Paul Hibbard’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've always been so fascinated with this movie. On one hand, it is a movie with a lot of amateur elements, from the acting to the dialogue to the cheap camera cuts. But on another hand, the way it comes together with the beautifully ironic score shows it was made with a craft and finesse unparalleled at the time.
A group of Americans go into the Amazon rainforest to retrieve the remains of a film crew who went in prior and never came back out. They find their tapes, but not the crew, and what they see on the tapes is horrifying.
This is the godfather of found footage movies. It's also one of the most disturbing movies ever. To some, it's a satirical indictment of American imperialism. To others, it's imperialistic filmmaking disguised as satire.
It has always remained one of my favorites because it seeps into your mind and gets under your skin. I became a vegetarian because of this movie and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The animal killing I get has its place in the film, especially after multiple times watching and seeing how similar the turtle being killed was to the crewmember being killed at the end. I, like the director now and most fans, wish they found another way to do it. And movies like that today should not be tolerated. I ultimately accept it by thinking of all of the other movies in the past with animals being killed and how many movies I'd have to eliminate if I took that hard stance. Ben Hur ran horses off of a cliff. Westerns would signal a cowboy was shot by breaking a horses neck. Sometimes I wonder if people's issue with Cannibal Holocaust isn't the animal being killed, but that they have to see it (which is a wider issue I have with meat-eaters who still claim to be animal activists)