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Foreign Horror > Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments Wow, this one should generate plenty of dicussion. I really liked its premise and for the most part it help me rapt...but....

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (Ruggero Deodato, 1980, Italy) Our world of steel and glass, of choking fumes and crush of people, devours the green inferno, extinguishing its dense thick beauty to satiate our never-ending appetite for destruction. This tragic exploitation film is caustic indictment of modernity, depicting civilization as the antagonist, the invader whose presence conjures the specter of Death to prey upon the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. It is also a bitter critique of the Documentary, as scenes are staged, a set-up that passes the simulacra of verity through violent manipulation; through slick editing, a film that will pronounce its blatant lies as truth for an audience that revels in its visceral impact, a society weaned on violence and gore, and does indeed eat its own kind. The film’s low budget, stock acting, quick-cut editing, and convulsive point-of-view cinematography adds an element of authenticity. The bloody special effects are shocking; in context, making the deaths very convincing. But the film ultimately consumes itself, like a starving man whose very existence is dependent upon cannibalizing his own body: the equilibrium will eventually skew towards self-destruction. Director Ruggero Deodato has the makings of an interesting and thought provoking film; a social commentary buried under the canopy of the thick jungle, but can’t separate exploitation from scrupulousness. He eviscerates live animals for his horror show and lets the camera linger over the slimy entrails, taking sadistic pleasure in the suffering of live creatures. But I admit, this brutality is nothing new to the cinema: Coppola’s APOCALYPSE NOW, Haneke’s CACHE, Klimov’s COME AND SEE are a few modern masterpieces that kill live animals for effect…and generate little controversy. But CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST seems to go too far, the killings only create a gut wrenching vomitous expungement, as your gorge rises, its acidic tendrils caressing the palate. Juxtaposed with the fake murders, I must admit it does add a crimson patina to the film that helps reflect a genuine flare of homicide. Ultimately, I cannot recommend a film where actual suffering is a tool for consumerism. (F)

message 2: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (ravenskya) There was quite the ordeal where the director was brought up on criminal charged for manslaughter over the movie because people thought it was real (I think it was in Italy).

I personally didn't care for the movie... it had an important message but I just really couldn't get into it.

message 3: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Jan 07, 2009 07:11AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments Ah I just noticed, it should be "held me rapt"...though I needed "help" after viewing this. I'm not familiar with the Cannibal genre and watched this because of its reputation, though I knew very few details because I wanted to be surprised. I purposely didn't research or read about it beforehand (except brief description on Netflix) so I could watch & write about it untainted.

message 4: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments True that!

message 5: by WitchyFingers (new)

WitchyFingers I have a chance to see CH this Tuesday night on the big screen here in Atlanta. I was planning on going until I read about all the animal deaths - that's probably a deal-breaker for me.

message 6: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (kristabela) I kind of hate this movie. It really didn't bother me the way I'd hoped it would. I'm always trying to find something that makes me react, in any way at all, and this one really didn't do it for me... at all.

message 7: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (kristabela) Yes, really. I might be a hardass... my name would indicate that I am. :-P

I was waaaay disappointed when I first saw CH. I had such high hopes for it. Everything I'd read convinced me that I was going to be floored by it but I was just like... 'eh... (shoulder shrug) I tried watching it again, thinking I'd missed something, but it still had almost no impact on me.

Martyr's however... that's a good effin movie. It elicits the kind of reaction I was hoping I'd find in myself when watching CH.

I've not seen I Stand Alone. Is it any good?

message 8: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (kristabela) I've seen Visitor Q and Ichi the Killer. Didn't really care for either of them. They both had really disjointed qualities that mostly annoyed me. I was really hopeful for both as they were recommended by a chick who usually has impeccable taste.

I've not seen the others on your list. Looks like I need to get with my Netflix queue...

message 9: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (kristabela) Nope, never seen that one either.

Ichi the Killer wasn't too bad... I hated Visitor Q though.

message 10: by Jill (last edited Jun 09, 2009 05:31PM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 51 comments Wow. I loved Ichi the Killer and Audition. I own those and Visitor Q, but I can't say that I put on Visitor Q on a regular basis. Ichi is fantastic.

My best friend (not a big horror buff) said he didn't like Audition because he felt it tried too hard to be shocking. I told him that I could tell he had clearly never seen any of Miike's other work.

message 11: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (kristabela) Yes, the necrophilic part of Visitor Q was hilarious... or ridiculous is more the word.

I loved, loved, loved Audition. I love how such a seemingly shy and sweet young women can be so wrong in the head.

message 12: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments AUDITION is rather a well made film that transends the "slasher" formula. I reviewed it here in these forums and it's really about male entlitlement and female empowerment. It is a very good film that works beyond the visceral level. ICHI THE KILLER is making its way to Blu-ray and I've never seen it...but will rectify that situation when the BD is released:)

message 13: by Phillip (new)

Phillip I'm a fan of Audition and Ichi....isn't there some kind of Ichi sequel?

Sounds like I need to check out Visitor Q.

message 14: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (kristabela) Hey man, if I hadn't seen it once, I wouldn't know how much I dislike it. I suppose it's worth that.

message 15: by Phillip (new)

Phillip When people give radically different POVs on films I usually go to the video store, look at the packaging, hold it in my hands and see if the film talks to me. I usually get some kind of buzz from it. I guess I will have to subject Visitor Q to this highly suspect practice and see what happens.

message 16: by Jill (last edited Jun 10, 2009 05:37PM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 51 comments Visitor Q is one of those films that you see just to say that you saw it and survived it. I thought it was okay, but I didn't think it was Miike's best. Ichi is by far my favorite. I just loved the energy of the film, even if the energy was directed to a very dark place. And I agree with Eli Roth when he said that the violence is so over the top that it's almost operatic.

It also has one of my favorite lines in all of movie history: "There's no love in your violence." (Kakihara, the main character, is a masochist.)

message 17: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Thanks for your words on Visitor Q, Jill. I didn't realize it was a Miike film.

Speaking of cannibalism, I just watched Ichihawa's masterpiece, Fires on the Plain. I highly recommend this film, which follows one soldier as he strives to survive the horrors of war on the Japanese conflict in the Philippines during WW II. An outstanding film with imagery that really gets in your head and stays with you long after the credits roll. The film somehow manages to bring humor to dialogue where one soldier is recommending which parts of his body might be most edible after he dies...

message 18: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments FIRES ON THE PLAIN is another one of those films that has been sneaking its way up my queue: I must watch now, thanks Phillip!

message 19: by Phillip (new)

Phillip It was pretty good, but I think I'm hooked on Teshigahara (Pitfall, Face of Another, Woman in the Dunes) for that really warped post-war existential horror that is distinctly Japanese.

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