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Cannibal Holocaust - Grindhouse Releasing Print E-mail
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Written by T.W. Anderson   
Friday, 11 January 2008

Cannibal Holocaust DVD Sleeve - Severed Cinema

Cannibal Holocaust DVD - Severed Cinema

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Directed by: Ruggero Deodato
Written by: Gianfranco Clerici
Produced by: Franco Palaggi, Franco Di Nunzio
Cinematography by: Sergio D’Offizi
Editing by: Vincenzo Tomassi
Special Effects by: Aldo Gasparri, Massimo Giustini, Nicola Catalani
Music by: Riz Ortolani
Cast: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi, Gabriel York
Year: 1980
Country: Italy
Language: Italian Dubbed into English
Color: Color
Runtime: 96 minutes

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Video: NTSC R0
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0, Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 (English)
Distributor: Grindhouse Releasing
Official Website: http://www.cannibalholocaust.net/

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Encyclopedias of information, comment, criticism and wildly speculative opinion have been espoused over the years regarding the historical and cultural significance of “Cannibal Holocaust”, but the defining characteristic that ties all of these theories together is the argumentative nature of the film.  Is this film groundbreaking?  Is it an important cultural document or a comment on a society, devoid of morals?  Perhaps it’s a remark on sensationalism in the media.  The other slant looks at the film as a worthless piece of trash, a literal wasteland of bankrupt filmmaking, offering nothing but sadistic shock value deprived of any redeeming qualities.  This school of thought sees director Ruggero Deodato as a bastard, and would rather he rot for eternity in the depths of the putrid bile that he unleashed on the world.  Whatever your views of the origins, legends, facts and fictions of “Cannibal Holocaust”, it remains undeniably one of the few films that utterly questions your awareness and rapes your emotions.

In the court of controversy “Cannibal Holocaust” reigns supreme.  Virtually no other film has so universally divided its audience.  Simply put, it would stand as the ultimate study in futility to attempt a dissection of “Cannibal Holocaust” from an isolated and unbiased position.  This film requires your reaction if nothing else.  Love it, hate it, respect it, or revile it, there is absolutely no room for half-assed, so-so, indecision and that fact has never been more evident than on this long awaited DVD release.

Cannibal Holocaust - "Insect Ridden Skull"

To truly determine if Grindhouse Releasing’s long delayed pressing does justice to the film’s notorious heritage one must consider the film’s inglorious history.  Delayed from its original international distribution due to a protracted legal battle over content, Deodato was forced to defend himself in Italian court and on the international stage against charges ranging from the now infamous animal slaughters to speculation that he actually murdered both the principal actors, as well as the native Columbians during the making of the film.  Ultimately Deodato was successfully prosecuted under animal cruelty laws and in addition to legal fees and fines, and served a short prison sentence.  Thus the legend was born.

The film’s true intensions belie its deceptively simple concept; a university professor (Robert Kerman, “Cannibal Ferox”), is sent to the Amazon to determine the fate of a group of documentary filmmakers who were there to study the remote cannibal tribes in an area know as The Green Inferno.  What professor Monroe discovers is incomprehensible.  The documentary crew -- in an effort to capture more salacious footage -- resorted to the rape, torture and murder of their subjects, only to subsequently meet that same fate themselves.

The film is presented in two distinct tracks, the first being the tale of Professor Monroe, which Deodato shot on 35-millimeter film stock and the second the tale of the lost crew.  Their story is told through found footage shot entirely on 16-millimeter film.  Famously, this same concept was later appropriated, to great success, by the filmmakers of “The Blair Witch Project”.  Unlike the relative sterile nature of the Blair Witch footage, “Cannibal Holocaust” is sensory overload of the highest order.  In “Cannibal Holocaust”, Deodato utilizes this “found footage” to fill in the gaps left in the Professor’s tale.  Taken strictly as a plot treatment, “Cannibal Holocaust” should have provided an intriguing mystery.  What sets the film atop the pantheon of disrepute is the manner in which Deodato chose to exploit our senses.

It would be inarguably ironic to note that Deodato proves himself the ultimate hypocrite by his very methods of filmmaking.  Cannibal Holocaust’s defining sentiment is that the documentary crew had no justification for staging the torture and murder of the indigenous people for the benefit of their film.  Yet with that very concept taken to heart, Deodato specifically ordered the on-camera slaughter of live animals, expressly for filmmaking gravitas (Deodato’s later arguments that cast and crew did in fact dine on the beasts, rings as an incredibly hollow justification for the needless bloodshed).  Regardless of any arguments for or against Deodato’s decisions, one fact should be indisputable and that is that there is a world of difference between depicting actual animal slaughter for educational documentary pursuits than for a fictional exploitation picture designed to shock for the sake of shocking.  It has been argued from “Nanook of the North” to “Bowling for Columbine” that the staging of events for coverage, forfeits the objective nature of documentary filmmaking, thus rendering the completed project tainted and worthless.  This is the principal argument that Professor Monroe is attempting to address in the film as well.  By creating the havoc on camera, Deodato is unwittingly completing the character arc of his own film.

Cannibal Holocaust - "Chicks on Sticks!"

With all that I have said, it would be disingenuous of me to tell you that I hate “Cannibal Holocaust".  In fact, while I find the film morally corrupt, in much the same manner that I would a nazi propaganda film or a Michael Bay movie. It is never the less a well-made and arguably worthwhile piece of cinematic history.  The filmmaking on a base rudimentary level is solid.  The script is well paced offering its audience precious little opportunity to relent from the action and the performances; even when viewed in its dubbed Americanized state, they are intriguing and frequently horrifyingly accurate.  It certainly stands as the pinnacle of the cannibal film subgenre, eclipsing its often compared and woefully dull counterpart “Cannibal Ferox” with a vicious fervor.  The true success of “Cannibal Holocaust” as a motion picture is the tight scripting.  To have shot the film without the unnecessary animal slaughter may not have made the film the international legend that it has become but it would still be an arguably better production than say “Jungle Holocaust” or “Slave of the Cannibal God”.

Deodato’s film was not the first to wreak havoc on the international scene and it has surely proven to not be the last.  Nevertheless, unlike so many other films defined as controversial in their day that have later proven to be tame -- or even innocuous as time wears on -- “Cannibal Holocaust” is still as unredeeming and unrelenting a spectacle as ever committed to celluloid.

THE DVD

VIDEO:
1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
http://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/half-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/zero-star.jpg
AUDIO:
Dolby Digital 2.0 – French (Optional English Subtitles)
http://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/half-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/zero-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/zero-star.jpg

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
- Audio Commentary by Director Ruggero Deodato & Robert Kerman
- Selected On-Camera Commentary
- The Making of “Cannibal Holocaust” - One hour Italian documentary (with Subtitles)
- Exclusive Interviews with Deodato, Kerman and Gabriel Yorke
- Original Theatrical Trailers
- Extensive Gallery of Stills and Poster Art
- Original Shooting Script (DVD ROM)
- Necrophagia "Cannibal Holocaust" Music Video
- Alternate “Animal Cruelty Free” Version

Grindhouse Releasing has pulled out all the stops for this package. To begin with, they are presenting the most uncut version of the film, to perhaps ever see legitimate release. The film has been digitally remastered and enhanced for 16X9. The picture is pretty clean during the 35-millimeter segments and properly grainy and scratchy for the “found footage” 16-millimeter segments. It’s hard to fault Grindhouse for any issues with the quality of the print since the film has been hacked to pieces by everyone and their mother over the past 30 years. In fact, they deserve some credit for presenting the film in such good quality despite itself. The audio is fairly well transferred, working from mono sources; there were noticeable variances in the dialogue levels, specifically between the jungle scenes and the New York City locations. I found myself reaching for volume control on more that one occasion. Regardless, the sound was never a distraction and all of the dialogue was easily intelligible. Frankly, it’s understandable that Grindhouse need not spend the tens of thousands of dollars necessary for a complete audio and video overhaul on a film that has a decidedly finite viewing audience. So let’s get on to the good stuff.

Cannibal Holocaust - "Ruggero Deodato - The Mind Behind the Madness"

The real goodies are on Disc 2, which offers a host of behind the scenes info and a trio of interviews with Deodato, Kerman and York. Most notable of the three is the Kerman interview which runs about 30 minutes and appears to have had virtually no editing. Kerman is often incomprehensible and seems to continue to harbor contemptuous feelings toward the film and its director. Kerman’s interview often feels in and of itself a voyeuristic and exploitationist undertaking as the actor rambles from tangent to tangent with no end it sight. In many ways the inclusion of the Kerman interview in light of its content could be construed as keeping with the controversial nature of the source material. I found it to be much like a massive train wreck that was impossible to look away from.

Cannibal Holocaust - "Robert Kerman"

In addition to the loads of pictures and trailers the disc contains an hour-long Italian documentary on the making of the production. The feature looks at the scope and breadth of the film, both in concept, during production and through the subsequent aftermath. Most of the cast and crew have participated and it strikes me as rather interesting to see that there is no general consensus on the film’s value. Each interviewee seems to have a love/hate relationship with the film that has actually gown more polarized the further away from the project they have become. Indeed several of the participants in the documentary seem to outright despise the film and those who choose to defend it do so almost halfheartedly. Overall the making of “Cannibal Holocaust” offers no concrete answers about the mass of controversy that surrounds the film. The participants who attempt to address the animal cruelty issues do so in a very cut and dry manner giving the feeling that they can not or will not go into deep discussion over what took place in the jungles of the Amazon, at the end of the day leaving the film itself as the record of the ultimate horrors committed in the name of cinema.

Cannibal Holocaust "Gabriel York"


It is rare to find this level of effort placed into a film that is notorious for its legal hardships, censorship issues and outright shock value. I suspect that the world will never again see the likes of “Cannibal Holocaust” and for that very reason the film must be respected. Grindhouse Releasing’s 2-disc deluxe edition may fundamentally be the must own film of the decade if for no other reason than it could be your only chance to get a lawful, uncut and uncensored version of one of the most disreputable films ever made.

Cannibal Holocaust - "Skeletal Delights"

Cannibal Holocaust - "The sloth evades Deodato's cruel wrath!"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Kerman Toe Jam"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Jungle Blow"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Ritualistic Slaughter"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Bludgeon"

Cannibal Holocaust - "See What's Inside"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Cannibal Cleansing"

Cannibal Holocaust - "And the Crew Remains"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Alan Yates - Sadistic Auteur"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Turn That Damn Thing Off"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Turtle Stew"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Human Feast"

Cannibal Holocaust - "New York Cityscape"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Burn it Down"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Death Is Not Soon Enough"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Romance"

Cannibal Holocaust - "Jungle Lust"

Cannibal Holocaust "Get it Offa Me!"

Cannibal Holocaust "Severed Cinema"

Cannibal Holocaust "uh oh"

Cannibal Holocaust "Rag-Doll"

Cannibal Holocaust "Look, Behind You!"

Comments
Add New Search
lybirty     |24.158.187.xxx |2008-04-27 16:18:25
omg that is horiable
chelsea  - WOW   |71.199.215.xxx |2008-05-24 12:38:45
Its amazing what the world is coming to. I cant believe somebody would do
something like this!
alakianz  - ASAD     |124.104.67.xxx |2009-07-08 23:34:37
U ARE THE BEST DIRECTOR and artist that u come up this cinema.
Crystal   |68.195.228.xxx |2008-07-14 14:29:04
this is realy sick thats terrible.I hop im not the only one that think this?
Chris Mayo   |SAdministrator |2008-08-07 19:48:50
Mmmm cannibalism...
demon eyes   |72.230.216.xxx |2008-11-20 13:27:29
i just bought this last night...i loved it.
amy_of_the_orient   |155.247.166.xxx |2008-11-26 00:43:18
This review says, "for this very reason, the film must be respected."
How about no. I refuse to any respect movie in any way that kill anything
because I'm a decent human being and not a mindless, heartless critic with a
stick up my ass. If you can't make think of a way to make a point without
killing things, kill yourself and spare everything else that lives innocently.
himanshu  - GREAT     |210.212.120.xxx |2008-12-10 06:28:13
I LOVE YOU
Cinema Diabolica     |70.143.85.xxx |2008-12-26 17:49:41
Hey Amy of the Orient. I really hope you're completely Vegan, otherwise you just
made a seriously hypocritical statement. The extended torture that animals for
meat go through makes this look like a day at disneyland.
All of the animals
killed in Cannibal Holocaust were eaten and would have been killed and eaten
were there a camera or not. You don't know what you're talking about here. YES
CanHol is a completely irresponsible and reprehensible film but it's a snapshot
of a bygone era of filmmaking and is a part of genre history. If it's too much
for you then stick to your safe campy shlock movies. You can't stick your head
in the Lions cage and then complain that it got bitten off.
Chey   |97.113.114.xxx |2009-06-22 15:09:34
I watched this movie last night I HATE IT!!!!! and they actually killed 7
animals- no! tortured and killed 7 animals! (and yes, i'm a vegetarion) how
could anyone like it? i read somewhere that it was supposed to be really scary
which it wasn't, just sick and disgusting.
to make matters worse (before i knew
bout the animals dying) i decided to try and scare mself by eating during
it....bad idea! but i didn't even feel sick until i figured out that it was real
torture on film!
and Cinema Diabolic, i don't give a rat's a** if they at eat
them or not. it's cruel, gross, and disgusting. and yeah, i know what i'm
talking about
alakianz  - saeds     |124.104.67.xxx |2009-07-08 23:32:08
its nice coz it show in the film what kind of people in year 90s it is the best
scary ive seen.
stanley  - cannibal holocaust     |125.165.110.xxx |2010-02-22 15:06:09
1
cbcroz  - cannibal holocaust   |24.166.78.xxx |2010-07-28 04:51:33
I have viewed this movie last night, and have had time to think over the graphic
images. I feel as though in its own right the film is a masterpiece striking at
the very basic emotions that we feel. The twisting finger of blame falling upon
human nature in the end. although the animal cruelty was very extreme, i felt
that it did add a feel of authenticity to the screen. It is unfortunate, but i
feel that with out such depictions it would simply be a shitty movie; We would
lose the gravity of the message and would not be disguising it now. i respect
the view points of others who do not feel the same way and only ask that they
reciprocate this respect.
RickTRICOGLON  - re: cannibal holocaust     |68.49.198.xxx |2011-04-14 09:45:07
cbcroz wrote:
I have viewed this movie last night, and have had time to think over the
graphic images. I feel as though in its own right the film is a
masterpiece striking at the very basic emotions that we feel. The
twisting finger of blame falling upon human nature in the end. although the
animal cruelty was very extreme, i felt that it did add a feel
of authenticity to the screen. It is unfortunate, but i feel that with
out such depictions it would simply be a shitty movie; We would lose
the gravity of the message and would not be disguising it now. i
respect the view points of others who do not feel the same way and only ask
that they reciprocate this respect.
RickTRICOGLON     |68.49.198.xxx |2011-04-14 09:48:27
I DIDNT LIKE THE MOVIE NOT ENOGH GIRL GATTING EATEN OR RUNNING THREW THE JUNGLE
AN GEET ING CAPTURED ITHINK IT SUCKED inpulse
Vijay  - Given True video Tape   |122.179.90.xxx |2011-07-22 02:50:39
Given True Cannibal Black & White Video TApe
gamer  - movie   |86.21.216.xxx |2011-09-19 21:57:55
nice
Tiffany   |142.163.173.xxx |2012-01-11 08:53:44
very good
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