Release Date: March 25th 2019
Directed by: Alain Deruelle
First there was CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980)… Then came CANNIBAL FEROX (1981)… But somewhere in France, someone was already hatching a plot to cash-in on the Italian intestinal classics with CANNIBAL TERROR (1981). With no budget, no professional actors and no flights to Amazonia, CANNIBAL TERROR instead gives us Deodato and Lenzi on a cash-strapped level and the end result is THE ROOM of cannibal movies!! Brilliant, banal and blood-soaked late night entertainment, CANNIBAL TERROR was also one of the infamous 'video nasties' in the UK - showing that our beloved censors and moral guardians have little in the way of a sense of humour! However, this torrid tale of stranded tourists being hunted by hungry natives is a work of demented genius that words can barely do service to - and it is 88 Films’ great pleasure to offer audiences another chance to see CANNIBAL TERROR, this time in a delirious HD special edition!
1980’s Cannibal Terror, directed by Alain Deruelle, is frankly one of the best comedies I've seen so far this year, or any year in fact, which was definitely not the intentions of the French based production company behind the movie, Eurocine.
The producers rationale was to follow the Italian method of riding the genre bandwagon of hit movies in co-productions with other European countries, in this case with the cannibal genre - which was successful in the late 70’s early 80s with international audiences. Cannibal Terror was an attempt to follow the success of the box office receipts of Cannibal Holocaust but it was shot on the outskirts of Alicante, rather than the Amazon, and shot on a budget of 5 francs, by a porn director, from which the producer wanted change back.
In Cannibal Terror we follow two dumb criminals Roberto and Mario who are desperate to score big, which they hope to do by kidnapping the young daughter of a wealthy business man who, for no apparent reason, has a talent for making paper cats.
After assistance from a female guide to get across the border, the crims, with the young girl and their busty moll beside them, reach a safe house to hold up in, which just happens to be close to Cannibal country. The plan goes all wrong when Mario rapes their host’s wife and she sets the savages on him. This leads to one of the kidnappers receiving punishment for his crimes at the hands of the cannibals. Also, the business man, played by Eurocine regular Olivier Mathot, is in hot pursuit to retrieve his child, who appears to be voiced by an old woman.
Can a person love and hate a film at the same time? I think in the case of Cannibal Terror the elements I love could be also be classed as production shortfalls but I see them more as charming moments that make the movie memorable to a lover of bad cinema.
It has that Eurocine sleazy vibe too, much like the company’s other quick cash ins they produced with directors Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, who was meant to direct Cannibal Terror but refused due to budgeting issues. This lead to Alain Deruelle helming the project.
In terms of the things I hate about Terror, it's a rather shoddily made movie, sloppily directed, edited in a haphazard way and with scenes that run on far longer than they should, just to make up to feature length. An example of its weird editing (and potentially putting scenes out of order) is the previously mentioned “rape” scene. It’s a horrific moment for the character, so why is she, in the very next sequence, dancing with her attacker and the other houseguests?
The film, of course, has horrific dubbing which hardly matches the actors voices, especially in the bar scened during the opening moments. Also, the special effects are dire and the entire cannibal tribe, with all manner of weird and silly face paint, are a sight to behold!
Actually, I have to give special props to the cannibal tribe extras, who come in all shapes and sizes, for giving such committed performances. They’re covered in face paint that wouldn't look out of place on an Easter egg and they’re having to “eat” all sorts of “offal”.
In the eyes of a modern audience - or, probably, even the people who saw it on its original release - Cannibal Terror isn't scary in the slightest, which makes it a little mad and hilarious that that the British Tory Government of the time thought that it was ok to censor grown adults from seeing this film, and other films like it, on the so called “Video Nasty” list.
This HD release from 88 Films is a major step up from Cannibal Terror’s 2003 Vipco DVD release, which is how I first experienced the comedic pleasures that this movie gives to audiences. The enjoyable 47 minute documentary about the Eurocine Cannibal cycle of movies, which began with Jess Franco's Cannibals and ended with Senor Franco's Devil Hunter, serves as the main extra on the disc from High Rising Productions. It has contributions from noted film academics Calum Waddell, John Martin, Mikel J. Koven and Dark Side editor Allan Bryce alongside funny production stories from Terror's actor Antonio Mayans.
The Blu-Ray also comes with the original trailer and, finally, a fairly racy deleted stripping sequence which seems to be from a French release of the film. Cannibal Terror isn't a film for everyone but it's the kind of movie that you put on with friends and laugh at it over a few drinks.
Limited Edition Gloss O-Card slipcase [First Print Run Only]
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) Presentation
Uncompressed English Audio (French also available)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
That's Not The Amazon! - The Strange Story of the Eurocine Cannibal Film Cycle (Approx 43Mins)
Region Code: ABC
Audio: LPCM Stereo
Picture: 1080p HD 1.66:1
Runtime: 93 mins approx
Language: English / French