Cannibal Holocaust (1979)

One of the few ‘video nasties’ that lives down to its provocative title and lurid cover art. Yet for all its crude excesses – a foetus is ripped from its mother’s womb, a tortoise is skinned alive, genitals are sliced off – Cannibal Holocaust does achieve an undeniable visceral intensity. This is largely due to Deodato’s pioneering use of the faux-documentary technique now adopted by every found-footage horror film, from Blair Witch onwards. After witnessing the barbaric practices of an Amazonian tribe, sensation-seeking American documentary filmmakers develop a taste for rape and murder. For all its graphic depictions of cruelty and torture, the most appalling thing about this cannibalistic carnage is the laughable way that it purports to condemn the exploitative violence that it so obviously delights in depicting. NF
Dir Ruggero Deodato (Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen)

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