not on the natives friends list but on the lunch menu. One by one our teens find out the jungle isn't nearly as innocent as they would believe.

To be short, The Green Inferno just didn't work for me. I don't know, maybe three seasons of Hannibal has desensitized me to cannibalism. Or maybe The Green Inferno was too beautifully shot, versus the grainy cheap looking exploitation films from long ago. Because it is a beautiful film to watch. The Amazon is beautiful and verdant and crystal clear. Part of the magic of Cannibal Holocaust was it looked almost like a home movie. You could believe it was discovered footage of a lost expedition. You could get lost in it, and believe it was real. A lot of people did believe it was real. The actual animal mutilations added to that sense of realness.

Now I would never suggest that Eli slaughter animals for the film, and I'm not a fan of found footage for the most part. Maybe it's just impossible to capture that magic. A lot of films have tried for a retro exploitation look and mostly failed. Still I knew going in this was going to be a clean, beautiful film, and that wasn't my biggest concern.

No what killed me for The Green Inferno was a lack of dread. A good horror movie needs to keep you on your seat. It can do that with suspense, or it can do it with dread. We all pretty know how this is going to turn out. Kids go in, kids get ate, maybe one or two escapes, so it's hard to really build any suspense. I knew this going in, but I was expecting that dread. That uneasy feeling that keeps me on the edge.

I never got that sense. Maybe the characters weren't likable enough. One of the most likable characters was the first to go. The first kill by the cannibals was also the goriest, and most drawn out. After that it was all kind of, well, lame. The story did keep me interested but there was never any real unease, other than one scene dealing with female genital mutilation (or FGM) but even that didn't last long.

Without the dread, I just kind of sat there waiting for the next thing to happen. Waiting on the next captive to die, waiting on the failed escape attempt, waiting on the inevitable rescue, waiting on the end that was a little too close to an episode of South Park. Honestly I totally saw that coming.

Another thing that irked me was the attempts at comedy. Roth used comedic bits in Cabin Fever, that more or less worked with that type of film. Here it was totally out of place. A cannibal film, especially one purporting to be a spiritual successor to Cannibal Holocaust doesn't need humor. It needs to be dark, bleak and disturbing. Fart jokes and cannibals with the munchies do not belong in this film.

And where was the morality of The Green Inferno? Eli Roth has mentioned this being an attack or response to the social justice warriors. Those who jump into a cause without fully understanding it. The SJWs here are basically good kids, but with a corrupt leader. So it's kinds of hard to see this as them getting what they deserve. The one person we have, at least somewhat, been rooting for, our heroine as it was, turns out to be the most shallow social justice warrior of them all. In fact the two survivors are the two people we should actually care for the least.

Cannibal Holocaust has a reputation of being just a movie to shock. The director, Ruggero Deodato has stated he didn’t intend the film to have any deep meaning. Still Holocaust has much more soul, is much deeper than The Green Inferno.

The Green Inferno

Eli Roth's The Green Inferno. Eaten by fear or nibbled with ho hum?

Cannibal Holocaust made us rethink who was the savage and who was the civilized. In Inferno, every fucking body is evil. The natives are evil. They take glee in torturing and eating the captives. They do Female Genital Mutilation for gods sake!! Exaggerated PC rage. The construction crews were evil, killing the natives and willing to kill the SJWs if cameras weren't on them. I was actually expecting a bullet to put an end to our heroine near the end. The leaders and guides of the protesters are evil, making deals just for publicity with no real concern for the people they are supposedly protecting.

The only innocents are the appetizers.

Not to say this was the worst film ever. It was beautifully shot. The rain forest has never looked better, and the Peruvian city scenes were pretty too. I actually lost myself more in the city scenes than the scenes in the jungle village. And Lorenza Izzo was gorgeous. Especially running though the jungle in her retro, savage, plant fiber bikini that should have never stayed in place. The image of her in the red face paint would have been an iconic image in a better horror film.

Maybe the best scene in the whole film was the airplane crash. It was tense, unnerving and a bit a little gory. It would have worked even better if so much of the scene wasn't shown in the trailer. Gore hound might be happy with the the gore scenes, but they are just as likely upset that there are only a couple of really gory scenes. One of the scenes is a great throw back to classic zombie films like Day of the Dead, which will at least make ya point and say, “Hey, cool”.

But one good scene, and a couple gore scenes do not a horror film make. I left the theater feeling disappointed instead of nauseous, empty instead of uneasy. While I appreciate Eli bringing cannibal films back into the public conscious, it just didn’t work for me.

One last complaint. If this is a tribe that has never had contact with the outside world. Why did so many of them have Moe Howard haircuts?

Sadly, The Green Inferno gets 4 out of 10 stars (yeah I'm going to a ten star system)

Posted by Allen Alberson 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

COMING SOON: The Green Inferno (2015)

Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Will Devour You This September

By Dixielord

The Green Inferno
In 1980, director Ruggero Deodato unleashed one of the most controversial films of all time on the cinematic world. Cannibal Holocaust is probably the best know of the Italian cannibal genre of films, and today, 35 years later, people are still outraged and disgusted by it. Now September 2015, Eli Roth prepares to unleash The Green Inferno, a spiritual successor to Cannibal Holocaust, on the film going public.

The film's plot concerns a group of students who travel to the Amazon to help save a local tribe. On the way to their destination their plane crashes, and in a savagely ironic turn of events, they find themselves held hostage by the same tribe they were coming to help. Things go from bad to worse as the natives begin to sharpen their knives and look at them with hunger in their eyes.

Eli's fans and a lot of horror fans in general have been waiting on The Green Inferno for what seems like forever. Roth announced his intention to make a modern cannibal film back in 2012. Filming began late in 2012, with an intended theatrical release sometime in 2014. Although the film did have a few screenings at horror festivals, financial difficulties prevented a wide screen release, and many fans, including me, feared it was dead, or at most would be a straight to DVD release. Blumhouse Productions rescued it and now it is scheduled for released on September 25, 2015.

It is important to remember that The Green Inferno, despite some early rumors is not a remake of Cannibal Holocaust, or any other film from the late Cannibal genre. The fact that The Green Inferno was the name of the film within a film, as well as being an alternate title for Cannibal Holocaust fueled these rumors. Instead it's more of a homage to the whole family of European cannibal films that were popular in the late 70s and early 80s such as Cannibal Ferox, Mountain of the Cannibal God, The Man from Deep River, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals and many others.

Eli Roth has shown in the past that he has no problems making a bleak and gory film, and the Italian cannibal films are about as bleak and gory as they come. There's just something about the taboo of eating human flesh that makes us all shiver down deep inside, while intriguing us at the same time. Movies like Cannibal Holocaust hit that nerve square on the head, but can Eli do the same thing with Inferno?

Obviously there's no way he can completely repeat the formula Deodato used. The infamous animal slaughter in Holocaust would land the film banned and Roth in jail, and would most definitely end his career. Other than that though, it's a new age, we ardent as easily shocked or fooled today. We know the special effects and CGI tricks, so film makers have to work harder for a scare. The Green Inferno also looks to be a bright, well lit, beautifully filmed movie. That's all well and good, but the cheap, grainy feel added to the effect of the old cannibal films. It made it feel more real, more dangerous, like not only it could happen, but maybe it did happen. Deodato actually ended up on trial because authorities thought he murdered his cast on screen.

The Green Inferno

Some comments made by Roth seem to imply the film will be, to some extent, a condemnation of Social Justice Warriors. Those who get themselves heavily involved in causes and situations they don't fully understand. His group of activists have the best intentions, to protect the noble savages, without understanding just how savage they truly are. It's a topical subject especially with the popularity of social media, and his statements have garnered a lot of attention. Holocaust seemed more an attack on the media, and their willingness to go to any extreme to get a story. His natives may have been cannibals, but the news crew were far more savage in the end.

With all this I still have faith that this film will be a success, that it will be a good film, a film that pays respect to the older films that inspired it. I have faith it's going to make me cringe, make me feel uneasy, and maybe even jump a few times. It wont be easy but I think Eli can pull it off. On September 25, 2015, I will find out.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 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