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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2012
During Vietnam, Norman Hopper is sent on a rescue mission to find POW's. After a shootout between Hopper's team and the enemy, they come across Charlie Bukowski and Tom Thompson who are being kept in a pit. Hopper makes a gruesome discovery, the two are chowing down on the flesh of a human being. Suddenly Thompson bites a chunk out of Hopper's arm, when Hopper wakes up to reveal he was dreaming about what happened a few years earlier. Later that day just as Hopper's had his first nightmare about it in a long time, Bukowski has been deemed cured and given leave, he decides to call Hopper and invites him out for a drink. Hopper turns down this request leaving Bukowski to go and catch a film at the cinema, during the film his hunger for flesh returns and he bites a young woman in the throat. Bukowski is run out of the cinema and chased by a biker gang, eventually barricading himself in a mall. When Hopper hears about what's happened he immediately figures out that it must be Bukowski and goes down there to talk him out, something he does successfully. On the way out of the mall, Bukowski manages to bite a cop before being bundled into an ambulance and returned to the military hospital. Back at home, Hopper tells his wife that he himself has been getting an urge to bite people. After a little convincing, he goes to the same hospital Bukowski and Thompson are at so the doctors can run some tests. While at the hospital, the virus has spread and Bukowski and Thompson are freed by an infected female doctor. Hopper can no longer resist his desire for flesh, and along with Bukowski, Thompson and the doctor, they escape the hospital with the police and army in hot pursuit.

John Saxon gives a good performance as Hopper, he's probably best known to most horror fans as Nancy's dad in A Nightmare On Elm Street, he also gave good performances in Enter The Dragon, Black Christmas and Dario Argento's Tenebrae. Saxon supposedly signed on to do this film before realising it was an Italian exploitation film, he lost interest but still had to shoot the film after already signing. He's claimed to have never watched the film calling it foul and in bad taste, a real shame as it's much better than that. Giovanni Lombardo Radice who was credited as John Morghen is fun to watch as Bukowski, any fan of Italian horror will know who he is. This is credited as his first film, he followed it up in the same year with City Of The Living Dead and The House On The Edge Of The Park, not a bad first three films at all. Elizabeth Turner was very attractive as Hopper's wife and played her part well, she earlier appeared in Lucio Fulci's The Psychic. Cinzia De Carolis, Tony King and Wallace Wilkinson all offer good support. It's well directed by Antonio Margheriti, he's a director that I have to admit to not knowing much about. I love Cannibal Apocalypse though, so I'm definitely going to seek out a few more of his films. I don't recall there being any nudity, but there's quite a few instances of blood and gore. It has plenty of funky '70s music in it as well, an odd choice but I thought it worked really well.

The DVD I'm reviewing is the version with the white cover and the city in the background, sadly this version has absolutely nothing on it but the film itself and scene selection. I don't know why this is, as the version that was released five years earlier with the bloodied hand on the cover had a documentary with Saxon, Radice and Margheriti, a video tour of the locations used, an alternative opening sequence, cast and crew filmographies and a few other extras. I have no idea what the picture quality is like on the older version, but I was genuinely surprised at how good it was on the version I bought after the opening 5 minutes. If the quality is just as good on the older version then that would be the one to get, that's something you may want to look into if you decide to buy the film.

Cannibal Apocalypse is a really fun exploitation film that was quite unusual at the time, the cannibal films that were popular were all set in jungles where this film switched the action to the city. The cannibals were almost part zombie as well, they had an uncontrollable need to eat flesh and their bites could also infect others, but they could talk and think as normal so I'll call them cannibies. The film was also caught up in the video nasties scandal and was banned in the UK until the 2005 DVD I spoke of earlier, the film is still cut by 2 seconds which is simply the removal of a rat that was accidentally set on fire. All the actual gore is here including the fantastic blown open stomach and the cutting of flesh by the cannibals, but in truth there's not that much gore here and the film should never have been banned. It always reminds me of the David Cronenberg film Rabid as well, it has a very similar look and feel to it. If you liked Rabid, like exploitation films, enjoy most other cannibal or zombie films, I really don't see why you wouldn't enjoy Cannibal Apocalypse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2015
Three Vietnam vets contract a disease which turns them into flesh hungry cannibals. Norman Hunter tries to quell his affliction but as has happened with the other 2 their human flesh desires explode and start contaminating others with the "contagious cannibalism".

Gruesome, graphic and bloody (no wonder this made it onto the video nasties list) but also a huge amount of fun. Antonio Margheriti does a great job handling both the violence and action set pieces his pacing is great their really is never a dull period in the film. The special effects are excellent- John Morghen's famous hole in the stomach scene is great as is most of the gruesome flesh eating stuff. The performances are good they don't rise to any great heights but they don't need to although John Saxon's character does have a little depth to it. The way that everyone is vulnerable and could be infected keeps you guessing who's next.

Overall a fun, silly not to be taken seriously horror/action picture that doesn't deserve the negative attention it has received over the years.
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on 13 April 2015
If you are a fan of early eighties Italian exploitation (Fulci etc..) then you are bound to like this nasty little offering from Antonio Margheriti (Anthony M Dawson). John Saxon puts in a solid performance as a Vietnam Vet trying to come to terms with life after the traumas of war. At the start of this film you think that there is a more serious film desperately trying to rear its head before the onset of the action - mind, the film soon settles into a series of fairly obvious scenes of chomping and any pretentions of character development are soon lost. In fact the gore is not extreme and very mild by modern standards. So - Saxon is good, there is quite a nasty leg/power tool scene and the film quality of the Optimum release is excellent. On the minus side - the music is cheese ( like a third rate Goblin), the acting is fairly wooden and there is little suspense. Some people (like myself) will find all of these factors (positive and negative) appealing, because that is what makes films like this so entertaining!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2004
This film is a masterpiece, first I'll start with the story. John Saxon rescues then get bitten by some Vietnam P.O.W.'s and becomes a cannibal himself, then the story forwards a couple of years to Atlanta where he is a normal family man until he recieves a call from one of his cannibal buddies and his own suppressed cannibal urges start to come back. Later John Saxon and cannibal comrades form a cannibal gang and wreak havoc in the city spreading the cannibal disease!
Thoroughly entertaining, this film is so silly its good. Part of the infamous video nasties contingent, it was previously banned and is still unavaliable on region 2 today, although if it was submitted to the BBFC today it would have problem getting through uncut as the gore is highly unrealistic and the film is more or less a comedy(although unintentional!)
The DVD I'm reviewing here is fully uncut and the picture quality is excellent and comes with tons of extras including an hour long documentry so your getting your moneys worth.
This is an excellent horror (comedy!) film and according to the director on the documentry it is one of Quentin Tarrentino favourite films. Can't get a better recommendation than that!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2012
During a rescue mission in Vietnam Colonel Norman Hopper is bitten by Sgt. Bukowski who was one of his captured soldiers when he discovers him eating a dead body. When he returns home he has a strange and uncontrollable urge to bite and people. Just as the urge is becoming to much he meets Bukowski again after he hears about him biting a women in a cinema and together along with two other infected people they go on run with the army hot on their trail.

Antonio Margheriti directs this fast paced and very gory action/horror thriller which is one of his more impressive films in a CV that's spans every single genre you can think of, from Sword and Sandal films to Spaghetti Westerns and Comedy movies to Sci-Fi.

John Saxon is great as Norman Hopper and id rate this as one of his finest performances. He is very believable as a the wary Vietnam vet who doesn't understand his urge to bite people and his strained relationship with his wife is acted well.

Margheriti's direction is fast paced and his stylish camera work adds real suspense in the dramatic scenes. His film is also a lot more memorable than the usual Cannibal/Zombie movies because here he opts to tell the story about the outbreak of an infect where most films tell of its aftermath.

The film is very violent from the start, featuring both dead and alive people been eaten which is shown in graphic detail (most notably in the scene where Bukowski uses a electronic metal cutter to cut pieces of a man's upper leg off before sharing it around).

Alexander Blonksteiner scores is both good and bad. The music played over the action scenes doesn't fit at all but the romantic guitar cues are great.

Overall a very watch-able and enjoyable movie, Italian film fans will notice that Bukowski watches Umberto Lenzi's Macaroni Combat movie From Hell to Victory in the cinema scene.

DVD Quality: Very good
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on 30 January 2014
I liked this a lot, John Saxon is great in it, good story, it's got a nice lates 70's early 80's feel - overall a good viewing experience.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2009
Cannibal Apocalypse was a great Italian gore flick and I think its one of my favorites, I love these cannibal films and even though this film didn't exactly take place in the jungles I still think that it worked and the idea behind this film was different and definitely worth watching. The film was directed by Antonio Margheriti who previously did some giallo films, the film had a different setting this time instead of the usual jungle it takes place in the city. The film was about a Vietnam vet named Hopper played by b-movie actor John Saxon who was a commanding officer trying to rescue some captured soldiers who are held in a pit the two soldiers are Charles played by Giovanni Lambardo Radice and another guy, they are soon rescued but then their commanding officer discovers something quite shocking as the guys are found eating a charred Vietnamese girl and soon one of them bites Hopper in the arm. We soon discover that Hopper years later has returned home and is now married and is leading a normal life in Atlanta but is still having nightmares from that horrible incident from a few years ago and things are getting worse since its been discovered that Hopper has contracted a rare cannibalistic form of rabies he also meets his two old army buddies and they soon go on a rampage eating people, they also bite people on the neck infecting them kind of like a vampire or something. Anyway the film had some neat death scenes and the gore was terrific, my favorite scene has to be when Giovanni's character gets cornered by the police down in the city sewers and then gets blasted by a shotgun which leaves a large hole in his stomach where his guts spill out yes very nice!, he always seems to have the best and most gruesome death scenes in these type of films. The music was pretty good as well even though it was a mix of some synthesizers and 80's disco I still liked it. If your an Italian horror fan or just love some cheesy gore flicks then I highly recommend this it has numerous scenes of gore, nudity and 70's style action all this makes for an entertaining and memorable Italian exploitation film. By the way this was part of my older review that I wrote on, this edition has the same special features as the Euroshock collection and it's cheaper so you should definitely check it out.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2006
There have been so many bad reviews to this little flick and i dont see what al the fuss is about.

In comperation to other 70's and 80's cannibal flicks and b-movies of its kind or mabe even video nastys then this film doesnt rank that incredibly low when you think about it. and if your a real hard core fan then you may, like me, actually enjoy this film.

Yet im not saying its that good either, as it is pretty avaradge really, but it has its points and the groovy music thats completley inapropriate does put a bit of a grin on your face. As well as a few badly done death scenes which are barely bloody but got this film banned do keep you entertained enough to make this film worth watching at least once.

John Saxon is one of 2 familar faces i know of but apart from that the usual default no-body cast is all here.

Another thing which, if you put aside the overall awefulness of this film, is actually okay is the story. Although in many terms its pretty unorigonal and predictable in the long run there are no other cannibal films that are done in such a style as this which are set in the city and this film is more of a thriller if you ask me as it contains a few action film style shooting sequences and is mainly about a bunch og murderes or cannibals in this case, on the run against the cops in the end.

The film is fairly fast paced once it gets going but up until then it can be a little slow at times and dont buy this film expectinga total gore fest either because it really isnt anything too extreme.

Its just that kinda thing that'll entertain the hardened cannibal or budget horror fan.

This DVD is pretty good too as it is cut but all is cut from this is a scene with a burning rat in it and there is a decent region1 version with that still in if your that desperate to see it yet this region2 version has a decent few extras. It may be pretty crappy compared to other films but for its genre youd be lucky to get a trailer in some films of its kind.

I also believe this is one of those films where reviews dont say much as if your a fan or not this film may turn out to be the worsed piece of cinema in history to you yet your mate with an almost identical taste to you may love it. You either love it or hate it.

I think for the price you can get it for now the old school collectopr of these films shouldnt really care about forking out a bit of cash for this as it also looks really cool on the dvd and if you dont like it then you still have a little addiiton to your next hundred dvd's.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2011
Exactly what you would expect from the title. Has minimal story line and splatter is nowhere near as gory as you would hope but fascinating as part of banned video-nasty list compared with what is un-censored today. Good fun!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2009
This might not be the best Thriller/Horror/Action Film ever made.
Buts its still a pretty good film in my mind.
The plot though i think could have been better.
I personally think the plot is to basic and lacks a lot of depths as well.
But for what it is.
It's still a good film and you should check it out if your into theses sort of Films.
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