Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust ★★★★½

Ruggero Deodato's 1980 cannibal film sits on the throne as the King of this wretched genre. Never outdone, never outlasted.

When a small crew of filmmakers disappear in the Amazon, anthropologist Harold Monroe leads an expedition to rescue them but after a series of gruesome discoveries only comes back with a few film reels they had left behind. This is their story. Cannibalism ensues.

I can remember it just like yesterday, back in 2004 when I took the big bus to go to the big city and I walked into Suspect Video and asked to purchase this notorious Video Nasty.
The clerk responded "Fuck Yeah" to every single question and when I left the store I was positively elated.
What an amazing moment when I threw this on and not only did it disturb me but... it was actually good... Like really good.

Deodato crafted a titan of the most vile genre ever by not only upping the shock value at an unrelenting pace but also delivering this nightmare in an extremely refreshing package. There's not a moment of human flesh being chomped until the final 10 minutes, and yet the journey to that title bearing moment is just as (if not more?) harrowing.

I love the use of found footage in this, not only does it feel authentic and so new for its time but also having it only pop up in the second half feels like a structural power move.
The score is widely accepted as an incredible work of art and you can hear that designation as it drapes every mortifying scene with a cloak of haunting dread.

The shocks don't really need to be broken down as Deodato drops just about every horrible thing you can think of on top of some ruthless animal killings (bummer). Otherwise though I'd call it a masterpiece, completely nailing its freakish exercise and such a F.I.N.A.L. W.O.R.D. on this despicable (but wild) genre.

Deodato is a madman, he must have been high off his own blood when he made this. If you can't stomach calling him a great director, at least call him an entertaining one and then bow to the throne of this perfect slice of disgusting hell.

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