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Land of Death - Substance - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Jay Creepy   
Saturday, 26 January 2019
Severed Cinema DVD review of Land of Death on DVD from Substance

AKA: Cannibal Ferox 3, Horror Cannibal, Nella terra dei cannibali, Cannibal of Death, Cannibal Holocaust 3, Shokujin zoku 3, In the Land of Cannibals.

Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Written by: Bruno Mattei, Giovanni Paulucci
Produced by: Giovianni Paulucci
Cinematography by: Luigi Ciccarese
Editing by: Elio Lamari, Bruno Mattei
Special Effects by: Giuseppe Ferranti
Music by: Pierpaolo Barbanera
Cast: Claudio Morales, Cindy Matic, Lou Randell, Ydalia Suarez, Silvio Jimenez, Sanit Larrauri, Kenny Krall
Year: 2004
Country: Italy
Language: English (dubbed)
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 33 min

Distribution: Substance

Land of Death happens to be one of those movies which has gathered a shrine worth of bad reviews. Comments about acting, bad direction, poor cannibals, etcetera, by some I think who have just copied off others and wanted to be part of the school yard gang.

I'm the one who is the cool one in the yard and I don't want to be part of a gang – I can be like Eastwood and be known by two gangs or more if needed. Hahaha, well, whatever. As a kid I loved video nasties (before they became known as such) and adored zombies, slashers, and the sort. I was a late bloomer into the world of cannibals. Yeah I love cannibal flicks from Italy, but I’m not going to compare them to this. I react via entertainment and not strictly by quality in most of my reviews. I won't tire anyone by lambasting the talents on show in a movie (unless they bore me) nor will I stroke my beard and try and be clever about the choice of style, directing, and so on.

Land of Death entertained me, even with its stolen pieces from Aliens and Predator. I loved it. So, the late and brilliantly cheesy consistent, Bruno Mattei sat down, caught up with a couple of ‘80s blockbusters and thought, “You know what? I've got a great idea for a new cannibal movie.” He next thought of casting David Warbeck in one of the lead roles. However, the legendary Mr. Warbeck had sadly passed away some years prior so Bruno took on Claudio Morales, who had been in another of his newer cannibal flicks, made sure he had that classic younger David Warbeck look, and sent him into the jungle along with a big cast of unknown but enthusiastic people.

Bruno became a bit too carried away with his influences and actually named a character after one in  Aliens, plus had the actress ape near enough every quality shown in that movie – and steal a line from Predator. More on this later.

Beginning as we mean to go on, this film with its made-for-TV look camera style, starts with a mob of cannibals feasting on flesh with the same gusto that spoilt, out of control kids contribute to the pig pens at McDonalds. One native fella gazes upwards and we see a chopper fly overhead. The helicopter lands at a base and we see (through drops of water on the lens!!!) the first glimpse of our soon-to-be cannibal feasts jumping off to the worst military jolly music I have ever heard! Credit has to be given to Bruno for assembling the greatest gang of stereotypes thus seen in a gory jungle horror – and that takes some doing. Handsome guy, tough gal (called Vasquez!!), big black man, the list goes on, as does the music. God help me!

Some beer tastes like snake piss!” is a nice quote from the meeting which goes down as a monkey plays with its balls nearby. We learn from this two man chin-wag with masculine tones that our small Soldiers of Fortune collective are embarking on a mission deep within the cannibal infested Amazon to place a few orders for DVDs..... erm, bad joke, sorry, this movie is doing strange things to me, they're off into the jungle ‘cause a previous expedition has gone AWOL – isn't that always the case? Along with that group happened to be an important Senator's daughter. Yeah, of course she had to be there. “I can't guarantee you and your team will survive.” comes the cheery confidence building words. Our bald chisel-chinned lead Soldier, Wilson, sneers. “Don't worry. We got thick skins!

We are then introduced to their guide, Romero (for fuck's sake! Oh yeah, there's a character called Krueger as well!!), who is the before-mentioned rip-off David Warbeck chap. “We're trained for jungles, and penguins too.” Wilson tells Romero who doubts their survival rate (no one really has much confidence in these poor folks). They have one good thing however -- a captive cannibal. To add a bit of realism to proceedings, his tribe isn’t known to devour human flesh. However, a sacred ritual of cleansing is abound. So that's that in a nutshell.

Cue hardcore exciting music and our team are flying out to make the drop. Yep, the big black guy is a Sergeant, and he talks just like Apone, and the conversation between him and Private Smith, echoes that with Hudson. Oh, come on now, Bruno. It isn't long after they all are safely on the jungle soils that they stumble across the remains of one of the previous expedition members.

You got a light, man?” “I'm taking a piss!” “Fuck you, black bastard! Fucking cunt!” You have to simply adore this script. Keep in mind not long ago there was a total pinch from Aliens about how many simulated and real missions our top guy has had. I mean, really? Oh yeah, here we go, before we all get too comfy, let's have a real living pig slaughtered in homage to the golden age of cannibal flicks (imagine Eli Roth trying that little ditty?) and some very fast acting cocaine for our captive cannibal chap.

Things go mental for a while as they endure a brief attack that claims one of them. Then right afterwards they are stunned to witness a blatant Cannibal Holocaust bite -- the punishment of an unfaithful wife. In the following longwinded section of the film, they shakily befriend a tribe, and chill out with their new pals, finding more stripped down corpses, meanwhile, but not the Senator's daughter. Night falls and they are privileged to watch a dancing ceremony. Who pops out drugged up and dancing like Sherri Moon in Rob Zombie's 'Foxy Foxy' video? Yep, it's Sarah, the lady they're looking for. Thus it's time to hatch a plan and spring Sarah, who it transpires is rather reluctant to go with them.

Now our small band of soldiers have not only one tribe after them, but it turns out every damn tribe in the region because she's VIP to the natives. Time to bust out the guns and gory guts, shit is on!

Bruno raids his incredibly deep cliché bag and uses as many as possible for this one. And guess what? It makes Land of Death so much fun. Bruno Mattei has ensured this is an action-packed, eventful, cheap, and blood-splashed ride. Weird bits catch your eye, such as a character staggering in pain when an arrow pierces his backpack, not him, plus a beard which grows, then vanishes, and grows again. Ummm.

The crimson glory reigns supreme. Flesh eating, leg amputation, heart removals, bloody cadavers, it's all on show and in close-up details. Giuseppe Ferranti, I salute you for your work. In fact, he is the name behind so many Italian horrors like Fulci's later career Demonia, Cat in the Brain, Touch of Death, some early Argento films, and others like All the Colors of the Dark, Zombie Creeping Flesh, The Other Hell, Cannibal Ferox, Hands of Steel – way too many to state here. He is the Italian blood king!  

I can highly recommend this so long as you go in realising this isn't going to be an epic of all levels. As far as Bruno's later works go, this is far more superior to Island of the Living Dead (see review here) on each and every level.

I can imagine, to many, that's like having your face shoved into a puddle of shit, then being shown two sets of buttocks and deciding which ass the shit plopped out of. Me, however, I truly had a great time and a chuckle with Land of Death. Sometimes that's what it's all about, total escapism.

Substance DVD distribution has released a naked sun bleached bones version of the film. Scene access, a trailer and that's it. Quality is fairly run of the mill, not polished, festering with a bit of pixilation now and then. There's a few cheap variations of it on the market and to be honest they all look as bland as one another. Land of Death isn't really going to earn a 2-disc extras bonanza six commentary track version is it?

Some of those AKA names though – Cannibal Ferox 3, Cannibal Holocaust 3... Cannibal of Death. That last one doesn't even make sense!

Oh yeah, Vasquez, she hasn't got time to bleed apparently. Hahahaha.



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 Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
 Region: NTSC R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo

 – Trailer


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