After previously working up the guts (ha! ha! pun intended) to watch and review Ruggero Deodato’s infamous 1979 Italian cannibal film Cannibal Holocaust, I knew it was but a matter of time before I did the same with the only other flick in this genre with a comparable reputation: Umberto Lenzi’s Cannibal Ferox, released in 1981. The former film review is still up on my old blog, but stay tuned, as I’ll have a somewhat revamped version up on this iteration of my blog before too long. Once I found out that, as of this writing, Lenzi’s classic cannibal film is on Hulu Plus, well, I just couldn’t resist any longer. This review is the end result of my tuning in to this treat provided for Hulu’s paid subscribers. In fact, Cannibal Holocaust is also on Hulu at this writing (though its listed release date of 1985 is not accurate). One thing I’ll say about online services like Netflix and Hulu Plus: they will provide you with fare that would never even play on the TV premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax, so let’s give them some applause here. Or screams of protest, whatever may first come to mind.
I. Food for Thought (Ha! Ha!)
First off, let’s get this question out of the way: did Lenzi shamelessly rip off Deodato’s anti-masterpiece of gorily atrocious cinema, as is often alleged? Or did he contribute something truly unique to the genre that can stand on its own merits?
As I see it, though the inspiration factor was clearly there, Cannibal Ferox was not truly a rip-off. Its plot was distinct, as were its characters, though the main lesson learned was essentially the same: our society’s veneer of being civilized makes us no less prone to acts of extraordinary violence than any of the remaining pockets of humanity living the primitive life in remote regions of the world, especially once we’re removed from the standard civilized environment; and further, their violence towards us is often provoked by our own greed-oriented violence against them. Many will say, as they did with Deodato’s previous flick in the genre, that this moral lesson was a mere facade for what was primarily a shameless exploitation flick of gory violence and humiliation–what we would today call “torture porn”– which included authentic animal violence to appeal to the more prurient part of the audience’s psyches, not their intellectual/philosophical faculties. Don’t get me wrong, the violence factor in this film is as over the top as it was in Deodato’s presentation, and the animal lives sacrificed for this contribution to cinema are every bit as sleazily unnecessary. However, Lenzi’s screenplay and direction do an admittedly good job of making the intended lesson blatantly clear, and to his further credit he hired a good cast (at least for the jungle scenes) who were more than up to the task of doing justice to this part of the story. Let’s give him his due credit before we sic agents of PETA on his ass (since I’m guessing S.H.I.E.L.D. may have bigger concerns right now).
This film has a history on home video that carries a curious bit of nostalgia for me, even though I never had the nerve to rent it back in the day. By “back in the day,” I mean the heyday of the VHS home video market during the 1980s to mid-’90s, back when Blockbuster Video and a myriad of smaller independent chains dotted the landscape next to your local McDonalds and Radio Shack. I was very young then, and I recall seeing the VHS cassettes of this movie desecrating the shelves near the likes of “mondo” videos like the Faces of Death series (and its many copycats; remember them?), and “shockumentary” titles like Shocking Asia (yes, the first video in that series was the much talked about one that depicted the male-to-female sex change operation in all of its graphic clinical glory) and all sorts of reality videos purporting to document the gross and horrific things done by our fellow humans to each other, not to mention the many animal species at our mercy, across the world. Of course, you could only find these videos in the less respectable but glorious sub-sections that were reserved for the horror genre. Blockbuster and other major franchises, such as Hollywood Video, felt that their reputation for providing video fare to all ages would end up besmirched if they carried “trash” like that stuff. No doubt carrying such a selection would have interfered with the sales of candy and carbonated soda beverages they also hoped to sell to younger patrons, right?
At any rate, the VHS version of Cannibal Ferox which was available for rental alongside the above material and other, more obscure cannibal films like White Cannibal Goddess–I don’t recall Cannibal Holocaust ever being available for rental at these independent stores–was given the more foreboding title of Make Them Die Slowly by the company which released it, Thriller Video (I wonder whatever happened to them). I’m not certain if it was an edited version or not, but it clearly retained the majority of the “bad” stuff, since I recall how intrigued I was by the disclaimer on the rental box, something along the lines of: “Warning! This is one of the most violent movies ever made. It contains [a large number of] scenes of graphic torture and extreme humiliation. Viewer discretion is highly advised.” A notation exclaiming that the movie was banned in 31 countries also adorned the cover box–which conveniently neglected to mention that the bans were lifted in many countries by the time the video was available–which either piqued the interest of customers enough to take it home with them just so see what all the fuss was about, or (in my case, admittedly) made them think better of it, since despite a high tolerance for such material I didn’t want to “push it.” Hey, those disclaimers scared me almost as much as the ones that now appear at the end of TV commercials advertising FDA-approved pharmaceuticals!
Cannibal #1: “Nom nom nom nom!”
Cannibal #2: “You need to learn to eat with your mouth closed, Doutka. Your table manners are deplorable!”
Cannibal #1: “That’s okay, seeing as we don’t actually have a table here right now. Nom nom nom nom NOM!”
Cannibal #3: “Hey, why does Doutka get all the intestines, while you get to hog the heart and liver? You two always get all the good organs while I always get left with the prostrate and the testicles!”
But as the ’90s progressed and the digital revolution fully came of age, including the DVD format and the Internet, I frequently found this film reviewed and included in the various “most disturbing movies ever made” lists that appeared throughout the fledgling realm of cyberspace. Hence, I continued to be intrigued with the movie as time and research went on, and I knew it was inevitable that I would one day see it. I didn’t know it would take as long as the year 2015, when flying cars and hover skateboards would be as common as VHS tapes were back then, but the time did eventually come! And as a result of my finally finding the nerve thanks to Hulu, my blog will now add yet another review of this movie to the thousands of others already online 🙂 Cool, huh?
Here is the Thriller Video release version of the film that you could find in those independent video rental stores back during the glory days of VHS. Ah, nostalgia!
According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), it’s a fact that this movie first premiered completely uncut in Germany, and then quickly found the complete version banned. The fully uncut version runs 93 minutes, and heavily cut versions of 85 and 86 minutes were made available for theaters and home video rental in other nations, including the heavily censored iteration released by BBFC 18 for British audiences. Of course, this movie had an honored place on the BBFC’s dreaded “Video Nasties” list of films that the government insisted must be banned or heavily censored to spare the moral and emotional sensibilities of any viewer within that nation’s political jurisdiction. The censored version of this film released in Australia was titled Woman From Deep River to cash in on Lenzi’s first albeit more tame 1972 semi-entry in the cannibal genre Man From Deep River (a.k.a., Sacrifice!).
II. You Are Who You Eat: The Plot
Regarding the plot of this movie, it was uncomplicated but fully realized, and I completely disagree with any review that claims this movie had virtually no plot to speak of. A lunatic coke-head drug pusher from New York City named Mike Logan (played with awesomely insane zeal by Giovanni Lombardo Radice) is on the run from a Mafia family after screwing them out of $100,000 of cocaine (which he seems to have purloined mostly for his own snorting pleasure, rather than re-sale). He and his eventually reluctant partner-in-crime Joe Costolani (played more passively by Walter Lucchini) flee to Columbia, where they soon end up in the unforgiving wilds of the Amazon jungle where Logan falls into a scheme to bilk an Indio tribesman out of his finding of precious emeralds. You see, Logan has to find something of value that he can’t sniff out of existence in order to sell for an illicit profit. Since opening up a lemonade stand wouldn’t bring in enough income to support his coke habit, moving valuable gems seemed like a light bulb of an idea to him (during the lucid moments between his brain being fried by massive coke intake, that is).
“I’m about to get a piece of his mind.”
However, Logan and Costolani were only part of the film’s cast, and by no means the protagonists. That role would go to the ensemble accompanying main character Gloria Davis (Lorraine De Selle), a graduate level anthropology student who journeyed to the Amazon jungles courtesy of her American university to prove her thesis that cannibalism didn’t exist, but was merely a racist invention of white travelers. Her entourage for this venture was her straight-laced and basically morally upright brother Rudy Davis (Danilo Mattei) and (for Goddess knows what reason) her rather wild female friend Pat Johnson (played by the truly gorgeous Zora Kerova). Their ill-fated quest to prove a truth that wasn’t the truth (which they would learn in the hardest way possible) would cause them to randomly cross paths with Logan and Costolani, after their gem-stealing plans went all to shit thanks to the former’s coke-fueled psychotic rage.
In short, Logan and Costolani talked the overly trusting Indio native who found the emeralds into taking them to the river deep in the Amazon jungle where he discovered the gems. Logan then held him and some other members of his tribe hostage at gunpoint, and tortured the young man in most horrific ways to tell him where he left his stash of gems. This torture included the literal removal of his manhood by machete. Costolani was horrified by his partner’s actions at this point, but seemed too intimidated to challenge him. The two left with the goods… and with the ire of the young male members of the tribe, who resolved to hunt, capture, and torture the criminal duo out of vengeance. One of the tribesmen managed to seriously injure Costolani with his wooden pig sticker, but Logan shot the native and helped his injured cohort make their way further into the jungle, continuing to flee the revenge-seeking tribal warriors… who just so happened to have cannibalistic tendencies.
It was during this flight for their lives when they encountered Gloria’s trio, who had been stranded deep in the jungle after their rented dune buggy-like vehicle (hey, I’m no an expert) had an inconvenient accident thanks to Rudy being kind enough to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting an iguana. Logan hastily provided a bogus explanation as to why the cannibals were hot on their asses (saying they attacked them and their non-existent guide first), and being the trusting good Samaritans that they were, decided they would help these strange guys and tend to Costolani’s serious wounds. Big mistake.
Soon after this, however, Logan’s true nature became known when he encouraged Pat (who had since started sleeping with him) to help him harm a (very pretty) girl from the tribe who, along with a younger male member of the tribe, was playing with a tortoise near the edge of the river. The girl ended up shot to death, but Pat helped the boy escape, thus earning them a secret ally who would come in handy later. Rudy thoroughly kicked Logan’s ass in a fight for what he did, finally giving us some violence that was fun to watch.
“Wow, talk about having a really ripped set of abs!”
Costolani then told Gloria and Rudy what actually happened just before he expired from blood poisoning due to the severity of his injuries. When his just recently expired corpse was found by the searching cannibal warriors, they decided that the proverb of “waste not, want not” applied to their culture as well as ours, so they ripped open his stomach and fed on his innards in a gloriously graphic scene of culinary indulgence. Gloria and Rudy desperately tried to find Pat–who had fled with Logan–only for all four of them to end up in the clutches of the tribe. Brought back to their village in captivity, the nightmare was about to begin. To see what happens there, and who survives (yeah, right!) and who doesn’t… well, see the movie. Just make sure you’re not eating anything while you do, because you won’t be having dinner alone, if you get my meaning. Oh, and btw… you will never again enjoy the bouncy childhood song “Red River Valley” that you enjoyed reciting in elementary school music class after watching this. You’ll see exactly what I mean once you also find the nerve to watch this film!
III. Being the Main Course in a Cannibal Village: Does It Add Up to the Hype?
I must confess that the movie didn’t so much as make me flinch. It’s rare that something does, though it certainly has happened–the uber-graphic blood-letting of David Cronenberg’s 1977 horror film Rabid starring famed porno queen Marilyn Chambers in her only non-porno-oriented role got me sick to my stomach, for example–so I wasn’t too surprised, especially after sitting through Cannibal Holocaust, the only flick from this genre said to be worse. Don’t get me wrong, though: the violence was pretty incredible, and for the most part, the gore effects were well done on whatever presumably limited budget that Lenzi had to work with. It included graphically unflinching and up-close depictions of people and (real) animals having their guts sliced open and their viscera removed and eaten raw (this tribe was apparently too impatient to cook their meals over a fire when they got hungry), skull decapitations, men being deprived of their manhood in a most literal fashion, graphic breast mutilation, and quick removal of limbs that could have taught a lesson in efficiency to any medical amputation expert who operated (quite literally) during the Civil War.
Of course, being the quibbler that I am concerning lax logic in fiction, I do need to point something out and complain, and my esteemed readers will now have the dubious honor of seeing me vent. Yes, I know this is only a movie and it’s totally fiction blah blah blah, but I’m sorry, I need to see degrees of internal logic and the raw details being as close to “realistic” as possible in a work of fiction, otherwise my suspension of disbelief is given a proverbial black eye. So yes, I’m that type of viewer, i.e., the type who get’s annoyed at a TV series or movie franchise when, for instance, it’s established early on that a certain character has no siblings, only to later have that character introduce a respected brother with nary so much as an attempt to explain the discrepancy. I know some people will say, “Dude, it’s only fiction, so as long as it’s entertaining, who the hell cares if it doesn’t make sense according to logic as we experience it in the real world? Why can’t you just watch the show/movie without worrying about stuff like that and just stfu instead of spoiling everyone else’s fun?”
Unfortunately for all of those fellow viewers whose fun I routinely spoil, I’m not one of those ultra laid back viewers with no need for suspension of disbelief to have a good viewing experience. I’m the type of viewer who at a very young age complained that The Muppet Movie was too illogical to fully enjoy because, among other things (don’t get me started!), it depicted Kermit the Frog meeting Scooter for the first time as the manager of Dr. Teeth’s band when the debut episode of The Muppet Show had previously depicted their “first” meeting, with Kermit expressing incredulity at the name “Scooter” (yeah, yeah, I know, how much logic do you expect from a character whose eye balls are fastened to the lenses of their bifocals rather than attached to their face? But still!). The problem in this film is related to the violent content, of course. Please tolerate me further while I explain.
I don’t think I’m providing any major spoiler by mentioning that the cannibal tribe who captures Gloria Davis’s group begins their brutal vengeance by slicing off Logan’s penis (yes, in full graphic detail) and then adds insult to injury and more grossness to already existent grossness by eating it in front of him (sorry, but I’m not making that up). The agonizing and humiliating mutilation is then followed up by the cannibals cauterizing the stump (is that what you would call it? I’d rather not speculate on proper terminology here) so he wouldn’t bleed out; remember, the idea was to prolong his agony over a lengthy period. All well and good (if you’re not Mr. Logan, that is). But when next we see Logan after the removal of his manhood, he’s casually walking and standing while being led to different locations with his fellow captives, and soon after that escapes from his cage and makes an impressive attempt to fight his way out of the village, in the process moving around in a fashion that would have impressed Indiana Jones or Alan Quartermain. And therein lies the problem.
Alright, granted I’m not an expert here since I never had anyone go all Lorena Bobbitt on me (if you don’t recall that classic real life incident, then you’d be remiss not to do the research that got Ms. Bobbitt and her ill-fated husband John their 15 minutes of fame 22 years ago). But considering how sensitive that area is, wouldn’t you think that Logan would be in constant extreme pain, especially when he tried to walk or run? Even if fueled by adrenaline and extreme determination, wouldn’t you at least expect him to move about in a crouching waddle while repeatedly yelling “Ow! Ow! Ow! Shit! Ow!” or something like that? I mean, any guy can attest to how painful it is if you simply get a single strand of hair lodged into the shaft; it feels like a Phillips’ screw driver is jammed up there! And I hardly think the cannibals gave him any type of exotic herbal painkiller, since that would have defeated the purpose of the torture, right? Maybe Logan’s constant coke sniffing somehow altered his metabolism to act as a permanent Morphine-level painkiller or something, I dunno. But that’s another thing. Considering what a horrid addict he was, why didn’t he ever go into withdrawal during the days he was held captive by the cannibals? You would think his fits, spasms, and vomiting on the floor of his cage would have provided no end of amusement to the vengeful tribe members. But that never happened either. So there you go with my complaint, and a Marvel No-Prize to anyone who figures out WTF was the secret behind the post-vasectimized Mr. Logan’s incredible resistance to pain.
“I have a real eye for violence, dude.”
Okay, now let’s get to the justifiable complaints about the violence initiated against real animals in this film, a problem that similarly plagued Cannibal Holocaust and encompassed a big chunk of the controversy directed at that movie too. A lot of the scenes involving real animal slaughter in this particular movie featured animal on animal violence. We saw a leopard attack and kill a small animal of some sort, a huge iguana fight a boa constrictor and kick ass (or what passes for one on a snake), and an anaconda constrict to death that weird looking whatever-the-hell-it-was little mammal that Gloria was given as a pet by some of the weird people her entourage met on a boat ride earlier in the film. In fact, Gloria seemed to have been given that animal for no good reason other than the script’s desire to set the poor creature up for its rib-crushing fate in the coils of the anaconda.
However, these slaughters of the natural world weren’t much worse than what you saw in several episodes of those naturist reality shows so popular in the U.S. during the 1970s, many of which copycatted the long-running Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom [it’s hard to forget that little blast from the past that was hosted by naturalist adventurer Marlon Perkins, including that cheesy but melancholy jingle from its sponsor, the life insurance company Mutual of Omaha, who for totally inexplicable reasons had so much invested in wildlife education]. Check out those elephant seals tear into each other at the 1:23 time stamp on this episode of the show as one way cool example. Of course, as far as we know, Marlon and his cohorts didn’t set up these battles before hand, but simply happened to be in the right place at the right time to get the footage, so I presume PETA would give them a free pass. This wasn’t the case with Lenzi and his production crew, who decided to take a lesson from the producers and special effects hacks of the 1960 version of The Lost World, who decided to cheaply simulate dinosaur battles by gluing a few frilly attachments to a gator and a monitor lizard–two species of large reptile known to be natural enemies–and then pushing them into contact with each other so they would get into a truly realistic savage donnybrook on camera (that vicious footage was recycled by several parties who produced other cheaply made “dinosaur” films for many years afterwards, including the infamously bad King Dinosaur).
Oh yeah, there was also that scene on the boat where Gloria’s entourage interacted with those weird people when some dude ate this big ass insect with multi-colored wings which made it somewhat resemble a Fairy Mothra. I’m not sure if a real insect’s life was sacrificed for this early gross-out scene, but it was explained as some sort of cultural thing that the people of that region of Columbia engaged in. So, if you should ever have an exchange student from that area of South America at your house for a week, do not retch on his shoes if he should happen to snatch and devour a monarch butterfly that lands on a flower near the two of you; it’s a legitimate cultural thing, okay? Just be sure to warn him if he attempts to snatch and devour a bee or a yellowjacket (or don’t, if you want to have a laugh at his expense).
Lenzi certainly didn’t exactly scrimp with the human on animal violence either, though (as partly noted above). We saw more tortoises slaughtered and eaten raw by members of the Indio tribes, which started with having their heads lopped off. As I mentioned in my review for Cannibal Holocaust, that is normally a merciful way to go about it, but I must say that the second tortoise killed on camera in this flick was subject to a machete that really needed to be sharpened, so the decapitation didn’t exactly go quickly. The crocodile slaughter scene was less merciful, since its guts were opened without the head first coming off (I wonder why the tortoises were treated better). To his credit, Radice refused to directly participate in the scene where his character Mike Logan speared a pig to death, so a double was used to do the deed. As a bit of poetic justice, the slaughter double got his own hand (apparently) accidentally skewered by Radice since due to his refusal to kill the pig, he had to be filmed thrusting his spear into a bowl of fake blood that was held in place by his double. Needless to say, his aim was off and the blood spilled wasn’t all fake. Radice felt that accident was something akin to karmic retribution for this double needlessly killing the pig.
In short, like with Cannibal Holocaust, the animal killing scenes were fully unnecessary, and provided solely for some extra “jungle savagery” shock value. The only such scene of animal slaughter in this movie that was even remotely relevant to the plot was Radice’s killing of the pig, as it provided a good example of his coke-addled mental instability. However, this killing could easily have been faked considering the quality of the gore effects used to depict human on human violence. So if you happen to be sensitive about this type of thing, and have strong principles against the slaughter of animals for entertainment purposes, then you would miss nothing if you acquired a copy of this film that was sans footage of the animal killings. Be aware, though, that the version now up on Hulu Plus features the fully uncut version.
“Shit, who put that there? Doutka and those damned practical jokes of his!”
IV. But What About the Quality of the Script?
I have to say this in favor of the movie: both the script and the acting–at least with the scenes that took place in the Colombian/Amazon environment–were quite good. The whole movie held up as an exciting and suspenseful jungle adventure without relying entirely upon the shock value of the uber-gory violence for the entertainment factor. The same cannot be said for the periodic sequences occurring in New York City, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Umberto Lenzi is as good a director and film maker in his own way as Ruggero Deodato happens to be, and this movie can compare favorably to Cannibal Holocaust as the best film in the Italian cannibal genre. The wondrously experimental and less PC days of the 1970s and early ’80s was an amazing time for cinema, and rarely has the old adage “they don’t make them like this any more” been as applicable. The script fleshed out the characters quite well (please don’t take that as a vile pun), and each had their distinct personality traits, with Pat Johnson and Joe Costolani being sufficiently gray characters to offer their own manner of unpredictability to the plot. Mike Logan was quite a villain, and his machinations went a long way towards providing sympathy for the cannibal tribe, showing that the brutality they dispensed upon their captives was only in response to that which Logan had first inflicted upon them.
The jungle cinematography was very well done, and the thespians portraying the Indio tribe members were spot on with both their acting and the make-up effects. It should also be pointed out that the young native tribeswomen were extremely gorgeous to behold, adding their own degree of incongruous beauty to the general brutality of this movie. As noted before, Zora Kerova was also exceedingly pleasant on the eyes in addition to being a good actress. Lorraine De Selle did an equally good job in the role of main protagonist Gloria Davis, and though she wasn’t bad looking she still couldn’t hold a candle to Kerova or the young Indio women in that respect.
“We’re here to invite you to be dinner for us… er, I meant to have dinner with us. Sorry, my English is no very good.”
The soundtrack over the jungle sequences was as well done as the cinematography, even though it was borrowed from Lenzi’s lesser cannibal film from the previous year, Eaten Alive. Hey, if something worked before, why not recycle it, right? Especially when you’re budget strapped and would rather not spend the funds to hire a new maestro. Just as I reported how the highly pleasant and relaxing music that played over the very scenic aerial jungle footage in the opening credits of Cannibal Holocaust gave absolutely no hint as to the type of movie you were about to watch, so did the opening credits for this movie, but in an entirely different manner! This film opened with footage from a populated street in the middle of a particularly dingy area of New York City with some really funky music of the type commonly heard on American cop films and shows at the time. Just as the opening theme of Cannibal Holocaust was indicative of an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, the opening theme of this film must have made many think they were about to see an episode of The Streets of San Francisco or a sequel to Serpico.
Now let’s get to what is often reported as the one major drawback to this film in regards to the script and the plot: the New York City sequences, which were actually filmed on location there. I fully agree with these critiques. Despite the hard-boiled edge and the “realistic” surfeit of profanity thrown about by the characters, these scenes looked as if they could have belonged to an entirely separate movie. The script clearly connected them to the main plot, since the city scenes dealt with the NYPD, led by Lt. Rizzo (Robert Kerman), and members of a brutal drug dealing gang looking for Mike Logan by interrogating people he knew, including his ex-girlfriend Myrna Stenn (Fiamma Maglione). Both the acting and the dialogue for these scenes were below par, to say the least, and most of the violence was no worse than what you would see on a typical episode of Starsky and Hutch or Baretta from around that general era. In fact, the only violent scene from the NYC sequences that was routinely cut from the censored versions of the movie was the scene were Stenn was kicked in the face while on the ground by one of the drug dealers in the course of trying to beat information out of her regarding her boyfriend’s whereabouts. In fact, that scene also involved a lapse in logic: immediately after receiving such a brutal kick to the face, Stenn’s visage looked completely unmarked; no bloody nose or lip, and no sign of a big facial bruise until the next scene when she was at the police station making a statement. She must have been snorting a lot of Logan’s special cocaine.
All of the above regarding the NYC sequences seemed to suggest that most of the budget was spent on doing a good job on the jungle scenes that focused on the main plot and protagonists, and these city scenes were later filmed more or less as an afterthought just to pad the running time to a full 90 minutes. They could easily have been left on the cutting room floor without in any way diminishing the main narrative of the movie. These sequences were pretty much filler that detract from the movie, so it’s a shame we never got a version of the flick that dispensed with most or all of these scenes. What went on in NYC after Mike Logan stole the drugs and fled to South America just wasn’t interesting or important enough to depict in such detail, and only had direct relevance on the main part of the movie as set-up to explain the search helicopter flown into the Columbian jungles towards the film’s climax. A single quick extra scene or two added to the script could have served as sufficient set-up for that, especially considering we knew Logan would never receive any comeuppance for his deeds from the police or the drug dealers he screwed over. The cannibals took care of that in the most dickish manner possible.
Interestingly, the male members of the cast (and one female member) took on screen names for the credits that sounded more American, so that the movie seemed less like an Italian production (for example, Giovanni Lombardo Radice being credited as “John Morghan”). Yanno, sort of similar to the way employees from India or the Middle East who regularly service North American clients during these days of rampant outsourcing take on American-sounding names like David or Mary to sound… well, more American.
Basically, for those with strong stomachs, tolerance for real animal violence (and I mean for viewing it, not necessarily being okay with it ethically), and a penchant for a good jungle adventure flick, I highly recommend this movie. It does have a point to its script beyond the violence, and if you aren’t totally taken aback by those scenes, then you can see this flick as more than a mere exploitation film with no overriding message. If you overlook the New York City sequences, you will at least get a decent script with very competent acting and generally believable characters, if not always believable events. I personally found this movie to be a worthy addition to the horror genre in general, and the Italian cannibal sub-genre in particular.
“Just so we don’t come off as overly impolite captors, I thought I would share some of your friend’s penis with you. I was even generous enough to pre-chew it for you, see?”