Pages

March 18, 2012

Cannibal Holocaust- the Scariest Movie that I have ever seen!

(A DVD of the Movie)


                            Made in 1980 by the Italian filmaker Ruggero Deodato,Cannibal Holocaust(uncut/unrated) is one of the most controversial films ever made in the history of world cinema.Replete with extremely graphic scenes of sexual violence,cannibalism and ‘real’killing of live animals ,the movie is banned in more than ninety countries across the globe.Within a week of it’s Milan premiere(in 1980) the prints of this movie were confiscated by the Italian court and director Deodato accused of Murder as the court mistook it for a real ‘snuff film’ and that the actors werekilled in the course of it’s making!
                   The story begins with us being told about the 4 enthusiastic American docu film makers who had gone missing in the Amazon rainforests while they were on an assignment to make a film on the last existing Cannibal tribes.Anthropologist Monroe(Robert Kerman)ventures into the rainforests in search of the film crew a couple of years later.He comes across Yacumos,a Cannibal tribe and pretty soon he realises that there are a couple of other similar tribes as well;theShamatari and Yamomamos.Monroe manages to befriend one of them and in the process he finds out the atrocities committed by the film crew on the native tribes and their eco- system.The scientist soon discovers the decomposed remains of the film makers and the 16 mm film reels that they had used.Monroe takes part in a Cannibalic ritual with the tribe and gets the film reels in return with which he boards back to Newyork.A local Tv station wants to air the footage that Monroe had recovered but he insists them on watching the whole uncut version of it before getting it aired.
                 What we see next is the 40 minute long ‘footage’(titled-Green Inferno)that the film crew had captured in the Amazon.In other words this exactly is the point from which the movie becomes extremely graphic and disturbing to the core.The regular readers of this blog might be knowing that I have never been a fan of torture porn flicks like Saw,Hostel or Salo:The 120 days of Sodom .What makes Cannibal Holocaust different from the afore mentioned flicks is that in this Movie everything shown on screen seem so real that the viewer never feels that he is witnessing cruelty just for the sake of cruelty.
                Though the movie is just about 90 mins long ,it took me around 120 mins(the ‘extra time’ attributed to the 4-5 short breaks of 10-20 mins each whichI took in between ) to finish watching it.So graphic and gross are some sequences(especially ‘the green inferno’docu sequences in the latter half) that I sincerely don’t think any ‘normal’ human being would be able to watch this extremely violent movie at a stretch.Then why bother to watch it at all,you might think.Well,coz once you have started watching ‘TCH’ the movie slowly grows on you and you won’t really feel like switching the DVD player off until you found out what had happened to the 4 missing American docu film makers.
                There are several bizzare and gross sequences in the second half/found footage(Green Inferno).The abortion scene,the impalement sequence,the overtly long rape scenes in the pre climactic and the climactic portions are only a few among them.Though I could sit through the majority of them ,’the turtle butchering scene’ was one which I couldn’t stand at all.This was one episode which I believe was totally unwanted in the movie.The grainy,over exposed 16 mm feel of the docu footage adds to the scare factor of the ‘Green inferno’ footage which undoubtedly is a testimony to the sheer genius of Ruggero Deodato.The hand held camera shots in the climactic portions are also nicely done. Riz Ortolani's music suited the mood of the film.What we have to remember here is that ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ is a 32 year oldmovie made in a pre CGI era.But still what amuses me more is the fact that none of the successors of CH,be it the 1995 Blairwitch Project or the much recent Paranormal Activity franchise were even half as frightening as this 1980 flick. 
               Well after reading all this if you feel that the movie is all about graphic violence ,sexual depravity and cannibalism I am sorry to say that you have gone terribly wrong.If one is ready to overlook the repulgnant images and the violent content of the movie he will definitely get the loud and clear statements that the movie wishes to make.It asks pertinent questions about superiority,about being civilised and savage and on sensationalism.A keen observer will also notice that in Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato has also asked the same question which James Cameron raised in Avatar 30 years later.But all these positive aspects of the movie went largely un noticed by the most who saw the film as all they could see in the film was the extreme violence in it.
Bottomline:On the whole,Cannibal Holocaust(unrated) is an extremely scary film,one of it’s kind.The movie meant for a mature audience is definitely not for the faint hearted.Watch it if you dare!

Also read:Stanley ka Dabba;the sweetest Movie that I have ever seen!

-nikhimenon 2012.(You are not allowed to copy, any part of this blog and use it in your blog, article, "email forward" or any other non-commercial creative work unless you give me credit and provide the original URL)

9 comments:

alex said...

i have seen cannibal holocaust..it scared the shit out of me....!

man who respects everybody said...

I had the CD and it's been long back since i discovered the film. But I am scared to watch it since I don't know what are to be expected. I am not really a gore fan even though i like such films if gore is justified. In US, people say 'Hostel' is a teenager splatter-torture porn- film. Ofcourse,it is but the film maker has successfully maintained a thrill and a reason to feel the anger in that movie, so i think he got away with it!

There are a whole bunch of psychos down Italy [ Psycho is a pet name now] who made some landmark horror films- Lucio Fulci,Mario Bava, Dario Argento,Ruggero Deodato [ the guy is still alive and fine],Marino Girolami and many more....Most of them had only shoe string budgets and a small crew. Lucio fulci was a good film maker but the worst actors and the small crew and no-budget production made his film look worse and certainly his movies are shown in 'Grindhouses'.Directors like Quentin tarantino and Eli Roth are great fans of these Italian horror directors and their films often reflects a bit here and there from these old movies.

Anyway nice reading your blog. very honest and straightforward. No psuedo intellectual thought and No pretentious language. thanks nikhi


Vaishak

man who respects everybody said...

I had the CD and it's been long back since i discovered the film. But I am scared to watch it since I don't know what are to be expected. I am not really a gore fan even though i like such films if gore is justified. In US, people say 'Hostel' is a teenager splatter-torture porn- film. Ofcourse,it is but the film maker has successfully maintained a thrill and a reason to feel the anger in that movie, so i think he got away with it!

There are a whole bunch of psychos down Italy [ Psycho is a pet name now] who made some landmark horror films- Lucio Fulci,Mario Bava, Dario Argento,Ruggero Deodato [ the guy is still alive and fine],Marino Girolami and many more....Most of them had only shoe string budgets and a small crew. Lucio fulci was a good film maker but the worst actors and the small crew and no-budget production made his film look worse and certainly his movies are shown in 'Grindhouses'.Directors like Quentin tarantino and Eli Roth are great fans of these Italian horror directors and their films often reflects a bit here and there from these old movies.

Anyway nice reading your blog. very honest and straightforward. No psuedo intellectual thought and No pretentious language. thanks nikhi


Vaishak Nambiar

nikhimenon said...

vaisakh..
totally agree with you.Thank you for the nice words too btw..

man who respects everybody said...

Dude, it's really nice meeting you through this blog. I just discovered some of your articles about 22 female kottayam and Malarvadi. You have just said exactly what i had in my mind. Your opinion on 22 FK certainly reflects your vivid vision about this medium. When I heard the story of 22FK, that's what I exactly thought: “it was " I spit on your grave". "I spit on your grave' is made with only one objective- it is to please torture porno fans and make money. In the first half, they have shown the cruellest of methods of raping this girl and the next part is her vengeance which is even more gruesome. Dude, I didn't watch the original movie but happened to watch the new remake and I couldn't stand it. And Ashiq and his team made this B movie [which is supposed to be criticized otherwise, in the morally uptight online forums] and brainwashed his ignorant fans who take great pleasure in being a friend of a celebrity. And he even marketed it as a 'socially committed film'. HA HA. And if this were in US, he will be criticized for the movie's content and this movie would have been called 'Amateur B movie approach'. But look at these so called kerala web critics [thank god, you are there as an exception], they all praised it to sky heights. I agree that it is a well-made movie [ in a technical sense] but not as great as it is boasted.

And this movie must be A certificate because the theme is not for children. This is a dark movie by nature and facebook goons are attacking anybody and everybody who says that it cannot be watched by family audience. It must be an A rated movie for the subject, language and themes. Will it be a beautiful view for a 10 year old kid to see a sex pervert is killed by a cobra and all ?? Even though violence is not shown, it's everywhere in the film. Off screen-suggestional violence is more appealing than on screen violence. And since this movie is full of such violence how can it be rated as U?
P.S : After all, why today’s audience are so adamant that there should be a message in every film? And why film makers such as Ranjith and Ashiq Abu makes it a rule. Cinema , for that matter, any form of art , is not for the sake of society. It is just for art’s sake. A film that created two hours of pure adrenaline rush in you is thousand times greater than a film that preached two hours of moral message and bored you. If these directors believe that cinema is solely for society, I am sure that they don’t respect the medium. They are politicians and are just using the medium for some other purpose of their own. And if cinema is really for society, we can picturize the speeches of a swamy, a bishop and a usthaad and cut it for three hours and release it in the theatres. Why to tell a story and waste time ? Online cinema moralists will be happy, I guess !

man who respects everybody said...

Dear Nikhi,
I have to disagree with you on some of your opinions too !

One is about Anoop Menon. I felt his perfomance very artificial and his scipts ultimately pretentious.

Then 'Thacholi varghese Chekavar', in my opinion, is not a worst movie. It has a script which doesn't really ring fine. you are right. But it's not one of the worst movie ever made. The songs sequences can save it ! Two song picturizations were awesome. Maaleyam and Chekavanmaar vaaleduthu" songs. Both had themes and concepts and the frame compositions and lighting were extremely artistic and well done. As I myself am a films student, I know how much hard work has gone into making it. well, even this average movie has its moments, here and there. That music, the theme that pops up whenever Varghese is forced into action. And varghese's fight with the police inspector. I had learnt a bit of karate in my teen days and I can see there is a difference in the action scenes. The punches, kicks, hooks, defensive steps- the whole style of Lal's body language in the action scenes are of a martial artist. It is done consciously. Appo effort eduthittundu ! We don't have compare this movie to the greatest movies ever made. Just look at the target audience and see if it worked. I didn't work. Yeah the movie was not a hit. The nirosha episode is crap and unneeded.Kore problems undu.Illaannu parayunnilla. Pakshe one of the worst movies lu peduthaan pattilla.

If it would have worked, i should have worked on a fantasy level. There is a scene- In midst of the turmoil, Lal and urmila get into the that old big house and Urmi sees this notice of Varghese's Kalari payattu championship and asks " what, kalari yokke ariyumo? , nammalippo evideyaa?. Lal replies " nammalippo paadipathinja vadakkan paattinte oru lokathaanu"- scene cuts to that 'vadakkan paatu style' song. If you like the scene, it worked on that fantasy level it meant to work. If you didn't like it, you feel like throwing stones at the screen. I can understand ! it depends upon the tastes of each individual. For the records, I liked it. What you said is your opinion and I am fine with it as this is a free country and we all have our right to think and express our views [Article 19 (1)].

P.S :If you want to count worst movies of malayalam, just count the number of movies Vinayan made ! that's it

nikhimenon said...

@ man who respects...
thank you once again for your detailed and sensible comment.
about anoop menon,
well,though i too believe that his 'know all' attitude which showed on screen was quite a bit of dampener in movies like 'traffic',i sort of loved his perfo in beautiful.
about thacholi varghese..
i too agree that the movie s nt definitely the worst among the lot but i hated it coz f two reasons.
i was an ardent fan of mohanlal at that point of time and though the movie had generated a lot of pre release hype (the kalaripayattu scenes and all),t turned out to be a disappointing one for me.
though the good 'soorya nalam pon vilakkai song'(which infact raised my expectations even more) was picturised well,it was nt there in the theatrical print which was screened at ekm saritha when i saw the mvie from there in the first week or so(if my memory is right).
all these factors mite have influenced me in including that mvie n my list.I dont claim myself to be perfect in my opinions and a difference of opinion is something which i prefer to unabashed flattery. so I totally respect your views and keep visiting random thoughts.
Regards,
nikhimenon

man who respects everybody said...

Okay thank you Nikhil

man who respects everybody said...

Okay thank you nikhil