Horrifying, shocking and gruesome are just a few words that come to mind when describing the visual imagery of "Cannibal Holocaust". It's been almost a year since I stomached my way through it at a horror movie marathon. Not for the faint of heart, it left me with one too many disturbing visuals that kept playing over in my head. This is strictly for hardcore film buffs with an appreciation for the Italian horror exploitation film genre.
On a positive note-- the original soundtrack for the film has been re-mastered and re-released. Although the eye candy of this movie was pretty bitter, the ear candy made up for it. I was compelled to order the soundtrack and found with much disappointment that it was super rare and difficult to find until now!
Riz Ortolani orchestrates quite a range of musical styles throughout the soundtrack--running the gamut from nostalgic, summery string melodies to funky-sleazy Italo-porno-cocktail to burning, simmery spooky synth-inflected creepiness. The music impacts the audience just as much as the blunt visual elements of the movie. In fact, the music became a running joke with the audience at the horror movie marathon. There's a particular synth sound in some of the spooky songs that sounds like an electric tom tom (buh-boo) noise that was replicated one too many times by a few smart aleks.
"Cannibal Holocaust, the main theme" begins the movie with a slow swaying pace, much like how "Science Fiction/ Double Feature" intros for Rocky Horror, then slowly builds up to a crescendo of strings and warbly moogy-chorus. The acoustic guitar picking and slow '70s bop beat sound as if they might have inspired Air to go on to make "How Does it Make you Feel?" for "10,000 Hz Legend". The second track, "Adulteresses' Punishment" has a simmering synth sound that could burn you like the Amazon sun in the South American Jungle where the movie takes place. This is where the "buh-boo-boo" sound comes in. Scattered through the movie are some pretty funky Italian cocktail tracks, my favorite being the cheesy wah-wah flavored "Cameraman's Recreation". Riz captures tribal beats as the "buh-boo-boo" noise is blended with searing synths and eerie strings in "Massacre of the Troupe" and "Savage Rite". It's amazing how well the music superbly combines with the visuals to create the many distinctive moods of the film.
Buy this today-- Riz Ortolani's "Cannibal Holocaust" will make a freaky addition to anyone's music collection!