Today’s movie is Ruggero Doedato’s 1980 ‘classic’ “Cannibal Holocaust”. This is widely known as one of the most controversial movies of all time – for very, very good reasons. Number One is the highly realistic depictions of depravity and violence. There are repulsive portrayals of RAPE, Disembowelment, Massacre and Cannibalism. Probably the worst I’ve ever seen. . I’m a fairly desensitized horror viewer, but that was gruesome, really gruesome.But well depicted human depravity is something a faithful horror fan is accustomed to and should be able to deal with.
More offensive is the portrayal of white and native relations. The story is about a film crew doing some so-called ‘research’ in the Amazon. They commit atrocities against the native peoples and are in turn butchered. This is probably completely historically accurate. There is no doubt European explorers abused the natives, and suffered at their hands as well. However, exploiting this degrading aspect of history for entertainment is deeply offensive. The natives are shown as brainless savages, and the whites are insensitive and savage themselves. Most likely true, but not entertaining.
The worst aspect of this movie to me was the multiple instances of animal cruelty. The violence among people is highly realistic, but nevertheless visibly staged. This was made in the 70′s, before the idea of animal rights or even protection of species ever crossed anyone’s mind. Monkeys, snakes,pigs and creatures I cannot identify are butchered on camera and it is NOT FAKE. The worst is the capture and butchery of a turtle. I don’t know what kind of turtle, but it is large and probably endangered. The killing of the turtle is obviously real and is filmed in great detail. THAT is offensive!
I considered posting images, but felt that to do so would be in bad taste.
Don’t watch this movie, ye with weak hearts and stomachs.