9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu Review 66 Cannibal Holocaust
Distributor: Shameless Entertainment (UK)
To fully appreciate the fact that this movie is available to purchase in the UK in a near uncut form will probably require a certain amount of knowledge of the whole Video Nasties furore or at the very least first hand experience of having lived through this period. The Video Nasties...
Published 14 months ago by Blu Review Obscura
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Early 'found footage' curiosity but unforgivably cruel
I'd obviously heard about the controversy surrounding this film, but had never seen it for myself until I found the uncut 2-DVD version on sale in France for just 3 euros a couple of weeks ago.
First, I have to concede that, as the great-grandfather of all found-footage movies, it obviously has a certain importance. Its influence on everything from 'The Blair...
Published 8 months ago by Cartimand
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu Review 66 Cannibal Holocaust,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deodato's New Edit [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Cannibal Holocaust
Distributor: Shameless Entertainment (UK)
To fully appreciate the fact that this movie is available to purchase in the UK in a near uncut form will probably require a certain amount of knowledge of the whole Video Nasties furore or at the very least first hand experience of having lived through this period. The Video Nasties phenomenon which swept through the UK in the early 80's seems now almost an impossibility given today's more relaxed standards and easy access to any movie you could wish to see via the Internet. Back in the day however, this shocking horror entry topped the UK's banned movie lists which saw collectors scouring car boot sales up and down the country in an attempt to obtain one of those dodgy bootleg video tapes as the only way to see some of their favourite withdrawn horror classics.
Years later with the advent of DVD the search moved to foreign releases with collectors importing some of these "long lost treasures" whilst hoping that the films would slip by customs authorities unnoticed to avoid certain confiscation.
With Cannibal Holocaust arguably the most famous entry on the nasties list, it was more than a little surprising when it was announced that the film was scheduled for UK release in an almost uncut print (minus a few seconds edited for animal cruelty). This print of the movie was substantially longer than even the original "banned" video release and collectors had for years resigned themselves to the fact that the film would never see anywhere near an uncut print in UK territories.
So all these years later, the most controversial movie ever made is finally available to buy in your local high street store only now it's in high definition...
The plot, for anyone who has never experienced the Italian cannibal genre is pretty simple. A small group of young naive white folk take a trip to the one place on Earth they have no business in going and not surprisingly manage to offend the local inhabitants and end up being invited for dinner. Well that's it and essentially it's the same plot for all of these "cannibal classics" which also seem to share a love of some pretty graphic gore sequences as well as some truly distasteful footage of genuine animal cruelty. What this film does differently however is present the film as documentary footage (years before we were inundated with the recent outburst of "found footage movies") and in fact does this so convincingly that the director of the film was made to attend a court hearing in Italy along with the cast in an attempt to prove that the sequences shown in the movie weren't in fact real.
With all of the history surrounding this flick any Blu-ray release was always going to make for an interesting title to review. Distributed by Shameless Entertainment, the region free Blu-ray disc presents two cuts of the movie, the original version minus approx 13 seconds cut for extreme animal suffering and a new directors cut which seeks to obscure some of the more tasteless scenes involving animal cruelty which the director apparently now regrets filming. The new version actually overlays some of the more graphic animal scenes with extra film dirt in an attempt to disguise the most shocking sequences however it never really succeeds in its aim and unlike the US Grindhouse DVD release which simply removes these scenes in their entirety, there is still far too much of this footage left intact. The less concerned viewer however will probably stick with the original cut however this is never going to be a film for animal lovers or members of PETA to sit through in either version.
Presented with a 1080p 1.85:1 transfer, for anyone who has never seen the film you first have to bear in mind that this is supposed to represent found footage recovered from the depths of the Amazon jungle and is therefore complete with film dirt, scratches, blemishes, missing audio reels etc.. and the film in this regard appears exactly as it should. Other than this the transfer is pretty solid overall although as the titles roll there is a fair amount of excessive film grain displayed, especially over the opening scenes of the Amazon rain forest, but this settles down to a lesser extent within the first few minutes of the film. Detail moves from strong to excellent, especially during certain close up shots and colour representation also shows a striking upgrade over previous releases. Cannibal Holocaust has lost none of its power over the years and the ability to shock is still as strong as ever especially in this enhanced presentation which will no doubt please long time horror collectors everywhere.
Audio is presented with DTS HD and Dolby Digital stereo options with the former being the most vibrant of the two. Dialogue is clear and free from distortion and the enhanced now famous score by Riz Ortolani adds extra depth to the proceedings and to the overall depressing nature of the film itself.
Extra features include modern day interviews with cast and crew (further proving that they were not actually killed and eaten back in the jungle some 30 years ago) as well as film trailers and a reversible cover. The interviews actually provide some excellent background information on the making of the film although long time fans may struggle to find new information here.
All things considered, this Blu-ray officially marks the first of these Italian cannibal shockers to hit the HD format. Whether or not any subsequent movies in the genre will now see UK releases remains to be seen. With each film in the series attempting to outdo the former with added gore and sadly more animal cruelty, many of these titles would be highly unlikely to see an uncut release here. That being said, who back in the day would have thought that the most famous Video Nasty of them all would ever be available at your local entertainment store, albeit shorn of a few seconds?
With Grindhouse Releasing said to be working on a US Blu-ray which should feature both a fully uncut print as well as their prior animal friendly option, the choice to purchase the UK release or to simply wait a while is ultimately yours.
Times it seems have changed. With collectors having easy access to their favourite movies and the world being a vastly different place to the days of the Video Nasties scandal perhaps we have become desensitised to all but the most extreme movie violence. Well Cannibal Holocaust is certainly extreme and definitely not for all tastes however rightly or wrongly in modern times we at least have the choice and for long time followers of the genre, well as they say in the movie "I wonder who the real cannibals are?"
Blu Review Obscura - blu-ray reviews of less mainstream movies, find us at blureviewobscura.yolasite.com and have your say at our discussion group on Facebook
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNCUT...VERY DIFFERENT PROPOSITION.....(Ultrabit 2 disc),
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust - 2 Disc Deluxe Collector's Edition - ULTRABIT - FULL UNCUT VERSION (DVD)...from the BBFC version.I promise,if you disregarded this as a dud,as I did after watching the pointless 18 cert BBFC offering then wait,put together this is easily the most disturbing film I have seen,it's horrific but not really a horror,no strange goings on in the dark,nothing like Fulci or Argento,Umberto Lenzi released Cannibal Ferox on the back of the success of Holocaust which upps the ante with some of the visual gruesome effects and some similar animal deaths but is opportunistic and clumsy by comparison.Dedatos film does something different,I shifted uncomfortably ready to look away after about 20 mins until the end.The documentary style in the way the film is presented is key.That Deadato faced murder charges shortly after it's released as the Italian authorities,however ludicrous that may now seem,seized copies of the film in the belief that the deaths on show actually happened,is testament to the realism of Holocaust.He had to prove in court that the film was fiction.The marrying actual animal killings with staged human deaths probably played a part,as well as the not inconsiderable feat of directing a real Amazonian tribe seamlessly along with the paid acting cast,this combination of factors tricks your brain into thinking everything is real,creating a quite unique sense of mounting dread and grim anticipation.I simply can't think of another film that comes close in this respect,a much maligned masterpiece,usually critisized by people who haven't watched the movie so don't realise or consider that despite the title and reputation it is a rather sophisticated and intelligent film that is beautifully shot and addresses serious issues,this is no mindless gore flick,it isn't a gore flick period.For me the only downside,if you can call it that,is that all your other horror films begin to look a little tame.Genius!
NOTE:since I published this review the BBFC have since released the film missing only one scene&directors edit from Shameless
Entertainment,still best uncut as the scene cut is key to the films grim realism,and as far as I know this review had no bearing in reclassifying of the film,pity,would have made me feel very important....sorry,thinking aloud...! :D
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still disturbing,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deodato's New Edit [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Cannibal Holocaust is still as disturbing now as it was 30 years ago. This isn't a movie for the faint hearted. Yes the animal killings were unnecesary but i'm a firm believer that censorship should take place before the film is shot, not afterwards.I don't like animal violence but would've rather have had the uncut version released. This new "2011 Deodato re-edit" basically addresses some of the directors and the publics concerns and exorcises some of this material. Why not all you say? well thats anyone's guess, but the BBFC have NOT cut all the animal violence out, most are redited with scratchy film inserts obscuring shots and lengthy scenes have now been trimmed down. The turtle's death is still on here as the BBFC class this as "slaughter", so it being a quick death is deemed ok. The Muskrat killing is gone coz the BBFC classifield this as unnecessary cruelty. I don't miss these scenes particularly, i've seen them on the Grindhouse U.S edition anyway.
The new blu ray print looks superb. You can actually now see what a well made film this actually is. Ruggero Deodato is a superb director.
There are 2 documentaries each running about 40 mins. One has various critics and academics discussing the controversry on the film, the other has interviews with director Deodato and star Carl Yorke. Both are worth checking out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STEELBOOK review,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust - 2 DVDs Steelbook (Uncut) (DVD)Very good edition of this classic film. This is the item to get if you are after purchasing THE classic NASTY horror.
Filmed in 1979 and still stands up today . The steelbook is great quality with impressive 3D front cover. This 2 disc edition is a great item for my horror collection.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fully uncut and shocking. s.fff.,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust - 2 Disc Deluxe Collector's Edition - ULTRABIT - FULL UNCUT VERSION (DVD)Have been waiting for a good copy of this film to come out for ages.
This is it. very good picture qaulity and sound,and fully uncut(what more could you ask for ?? ).
If you dont know film, all i will say is that it is a very good cannibal film, (probably the best).
It is shocking and bloody,with a fair bit of animal crulty.
If this floats your boat then this is the film for you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Early 'found footage' curiosity but unforgivably cruel,
This review is from: CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST..2 DISC DELUXE UNCUT EDITION.. (DVD)I'd obviously heard about the controversy surrounding this film, but had never seen it for myself until I found the uncut 2-DVD version on sale in France for just 3 euros a couple of weeks ago.
First, I have to concede that, as the great-grandfather of all found-footage movies, it obviously has a certain importance. Its influence on everything from 'The Blair Witch Project' to recent wannabees like 'Welcome to the Jungle' is obvious. The plot is reasonably intriguing and I found myself quite enjoying the opening 15 minutes. Then though, that first absolutely vile scene of animal torture (the protracted knifing of the coatimundi) made me feel physically sick. At least the other animal killings were pretty quick, although the kicking of the piglet was disgusting too. By then, I was losing any interest in the story, although I did notice that the human gore looks ridiculously fake - I've just rewatched one of the final scenes and it looks like the wig falls off the decapitated head. Also whilst using real natives may add an air of authenticity to the film, they don't 'die' very convincingly and when they are supposed to be chopping up the bodies, it is obvious that they are chopping the ground off to one side.
That's probably enough nit-picking. To summarise, Cannibal Holocaust has a certain value as one of the original found footage films, but it isn't particularly well made and the real animal cruelty is stomach-turning and clearly detracts from, rather than reinforces the director's message, which I assume to be "who are the real savages?".
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers!,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust - 2 Disc Deluxe Collector's Edition - ULTRABIT - FULL UNCUT VERSION (DVD)Delivers what it is know for, it's unflinching cruelty to animals. There's no cut away to blood splattering over a log, a frightened face or a flock of birds flying off in horror. Single, untampered, steady shots. On top of that there's some genital mutilation, decapitations, nudity and rape scenes involving a wooden wedge.
I was genuinely surprised to find it's not just some half-baked excuse for gore, there's an actual story, and good visuals similar to Werner Herzog films that ventured off into the forest. Not quite as epic mind you.
Granted the pace is awkward, but when a movie like this delivers the goods and a whole heap more, you can't hate.
That said, I won't watch it again for a very long time!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The king of "Found Footage Of Lost Team",
This review is from: CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST..2 DISC DELUXE UNCUT EDITION.. (DVD)I found the start quite boring and very slow, and in parts a bit confusing as I wasn't sure where we were in the film. But did things then heat up. It looks so real and puts Blair Witch to shame. It is made to look like a snuff film, but it isn't, all actors are still alive, the same can't be said for the animals. In total 7 are killed and these are real animals,that is really difficult to watch. For a film that is over 30yrs old, this is just as horrific as anything filmed today,just keep telling yourself it's not a snuff film.
5.0 out of 5 stars A grim tale of despair, apocalypse, and death.,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deodato's New Edit [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)First, I don't know how to effectively rate this, so I'll put five star for the cheer effectiveness of it, but that's irrelevant. I'm not sure it's a movie that's made to be rated in any normal way.
No use rehashing what the plot is once more, suffice to say it's very efficient and was, at the time, pretty innovative. But the plot device would have been moot were it not for the stunning craftsmanship of Ruggero Deodato and co. It's an extremely well done production, and I have never seen anything like it before or since. One of the main protagonist of the movie is often overlooked: the Amazon jungle. It's probably one of the most terrifying place ever rendered in any movie. Cannibal Holocaust wouldn't be half the movie it is were it not for the permanent sense of foreboding one feels amidst the oppressive scenery. It's easy to have empathy, at least on that level, with the film crew. Deodato makes the viewer feel like he's lost in the middle of nowhere, in an incredibly dangerous environment where everything can happen, at any time. By ricochet, this sense of terrible isolation takes its toll on Alan Yates and friends, and is also part of why they snap and produce mayhem on the tribes they later encounter.
The last reel of the crew's footage is probably the most intense thing I've seen on a screen. It is apocalyptic, disorienting, sordid and heartbreaking. In more than one way indeed, Cannibal Holocaust is a sad, despairing movie. And even though, by that time, the viewer is supposed to despise the film crew, it is quite disturbing to see anyone end up that way. The Pirkanen scene is a moment of such savagery, of such disregard for a human being that it stays with you for a long, long time. From his castration to his complete dismembering, it's a vision that will make anyone suffer, one of the most haunting scenes in any film.
I have to add that these scenes, and most of the rest of the movie, wouldn't pack such a punch if it were not for the incredible score by Riz Ortolani, which is the soul of the movie, and the reason why some parts are so hard to watch.
On the touchy subject of the abominable animal killings: perhaps everything and its contrary have already been said about those, but there are some precisions to add.
The "they were killed for food" line of defense doesn't hold under scrutiny, I'm afraid. The shot baby pig wasn't eaten afterwards, but left for dead as is, for one. Secondly, the infamous monkey scene had to be shot twice, so they in effect killed two animals. I highly doubt the friendly tribesmen stuffed their face twice with monkey meat because of the movie's needs, their love of monkey brains notwithstanding. Same as, I'm not quite convinced that tribes people do have goofy fun with turtle guts prior to eating it, when they hunt one. When I saw Pirkanen enjoying his fun and playing with the turtle's severed head (still gasping for air) in front of the camera, I somehow doubt it made his food better.
Same as I'm at a failure to understand how viciously kicking a pig twice before shooting it at close range will make it more tasty, but that's just me.
For those who have the Grindhouse DVD edition, it's said in a crawling text introducing the feature that this matter has been "a subject of regret for everyone involved, Ruggero Deodato included". Allow me to highly doubt that, to say the least. As "recently" as 2003, when the one-hour documentary on the feature was shot for an Italian release, none of the crew involved seemed to regret anything in that area, to put it mildly. Barbareschi (who is the one who shoots the pig, among others) goes even so far as saying he simply didn't give a s*** at the time, and still thinks today that the scenes and the movie "called for it" (i.e. the animal butchering). So please. Enough hypocrisy already. It seems to me that the crawl text regarding the so-called regret of the makers was put there by Grindhouse only to justify what is otherwise a good idea, i.e. offering an "animal-cruelty free" version of the film on the DVD. I don't believe for one second that it is a sincere comment, though. The only ones apparently genuinely disturbed by this aspect of the movie are Carl Yorke and Robert Kerman ("it was like they had pierced heaven," as he put it, in reference to the coatimundi's cries of pain and anguish as it is being slowly and painfully sliced open). Not Deodato, not Barbareschi, despite everything they might tentatively say to the contrary. I also don't find his latest "regrets" (as exposed in the bonuses on this blu-ray edition) that much more convincing. One may be a visionary and technically gifted director, and be a slimy hypocrite, cynical bastard as a person at the same time. Which I believe Deodato is.
As it stands, I think the film suffers much from the animal killing crap, and hampers its message provided it does have one. It's the movie's major drawback, as has been said repeatedly before.
No matter what the "message" is, annihilating lives for entertainment's sake is vulgar, cowardly, and inelegant. It's a cheap shot, and plain lazy film-making. Case closed.
All that being said, I think the point is not to like or hate this movie. Its qualities are obvious, as are its few but very nasty drawbacks. The point being, it's an experience unlike anything else in cinema. Whether one wants to have that experience or not should really be an informed decision. The first time I saw it, 25 years ago, I wasn't in the least aware of what was ahead, and at the time I deeply regretted having seen this. Watching it again recently has put, of course, a perspective on the way I see the film, if only because I've read so many things about it since I first saw it, but even so, many of the old sensations came back as the film unfolded when I watched it again.
This is a very, very potent piece of film-making. This is something you can't ever unsee, and it's very unlikely you'll be able to forget some of the imagery once you've seen it, so proceed with caution and don't presume of your resistance to awfulness. This one has shocked many a gore hound...
5.0 out of 5 stars still powerful after 30 years,
This review is from: Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deodato's New Edit [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)This still is THE found footage movie to beat all others.
The years have not diminished it's power to shock and revolt, and in the modern age, it also has the added nastiness of showing real life animal killings, so abhorrent to a modern audience.
A simple story of journalists who go missing in the Amazon jungle, only to have their film discovered by an investigating team, who see the full horror of what actually happened to cause their deaths.
The power is in the detail in how it is all presented back to us, with the expected grainy footage showing the atrocities inflicted not only on the journalists, but the Amazon people and animals they exploited, whipping up a good story to make their film extra spicy. Stark images of impaled corpses, a pregnant woman having her baby ripped from her and buried, rape, castration and all manner of unpleasant scenes stay in the memory long after the film has ended.
Cold, harsh, brutal, and unrelenting. It may have been overtaken by nastier films in the realistic gore department,
( Saw, Hostel, Martyrs and Inside spring to mind,) but you have to remember that this got there first, and not many films from 30 years ago still have that kind of power.
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Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deodato's New Edit [Blu-ray] by Ruggero Deodato (Blu-ray - 2011)