Film je bio toliko skandalozan da ga je donedavno bilo gotovo nemoguće naći pa je izazvao religijsko obožavanje, no danas ga možete gledati na YouTubeu kao da je sve u njemu pisofkejk.
by Marc Brousseau
Let me begin this review by saying, I don’t think I ever, ever, ever, ever…ever want to see this film again. I may need to, so I can properly process my guilt for having watched it, in the first place. I dunno. Can a movie give you P.T.S.D.?
Okay. I wouldn’t say it got to me that much, but if I’m ever asked to name a film that could inflict that kind of trauma on a viewer, I might offer ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ as my best guess. Such an experience is exactly the point of this deliriously-warped, seriously disturbing commentary on sensationalized documentaries/images, within a film, within a documentary, within a film, within a theater, staring back at a theater – I know, I know, it’s like waaay post modern – if all that, wasn’t part of some larger, sweeping concept, I might have to say this was just unwatchable, exploitative and bad.
But after careful deliberation, I have to admit, it’s just not. It’s difficult to watch and very exploitative but it’s a great movie. Granted, this isn’t saying much, but it is certainly the best “FOUND FOOTAGE” Horror-film I’ve ever seen.
I was absolutely wrong when I sat down to watch this. Sure, it may be the feel bad movie of its century, and it is certainly exploitative, but there’s also all this genuinely thought-provoking aforementioned Post-Modern meta-shit-mayhem going’s on. It’s just wrapped up in exploitation packaging. The exploitation angle is a legitimate plot-device, an argument that exploitation can serve a purpose. Without ‘HOLOCAUST’S’ exploitative content, it’s central criticism of sensationalized violence doesn’t work- not this effectively. ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ is underlying hypocritical, and it employs this hypocrisy to challenge it’s own hypocrisy. Its a film that slays the Sea Turtle because it has an audience and because the audience paid to say so.
While there is certainly room for interpretation, these layers are not handled lightly. You will not see ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ and wonder if all these concerns occurred to it’s makers. Those viewers who don’t understand the film’s self-criticism, might find themselves lost, but that the film’s writers were keenly aware of their intentions, isn’t exactly subtle. ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ may as well have concluded its third act by cutting to a character typing these words for me! That wouldn’t be too far off from what actually happens in it’s script. Which seems to have been born of this central concept. However, pretentious or indecipherable this may be to it’s target audience. Target, being the key word.
But there are those viewers, like myself, who can wrap their heads around it – noxious as that may be. It’s a not a horror-film masquerading as art, and its not an art house horror film. What it is, however, is a legitimate art-house film, disguised as an exploitation-horror flick. What’s more? Any misunderstanding of it’s meta-weirdness, be it by fans of exploitation and/or horror, only further solidifies it’s central concept. This is a film that wants to be misunderstood, by obnoxious torture-porn dick-wads. To label it a ‘Gore-film’ for instance, would be about as correct as calling ‘Rambo’ a ‘War-film.’
I myself, am a big fan of exploitation and horror films, but for their style and popcorn-cinema nature (Try and eat popcorn watching this film – I dare ya!). But it has seriously impressed me, that every time someone has suggested that I watch ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ over the years – because ‘It’s so sick braugh,’ – those people, they were part of the film’s plan. They just didn’t know it. Marilyn Manson must have taken a cue from this, with all his mid-90s media-twisting concept albums. Thankfully, this ‘using-your-fans-against-themselves’ concept hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Miraculously, I don’t seem to be the only reviewer, acknowledging ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’S’ merits. I hope I never have to watch this piece of shit again. It’s that good.
But I feel it would be unfair to leave it at that. Because, when I say that I never, ever (x5) want to see ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ again, it’s NOT, as you might expect from what I’ve written so far, just because it’s so upsetting. It’s even more-so because it is one of the most powerful, and uncompromisingly dense films, I have ever seen. After seeing it once, even it’s marketing leaves a lump in my throat. The tag-line on the cover of the DVD reads “The Most Controversial Movie Ever Made.” This takes on a whole meaning after seeing the film.
By making this third-parties, blurb, a sensationalized commentary on the material, it succeeds in enveloping itself within it’s criticism. ‘HOLOCAUST’ is very interested in challenging the idea of sensationalizing the darkest violent acts of mankind. So perhaps, it’s current distributors at ‘GRINDHOUSE RELEASING’ are unaware that in trying to sensationalize ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ they have made the film, it’s own target. Aware or not, make no mistake, this is exactly how ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ earns it’s status, as the ‘MOST CONTROVERSIAL MOVIE EVER MADE!” It’s attack on sensationalized violence makes Michael Haneke’s films look like a toy poodle. Sensationalized violence is precisely what the filmmakers are targeting here, and it is harsh criticism that literally commits murder to challenge it’s entertainment value. Damn you if you’re entertained.
I wonder if the filmmaker’s feel bad for having made it?
When the violence starts, it’s alarmingly perverse. Almost silly.
“This is so deliberately obscene.” I thought. Where in the world is this going?” “It must have something in mind, but what?”
The on-screen butchering, in ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST,’ is a mixture of actual violence toward animals, and over-the-top obscene, fake violence, inflicted upon it’s characters, by caricatures. As those caricatures, beckon upon the protagonists, eventually, if you made it that far, the blood feels as if it were only your hands.
For something so disgraceful, it’s undeniably smart. As it neared the second and third act, I actually had to try and dislike ‘HOLOCAUST’ because the content was so angering. You could feel it in the air in the room. The entire theater squirmed in their seats. But all I ended up with, in the end, was one big, morally-reprehensible, and surprisingly challenging, question mark. And while a question mark doesn’t necessarily equate to a diamond, it is unavoidable, that Ruggero Deodato’s ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST,’ is profoundly focused on asking questions, while it disturbs and threatens. It’s revolting in a very real, visceral way, but it’s so damn effective, well made, and self aware, that you just can’t look away. You may dislike this movie-going experience more than any you ever sit through, but you will never forget it. Unless, of course, you physically have-to look away, or leave first, and honestly, you might want to. Really.
I should say that I was very surprised to find that almost an entire theater full of a varied, 18-65 demographic, sat with it throughout the length of the entire film. I can only imagine that they also could’t look away, unless they physically had to, and some did…but I found it very hard to believe that no one seemed to walk out.
For all of ‘HOLOCAUST’s’ offenses, and its cruelty to animals, it is almost too relevant and damning of the larger state of humanity to be unwarranted. Even though the film is 33 years old.
It would be lazy to just dismiss it as mean-spirited, exploitative, fucked-up, and unnecessarily arduous, because… well, that’s exactly what it is and that’s what it aims to be. But, just when your body instinctively tells you to do so, it also becomes quite obvious that the film has a special message to send, again and again. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I find, in it, to consider. Then, likewise, just when you think that the message was made more-than-apparent, two or three on-screen turtle slaughterings, and peer-performed rape-abortion-murders ago, you realize the film, had an even higher purpose; a methodical gut-wrenching (literally) political agenda.
Have you ever seen a movie that manages to actually justify the onscreen sacrifice of defenseless animals, while simultaneously making you, not despise its filmmakers, for actually doing it on-camera, but instead, hate the world because they actually have a point? Is ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ actually managing to do this? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just fooling me into thinking it’s justifying it…wait. That might be the point. Wait, that IS the point. Grrrrrr... So then you’re thinking,”Okay, I get it!” “Enough!,” and just then, it cuts to someone staring back at you, watching the film, making the exact same complaint.
After viewing ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST”, when I slapped my pit bull on the nose, for not letting go of my shirt, I felt like a monster. 15 minutes later, I found myself walking the same dog, questioning whether or not blood sacrifice could really serve some higher purpose, after all. I wish I was kidding…
And maybe I still haven’t made up my mind. Not that I’d ever do that (certainly never to a dog),..
This kind of severity and meta-weirdness is what you are in for, all around, with ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.’ It is a uniquely powerful, exploitative, philosophical and upsetting film. Politically charged and gut-wrenching, both literal and figuratively.
Given some of it’s deeper meaning, I don’t know that anyone could really say they, LIKE-it. At least, not in any way more-than just admiring it’s virtues. Anyone who really latches onto all of its multi-dimensional meaning could really do no better than sigh and stare at their shoes for a while.
Unless they are a sociopath. Do those people really like anything? I don’t pretend to know.
Hey! Did I just say ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ has virtue? That, I did!
In case, I haven’t made this clear enough, this is NOT a feel-good movie. I certainly cannot ever see myself exclaiming ‘I loved CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, you guys!‘ and I would advise you to steer clear of anyone who ever says that to you. One only likes ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’ the way one likes Grandma’s suffering to end. Still, I suppose for some, it might be rewarding in a way. Possibly in that way that watching brain surgery, is educational? And that’s good! Isn’t it?
Listen, it’s an absolutely awful movie-going experience, but it’s undeniably well-made and unforgettable. It may actually be some sort of masterpiece, but uh…it’s just got to be wrong to say that about ‘CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.’ It’s got to be, but I just did.
Over a decade ago or so, I began my search for a certain infamous Italian cannibal film that I was led to believe was the Holy Grail of horror and splatter cinema and considering the film was never released in the USA in any home format (as it is today), not to mention the fact that it was not exactly as easy as it is today to find such rare films online, it felt like a rather hopeless situation in terms of seeing the film, so I inevitably caved and swallowed my pride, went to a horrific horror convention flooded with flabby fanboys who masturbate to Friday the 13th Part III (1982) while wearing Wal-Mart hockey masks, and did the unthinkable by buying a bootleg copy of Cannibal Holocaust (1980) directed by Ruggero Deodato (Waves of Lust, The House on the Edge of the Park) from a superlatively slimy and sleazy bootlegger from NYC. While the act of paying a parasitical urban pirate money for a film he had no part in creating disgusted me just as if I bought crack from some jaded jigaboo, I had no idea that the less than pristine print of Cannibal Holocaust was going to shock me in such a severe manner that I realized that my lifetime of being desensitized due to my horror movie addiction was not nearly as bad as I had originally assumed, thus leading me to similarly ‘infamous’ cinematic works like Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), Tinto Brass’ Salon Kitty (1976), Roger Watkins’ Last House on Dead End Street (1977), Gerald Kargl’s Angst (1983), Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik (1987), Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible (2002), and countless other conspicuously controversial cinematic works that have made it all but impossible for me to take any Hollywood film seriously in terms of ‘taking risks’ and shocking the viewer. While Italian cannibal films are not exactly my favorite film subgenre, I still regard Cannibal Holocaust as king and can honestly say it is the only guido flesh-eater flick that I have taken the trouble to view more than once. In fact, after nearly half a decade without seeing it, I decided to re-watch Cannibal Holocaust recently and once again realized why it is the only "found footage" film I can stomach, as well as one of the only films that I am not surprised was banned not only in its native country of Italy, but also a number of other countries and why it still remains banned today in some places as one of the only exploitation films that brings minor poetry to senseless animal slaughter.