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Exotically repellent extravaganza
Many years ago, when I was too young to see such things for myself, my dad described to me a scene from a cannibal movie that he had watched at the local flea pit: a man finds a scrap of cloth in the jungle; when he picks it up, a trap is triggered which leaves him impaled on a huge spiky ball. Years later, when I myself developed an interest in all things gory, I recalled his description of this moment, but realised that he had never told me the title of the film.
Now, after trawling through virtually every film in the genre, I have finally discovered the identity of this elusive flick: it is none other than Ruggero Deodato's Jungle Holocaust.
Deodato, who would later bring us the incredible Cannibal Holocaust (1980), the king of all Italian gut-muncher films, fills this jungle adventure/survival horror with everything one would come to expect from a cannibal film-graphic gore, animal deaths and nudity- and it is, in my opinion, the first true example of the genre (some may argue that Umberto Lenzi's 1972 movie, The Man From Deep River, should be given this accolade, but the cannibals in that were merely incidental).
The purportedly true story tells of a group of four unfortunates who crash their plane in a remote area inhabited by man-eating stone-age natives. They successfully fix their aircraft, but before they can take off, they are attacked. Two of the group are killed, but Robert Harper (Massimo Foschi) and Rolf (Ivan Rassimov) escape into the jungle, but soon become lost in the dense foliage.
Arriving at a river, they build a raft and head upstream. However, their craft enters some rapids and overturns when they hit a rock. Rolf vanishes into the raging waters and Robert crawls to safety only to be taken captive by the cannibals. He is taken to their cave, where he undergoes much humiliation and torture (he is stripped naked, has his tallywhacker flicked by inquisitive kids, is pelted with rocks, and kept in a cage where he is fed offal and urinated on). On the brighter side, he also meets a gorgeous female member of the savage tribe (played by genre regular Me Me Lai, who is pretty much naked for the whole film) who gives him a hand shandy for his troubles!
After he realises that he is eventually to be used as bait for crocodiles, Robert makes a desperate bid for freedom, taking the lovely Ms. Lai as his hostage. The natives, understandably peeved, set off in pursuit...
Jungle Holocaust is a gruelling tale of survival against the odds that is packed with nauseating scenes of mutilation guaranteed to upset those with weak stomachs. Victims are graphically dismembered, disembowelled and devoured, and a native woman is even seen giving birth and then throwing her unwanted newborn child into a river. But it is a nasty moment where a live croc is gutted that upset me the most, easily rivalling the infamous 'turtle' scene from Cannibal Holocaust for most revolting moment in Italian cinema.
Although not as well known as many other genre entries (such as Cannibal Ferox, Eaten Alive or Mountain of the Cannibal God), this is still one of the better examples of the genre, and essential viewing for all gore-hounds and fans of Italian sleaze.
Directed by Ruggero Deodato and Starring Massimo Foschi, Me Me Lai and Ivan Rassimov.
I don't think Robert and Rolf have relised it yet but they have just crash landed in a world were the natives have never seen a white man and a world that have yet to be explored. The idea is simple escape back to the plane alive without being taken.
In the first installment in this legendary trilogy witch did nothing but shock millions around the world Ruggero Deodato created this low budget film that has done nothing cut make it look like a million dollar blockbuster of a film. Just the idea of using nothing but a camera to make this well...This exotic and expensive look to it, this is something cannibal holocaust never had.
Rolf and Robert are heading to an oil well in the middle of the jungle to prospect with there team that have already landed but when they get there the team have disappeared without a trace into the jungle. But there landing on the plane distracted there driver Charlie hits the ground to hard and accidently runs over the camps radio in the middle of the runway. So after this collection with the radio somehow being placed there the 4 people in the plane are stranded until they can fix the wheel which happens that day. But night falls fast and the 4 take shelter in the plane.
In the plane the two fall asleep but Robert and Rolf in the backset discuses the possibly of cannibal tribes still living Robert himself soon claims to have seen figures moving out there in the jungle as they slept. Not long after Charlie girlfriend is taken as she stepped out of the plane to stretch her legs. The following morning the remaining 3 look for her but find nothing Charlie is soon killed by a trap leaving only Robert and Rolf but they are indeed lost and need a way back to the Runway. The two are soon separated as they cross the river. Leaving only Rolf but not long after he himself is taken by the tribe living in this world.
This has been on my list for some time now and I was Eger to see it because of all the acclaim it had and the trailer indeed looked interesting but I must say, I have no doubt James Cameron took inspiration to his overrated film Avatar I mean some of the plants you see are moulds of what we see in Avatar. Personally I think this has to be one of the most inspiring tales ever filmed.
First he is taken then they show him there world and how cruel they and we as an audience learn the truth about him being there. He escapes of course with a native girl and down the road back to the Runway they find Robert he himself was living in a ditch hiding from them.
"Rolf we don't have long before the rainy days set in, We only have a 3-4 days to find the plane and get the hell out of here or typhoons will delay us a very long time"
Ivan Rassimov plays Robert Harper a geologist who is prosecuting for oil out here and I must say his best performance so far I have seen. I will say the ending with him was so sad. I did like his character more then Massimo Foschi and his performance even though I really liked it. But overall I can say the acting was near perfect.
The direction in this movie really pays off you can see what is different and what is just an outstanding look and theme to the movie. There are many things that many contributed and worked on and you can see the effort to there scene did very well.
I really admired the scenery that was just brilliant with those angles and sets and one scene that will easily go into my favorites ever is when the two are standing on a large mountain and at the bottom see the Runway and there plane. And it is like the two had never seen anything like it and just how happy they are.
The music score is hauntingly beautiful I mean not as great as the next one but Riz's effort is outstanding he got an Oscar nomination for a movie called Mondo with his score for that. And as for everything to do with production such as the Camera was just outstanding and this also marks the first direction effort with Lamberto Bava who directed one scene in this movie.
What can I say by the end sure it violent yes but it's one of the most wonderful tail's one could dream of. And all that low budget effort easily paid of so well. There are certent scenes that don't make it get a 100% perfectly but it still gets one of the score.
Keiko's score 93-100
Really solidly made Cannibal film from Ruggero Deodato who went on to do the great Cannibal Holocaust. This one isn't as relentlessly shocking as CH but still has your doses of gore, animal violence and rapes but in smaller portions. A good simple story of one mans will to survive - quite similar to Deep River Savages too.
This movie is sure to make you puke. Its more like a X rated National Geographic Special. About A group flying into the jungle to meet another group of people, but to there surprise the cannibals have eaten them and now there on the run for there lives. Nudity, Sexual Intercourse murder, guts, even animal killing, No more then 2 stars
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