Monday, October 31, 2011

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) -
Ruggero Deodato


What better way to spend your Halloween than with the Grandaddy of All Cannibal Films? Live muskrat, sea turtle and wild boar executions caught on film. Genital mutilations of every kind. Very real-looking native peoples impaled on large poles. An all-white film crew torn limb from limb in the jungle and eaten like a rack of Chili's Baby Back Ribs.

I first watched this grindhouse classic about a decade ago around the time of Blair Witch mania, just when CGI was beginning to wrap its dirty digital hands around the throat of Hollywood genre filmmaking. I was completely shocked by what I saw. Forget the found footage angle. I concede, this grindhouse cheapie got there first. But how did they get that native woman up there on a giant spit? How did they make cutting that guy's wang off look so real without, you know, cutting off his wang? Is that foam rubber latex they're using? Cow entrails? WHO MADE THIS SICK, TWISTED DARE OF A MOVIE AND WHY?

His name is Ruggero Deodato. Why did he do it? Because it works right down to the oddly melancholy synth score, one that makes the already disturbing visuals SUPER-DISTURBING. This movie is just as shocking a second time, ten years later. It is some kind of very deranged masterpiece. More hack Hollywood horror directors could take a cue from Cannibal Holocaust. It's all in the editing, dummy! Drop the After Effects and get thee to a bucket of pig hearts and lungs post haste and place them carefully upon your willing actress. As for your willing actor, when it comes time to sever his wang...yeah, I still have no idea how they did this. Happy circumsizing. Happy Halloween.

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