Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

An anthropologist heads a rescue party into the South American jungle to find a missing film team making a documentary on cannibal tribes but can only return with their footage, which reveals their crueler intentions.

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Cast

Robert Kerman
as Harold Monroe
Francesca Ciardi
as Faye Daniels
Perry Pirkanen
as Jack Anders
Luca Barbareschi
as Mark Tomaso
Salvatore Basile
as Chaco Losojos
Paolo Paoloni
as Chief NY Executive
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Critic Reviews for Cannibal Holocaust

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2)

Its pointed attack on exploitative film-making seems somewhat rich in the circumstances, but this is well made, uniquely unpleasant and almost deserving of its huge cult status.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Rough, but it's an interesting type of sensationalism from a (thankfully) bygone production era. It's not a film to be enjoyed, but it certainly offers a singular genre bite that's impressively gonzo.

Jul 5, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

An enormous master work from Ruggero Deodato whose own film has pretty much guaranteed to outlive its creator.

Jun 26, 2014 | Full Review…

[VIDEO ESSAY] Apart from being a truly disturbing film, "Cannibal Holocaust" serves up a cold plate of scathing social commentary.

Nov 14, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Cannibal Holocaust is certainly unpleasant, uncomfortable, even offensive - which is to say that it is uncompromisingly true to its genre - but that is not to undermine its fierce, probing intelligence.

Sep 20, 2011 | Full Review…

Deodato became confused and made the very thing he was ostensibly criticising.

Jul 6, 2011 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for Cannibal Holocaust

½

The real animal killing is revolting but still this controversial and trashy piece of B horror delivers well what it wants to say about the media and journalists who go way too far for the sake of insane sensationalism - even if Deodato seems to be doing the same in the process.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A crew of filmmakers goes into the Amazon jungle, torments a primitive tribe, and then gets the tables turned on them. The irony of this disturbing movie is that it posits that modern society is more savage than the primitive cannibals, then proves it by filming sadistic scenes of real animal killing. Unique, and effective at times, but utterly reprehensible.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

It's an ironically venomous counterpoint to have melodic, almost beautifully serene music to play over pornographically violent images and Deodato masters it. In the sprawling jungle, barbaric, "backwards" tribes live by their own "rules of conduct" which include a baneful punishment for adultery and cannibalism. This is one of the first examples of cinema verite for horror and while it's influential and certainly jolting in its ultra-realistic mutilation, it's only moderately successful. The appearance of validity is definitely virtuoso (ex. Some of the production "rushes" are devoid of NAT sound) and most of the animal vivisection was not simulated (a turtle is cruelly eviscerated). Deodato is stupendous at unwinding the haughty American ego of creating the news when none is extant and underestimating the superstitious locals who believe Kerman captured someone's soul on a tape recorder. The auteur director and his accomplices' comeuppances are outlandishly raw in a fly-on-the-wall vantage point. Overall, the film admirably skirts camp value and retains a disturbing verisimilitude despite the desynchronized dubbing and lack of emotional attachment to the filmmakers who torch the village to spur the cannibals' retribution.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

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