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“I wonder who the real cannibals are.” Are there faux cannibals? Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they, maybe not so wisely, take on Cannibal Holocaust (1980), the film often referred to as the most controversial movie ever made.
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 176 – Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
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Harold Monroe, an anthropologist from New York University, leads a rescue team into the Amazon rainforest to locate a crew of filmmakers. The crew had gone missing while filming a documentary on local cannibal tribes. When the rescue team is only able to recover the crew’s lost cans of film, an American television station wishes to broadcast the footage as a sensationalized television special. Upon viewing the reels, Monroe is appalled by the team’s actions and objects to the station’s intent to air the documentary.IMDb
- Director: Ruggero Deodato
- Writer: Gianfranco Clerici (story and screenplay), Giorgio Stegani (additional dialogue: Italian version)
- Robert Kerman as Professor Harold Monroe
- Carl Gabriel Yorke (billed as Gabriel Yorke) as Alan Yates
- Luca Barbareschi (billed as Luca Giorgio Barbareschi) as Mark Tomaso
- Francesca Ciardi as Faye Daniels
- Perry Pirkanen as Jack Anders
- Salvatore Basile as Chaco Losojos
- Ricardo Fuentes as Undetermined Role
- Paolo Paoloni as Executive
- Lionello Pio Di Savoia (billed as Pio Di Savoia) as 2nd Executive
- Luigina Rocchi as Undetermined Role
- Enrico Papa as TV Interviewer (uncredited)
- David Sage as Mr. Yates (uncredited)
- Ruggero Deodato as Man on University Campus (uncredited)
Bill chose Cannibal Holocaust as the 1970s Grue-Crew’s viewing “pleasure” for this episode even though he doesn’t like the film. In fact, there’s a lot he despises about the movie, but he also thinks it’s a brilliant masterpiece and there are parts of him that love it, it’s so manipulative. It frightened the hell out of Chad, and not in a good way. He knew the animal deaths were real which made him question whether or not the violence to humans was real. It’s a very difficult watch for him, although he understands its importance and influence on other filmmakers. Crystal is not bothered by the gore in Cannibal Holocaust. She adds that although no one can justify the making of Cannibal Holocaust, it can be put into context. The music was very unsettling for Jeff, making the film that much more disturbing. What bothered him the most was the relish with which the characters slaughter animals and assault the indigenous people.
Cannibal Holocaust is not for everyone, or even, not for most people. It is, however, very influential and is one of the earliest movies to incorporate a found footage concept. If you insist on seeing Cannibal Holocaust, it is currently streaming on Shudder and is available on Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing.
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Crystal, will be David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988). You won’t want to miss that one!
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