Monday, October 9, 2006

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

On the recommendation of Warren over at 150 Days of Sodom (check his site out if you haven't already; it's great!), I decided to view the infamous Cannibal Ferox.

I had always thought of Cannibal Ferox as the ultimate in gore and torture, so I shied away from it for so many years...until now! I could not be held back any longer from its grisly allure.

Does Cannibal Ferox live up to the hype? For me, a first-time watcher of these exploitative cannibal movies, it certainly did. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, perhaps because of my low expectations going into it. Nonetheless, I thought it was a well made and entertaining film.

The story is New York City, both the mob and police are out to find a couple of guys (Mike and Joe) who have skipped off with a considerable amount of the mob's dough. Meanwhile, three college kids (siblings Rudy and Gloria and their friend Pat) are in the Amazon, trying to disprove that cannibalism exists for Gloria's thesis. They venture deep into the Amazon jungle to try to find a small village no one has heard of but could prove their theory.

They run into Mike and Joe deep in the heart of the jungle, who tell them they have been attacked by cannibals. Joe has been injured and their guides have been killed. After deciding to stick together, the group stumbles upon the village and the carnage left there. It seems the only villagers left are the old people and the younger children. The group decides to take refuge in the village's huts to try to care for Joe, who is now dying. Joe tells Gloria and Rudy that Mike has lied to them about being attacked by cannibals. The truth is, Mike and Joe were after precious emeralds that the villagers possessed. When they wouldn't hand the emeralds over, Mike tortured and killed some villagers while most of the male villagers were on a fishing expedition. Now, the male villagers could return at any time!

After learning this information, Gloria and Rudy try to get Pat to get out, but find that she has left with Mike. They flee, but are soon captured by the returning male villagers. Now, the villagers seek retribution for what was done to them and to their village...

This is an exploitation gem! Yes, it is extremely violent and some parts are difficult to watch. There is mutilation, castration, decapitation, humiliation, cannibalism, shots of real animals being killed (something I DO NOT condone but is still shocking and disturbing) and so on. The animal deaths were very difficult to watch, just because I knew they were real. Even for standards nowadays, this film is still pretty brutal - just watch for the castration scene(s) and the scene where Pat is hung on meat hooks by her breasts.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. It really kept up the tension, even though it did switch back from the Amazonian jungle to New York City every few scenes. I was very impressed with this film, and wouldn't mind adding it to my DVD collection.

If you haven't checked this film out yet and can handle excessive torture and real animal deaths (even I had to cover my eyes a bit), then get this movie! It's worth it...

Buy it on Amazon!

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