(AKA: Make Them Die Slowly, Let Them Die Slowly, Woman from Deep River, Die Rache den Kannibalen, Cannibal Feroz.)
Tag Line : Banned in 31 Countries.
PLEASE NOTE! If you live in the UK (like me), do NOT expect to find the uncut version of this film at your local video shop.
A singularly repulsive entry into the horror genre is the best way to describe this sick, vile, twisted peice of crap by the notorious Italian director Umberto Lenzi. That is if you are viewing the UNCUT version from Europe or the US. If however, you are watching the heavily censored UK version then, a stupid, exceptionally cheesy, low-budgetted peice of crap would be a more fitting description.
Anyway, the story centre's around 3 New York Universtiy students, Gloria (Lorraine Deselle), her friend Patricia (Zora Kerowa), and Brother Rudy (Bryan Redford), who go into the Columbian jungle to disprove the theory that cannibalism is still practised by tribal people. Not a good idea, as the movies title suggests.
Things start to go a bit awry when they cross paths with a couple of small time drug dealers, Mike and Joe, who coincidentally are also from New York (and whats the likelihood of that happening then?) and it transpires that they have been using some of the local natives as slaves to help them pan for emeralds. The locals have become rather unfreindly as a result, particularly after Mike (John Morghen), had tortured one of them to death.
Deciding a little payback is in order, the rest of the tribe go out and capture the whole lot of them and drag them back to their village, where they are then subjected to various forms of torture and mutilation, before eventually being killed and eaten.
Mike gets the worst of it as he is first castrated (OUCH !), then his hand amputated, before finally being killed by having the top of his head sliced open and his brains eaten. One of the girls in the student party, Patricia, is dispensed with by being strung up on hooks that have been impaled through her breasts and the other two killed, split open and their insides devoured. Only Gloria manages to escape (just).
In all fairness, these parts of the film are actually no bloodier or gorier than any other mainstream horror film i.e. Dawn of the Dead or Hellraiser etc. But, if you obtain an uncut print, then what is exceptionally nasty and quite indefensable are the vile scenes of GENUINE animal slaughtering, which are shown throughout in graphic close-up, along with a poor muskrat being fed to an anaconda in one very disturbing scene.
I'm not an animal lover or anything (far from it) but I could see no justification for all this gratuitous animal butchery just for cheap shocks. Even Fangoria mag said they were "indefensable", but thankfully these scenes have all been removed from the UK version.
Cannibal Ferox has been hailed as the most violent film ever made, and you'll get no argument from me there. Whilst the cheesy UK edit of the film is a differant case and is rather watchable, the uncut print is nothing more than downright nasty and I would defy anybody to sit through it without puking!!!!!
|Overall marks :||4/10 for the edited UK version (cheesily cheerful!).|
|1/10 for the uncut version (gross out city!).|
Director Umberto Lenzi appears to be the man responsible for starting all these sicko cannibal movies with his earlier "Deep River Savages" ( A.K.A. Man from Deep River ) which also featured animal slayings, although he was totally upstaged, and outgrossed, by fellow Italian filmaker Ruggero Deodato with the movie "Cannibal Holocaust".
This films true cheapness and tackiness only becomes truly apparent after viewing Lenzi's previous Cannibal pic, "Eaten Alive" (A.K.A. Emerald Jungle), which not only used the same music as Ferox, but also featured many of the same cast members and used the same (not so) special effects scenes.
Cannibal Ferox is actually in the Guiness book of records for being banned in 31 countries (and quite rightly so in my opinion).
John Morghen (or Giovanni Lombardo Raddice as he is also known) also starred in "Cannibal Apocalypse" and Lucio Fulci's "City of the Living Dead" The film also stars former soft-pron actor Robert Kerman (aka Richard Bolla), who is a veteran of various cannibal flicks including "Holocaust". Also, look out for the blond haired guy from "Cannibal Holocaust" who makes a couple of brief appearances.
Star John Morghen openly admitted in an interview to Fangoria magazine that he hates the film, and was heavily critical of the script, the production and even the director Lenzi. One of the more intersting stories Morghen recalled about the films production was one scene where he refused to stab a pig on camera, Lenzi apparently told him "Robert DeNiro would do it" to which Morghen replied "Robert DeNiro would kick your ass all the way back to Rome". A great pity no-one did!
Originally released direct-to-video in the UK back in the early eighties, prior to the introduction of the "Video Recordings Act", in both a cut and uncut form on the "REPLAY" label. The film was subsequently listed on the governments Video Nasties List and the distributers where succesfully prosecuted for obscenity for BOTH versions, even though the heavily cut version had been unnoficially approved by the BBFC.
The heavily edited version of the movie was re-submitted to the BBFC for an official video certificate in 1999 by the "Vipco" label, and was finally passed in 2000. This version removed all the animal violence, and edited the breast impalement and castration scenes. However, the BBFC still insisted on making an additional 6s cut to remove a scene where their pet muskrat accidentally falls out of the jeep and bangs up the side door.
The film is available uncut on Danish video by Vipco, on German video and DVD by Astro, on Austrian DVD by Sazuma and across Europe on the Cosa Nostra video label. The film is also available uncut in the US on video and DVD. Their was also a special-edition laserdisc released in 1998 which came packaged with it's own special vomit bag, a feature that would undoubtedly come in very handy.
|Mike (John Morghen) prepares to wave goodbye to his 2 closest loved ones!|
Theatrical trailer. Uncut version. (1.6MB)
|Patricia (Zora Kerowa) indulges in some body piercing.|
Buy the UK version DVD at Blackstar.
Buy the uncut R1 DVD at Amazon.Com
Buy the uncut NTSC video at Amazon.Com
Notes on affilated sites.
Other Cannibal films.
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