"Finally, Deodato's first cannibal epic gets a re-release in it's uncut
format - having been out of print for years ever since it's very rare mid 80's vhs release from Video City. The new DVD from Shriek Show touts "uncut for the first time in the US!!" which is somewhat untrue since the Video City tape was also uncut. In fact, the print on the old Video City vhs release ran 91 1/2 minutes, whereas the new DVD only runs 88 minutes (but this appears to be only due to the projection speed or NTSC/PAL difference - the DVD runs slightly faster). However, the new
DVD can be called even more "uncut" since it is now in widescreen. The old VHS suffered from horrible pan-and-scan which elimated important information (including in one early scene - a quick glimpse of a cannibal's face in an airplane window - completely off-screen on the old VHS even though there's an audio shock sound accompanying it). In fact, not only is there extra substantial information to the left and right of the screen, but the DVD even adds a sliver to the top and bottom! The DVD is a great looking presentation compared to the old vhs - no question.Shriek Show delivers the goods with this release. I've heard some differing opinions on the quality of the transfer of the film, but I must say, I am totally satisfied with the job they've done here. Although not 100% perfect, the anamorphic widescreen image is crisp, colorful and sharp - and it does not suffer from any blatant artifacting or shifting. Aside from some Very minor blotchiness in a scene near the end at the river, it looks great throughout. No complaints. Also featured on this DVD is an audio commentary by Deodato (in italian!), but if you don't speak italian you can watch the movie with the english subtitle translation of his commentary! The subtitles are mostly in the black bar underneath the lbx film so they don't really interfere with the image. And is this commentary a hoot or what!?! Deodato keeps saying "this is a realistic movie","everything is real", "this scene is real", "isn't this scene real", "nothing is fake", "everything is real", etc. You get the idea? He also contradicts his own previous statements and claims he had nothing to do with the numerous animal torture-killing scenes and blames them all on the producer. He says the producer shot and added all of these scenes to the film afterwards to satisfy East Asian markets. But look at the alligator scene -- Deodato says the skinning part of it was shot later in Singapore with the skinners playing the cannibals - but then we cut to a long shot obviously directed by Deodato of the skinned alligator right back where the scene started. Hmmm. It's also funny to hear him say later that the producer died years ago - thus, the guy has no way to defend these statements and accusations himself. All quite amusing - gotta love Deodato! Other extras on the DVD include short on-camera interviews with stars Massimo Fosche and Ivan Rassimov (looking old) plus a still/promo art gallery, a weird US trailer (as "Last Cannibal World") which doesn't look like a US trailer at all ... I remember the film getting a US release in my town as "The Last Survivor" - wish that trailer could have been
included. There are a few bonus trailers for upcoming Shriek Show releases such as "Beyond the Darkness" (Buried Alive), "Nights of Terror" (Burial Ground), "Zombie Holocaust" and "Eaten Alive". Plus, to top it all off, inside the keepcase are 10 miniature lobby cards!So, if you're a cannibal junkie, this is one to devour. It's no "Cannibal Holocaust" and suffers from a somewhat simplistic script, but
there's enough grue and nudity to satisfy gorehounds and enough animal cruelty to enrage everyone else. It ain't pretty, folks, but it is one of a kind. They don't make 'em like this anymore and even though Deodato says he wants to now make "Cannibal Holocaust 2001" (too late ruggero!) - - don't hold your breath. This is a long-dead genre destined to stay that way. Bon appetit!"
Ahhhh...The Pasta Land Chunk Blowers
Dr Butcher MD | Charlotte, NC United States | 11/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone into Italian horror movies during the mid to late '80's should know about the "Past Land Chunk Blowers" from reading Chas Balun's "Piece 'O Mind" column in GoreZone magazine or his other publication, Deep Red. They include such juicy titles as Cannibal Holocaust, Dawn of the Mummy, Burial Ground, Buried Alive, Dr. Butcher MD, and a score of others. Jungle Holocaust (aka Ultimo Mondo Cannibale) was Ruggero Deodato's first cannibal movie, made a few years before Cannibal Holocaust. It's not quite as well known, or notorious, as Cannibal Holocaust, but it does have a pretty good story. A plane crash lands in the jungle. At nightfall the cannibals creep out of the jungle and end up killing all but two of the survivors. They build a raft in order to escape down river, but it crashes on some rocks. The two survivors get separated and the rest of the movie chronicles the capture of Robert (one of the two survivors) by the cannibals. Of course the plot is secondary to the humiliation and torture that the main character goes through at the hands of the cannibals. Near the end of the movie, Robert escapes with the help of a hot looking cannibal babe (played by Me Me Lai, who went on to become a cannibal movie veteran). The tribe eventually catches up to them, and they get some really gory revenge on the traitorous cannibal woman. Here's some other "Third World Cannibal Movies": Cannibal Ferox (aka Make Them Die Slowly, Trap Them and Kill Them (aka Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals), Man from Deep River, White Cannibal Queen, Eaten Alive (aka The Emerald Jungle)."
General Zombie | the West | 03/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from `Jungle Holocaust', but it turned out to be really surprisingly compelling. There certainly isn't a whole lot to this movie, but it seemed to go by in a flash, and is certainly better made than your average Italian exploitation or Horror movie.
The plot of this film is exceedingly easily summarized. 4 people, Robert, Rolf, Charlie and Swan have a problem during their landing at a secluded airstrip out in southeast asian jungles, and have to stay there over night. It becomes readily apparent that the natives aren't so friendly, as Swan disappears in the middle of the night. They go look for her and there are various mishaps until Robert is eventually captured and helf prisoner by the cannibal tribe. The rest of the film is just his attempt to find the plane again, and leave.
As far as Italian stuff goes, this is very competently made. The acting is definitely a few cuts above what you'd usually see in this sort of film. Still, it's not as good as what you're gonna see in a major Hollywood production, of course, but it's more than good enough. The two main protagonists, Rolf and Robert, are quite likable. They don't have much depth, but they do engender quite a bit of sympathy simply for all the crap they go through. (Particularly Robert) The dialogue is generally minimal and quite pefunctory, but I don't recall ever laughing at it, so it's more than sufficient. The film is generally competently shot, though generally not with too much flare. (Other than some disorienting, wildly panning and flipping shots used occasionally, which work pretty well.) Sadly, the camera tends to leer at the gore effects a bit too much, an always lame tactic, made worse and more jarring by the generally professional camerawork throughout the rest of the film.
The film doesn't really get going until Robert is captured, but it's all sufficiently interesting, and the film is really strangely compelling from that point on. Why this is interesting I don't know, as not a whole helluva lot is going on at this point: The native throw stuff on him, fly him around from a rope, trap him in a crevasse, grope him and so on, and he watches them do whatever they do. This section of the film seems to go on for 35-40 minutes, and there is virtually no dialogue, but it never gets boring, for some reason. I'm not sure if it would hold up under repeated viewings, but it worked the first time.
The escape is actually slightly less compelling than the captivity, but it still works, and it, of course, contains most of the cannibal action. The film really isn't all that gory, particularly if you don't count the animal stuff, but the major gore scenes are quite well done, particularly for 1977. The major death scene, with decapitation and disembowelment is quite well done. Still, this film isn't a true gorefest, so if that's all your looking for you may be disappointed. Conversely, there is a ton of nudity in this movie, as much male as female, so if any of you ladies are into the `filthy savage' look this film is for you.(Though it's not all savages. Robert spends about half the film naked, and a quarter of the time just in a loin cloth, though most of the time it's shot in a way that you can't see anything. Most of the time.)
It does have a few problems. Most notably, the animal death scenes are problematic. I don't really care about them from a moral standpoint, they just tend to be jarring and pointless, and rather boring. The crocodile gutting scene is pretty gross, I'll admit, but the rest of it is just tedious. Also, the music can be inappropriate at times, particularly the theme they play during the gutting scene, which is all schmaltzy and romantic, for some reason.
That's about all I got to say. Just a very entertaining little film."
Eat up, folks!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 02/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's long past time for me to write up yet another review for yet another Italian grindhouse cannibal flick. Geez, I keep watching stuff like this and people are going to start thinking I'm weird--or worse. I guess I'll have to risk the averted glances and whispered warnings if I wish to see as many horror films as possible. And any surveyor of horror films will eventually make his or her way to the Italian gore epics. First, he or she will meander through the filmographies of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, two directors well known for their gory excursions into the realms of the gialli and the zombie genres. After a short digression into the derivative dreck of Bruno Mattei and the intriguing films of Luigi Cozzi--with a short jaunt into the world of Enzo Castellari and possibly a few of the gorier spaghetti westerns as part of the course--the viewer is ready to take a safari into the deeper, darker parts of the jungle, the jungle where Umberto Lenzi and Ruggero Deodato dwell. Welcome to "The Man From Deep River," "Cannibal Ferox" "Eaten Alive," "Cannibal Holocaust," and "The Last Cannibal World," aka "Jungle Holocaust." Get ready for a bumpy ride.
I had already seen Deodato's "Cannibal Holocaust" long before I popped "Jungle Holocaust" into the DVD player. The former's reputation is supreme in the field of exploitation sleaze, and rightfully so. It's a deeply sick, horrific film involving a camera crew finding much more than they bargained for during a trip into the deep jungle. In "Jungle Holocaust," a few westerners once again find themselves lost in terrain unknown to civilization. This time out, it's a couple of white guys--Rolf (Ivan Rassimov) and Robert Harper (Mossimo Foschi)--accompanied by a local pilot and some native chick. The whole purpose of going into the jungle is to meet up with some oil research team camped out by the airfield, but when the plane lands our quartet finds their camp eerily empty. Too, the aircraft suffered slight damage and won't be ready to lift off for some time. While waiting for the sun to come up the female member of the quartet goes outside and promptly disappears thanks to a group of bloodthirsty cannibals. The other three don't know this yet, of course, but we do thanks to the title of the film and the description on the back of the box. It isn't too long before Rolf discovers a crude Stone Age weapon and delivers his professional opinion: cannibals ate our female crewmember. See, I told you so.
It also isn't too long before the native pilot perishes in an extremely unpleasant way (cannibals know how to make sharp traps), leaving Rolf and Robert to wander aimlessly through the jungle alone. Then Rolf waves bye bye after a raft the two men made drifts into a nasty series of rapids. Left to his own devices, poor Robert ends up in the hands of a brutal band of cannibals (finally!). The rest of the film shows us the messy trials and tribulations Harper must experience while living with a group of uncivilized man-eaters. According to "Jungle Holocaust," this means tearing off all of Robert's clothes in order to dangle him high above a cave floor from a rope, imprisoning the poor guy in a crevasse, throwing rocks at him, showing a fellow cannibal devoured by ants, witnessing a native woman giving up her recently born child to a crocodile in the river, the slaughter of a live crocodile (not the same one), and a few dinner scenes. Robert escapes from the tribe and takes with him Pulan (Me Me Lai), one of the foxier cannibal girls. And what do you know? The two eventually meet up with Rolf, who survived the river disaster and has since been living in a cave with all sorts of nifty homemade devices. Robert and Rolf then head out to find the plane and escape from this godforsaken land.
It's impossible to compare "Jungle Holocaust" with Deodato's later "Cannibal Holocaust." The latter is a far nastier yet far more compelling film than this one. My main problem with this film centers on how the pace slows down to the speed of molasses once the cannibals catch Robert. Some of the stuff we see is interesting during this part of the movie, but most of it is boring and drawn out. I also don't really care about Robert's transformation from civilized man to ruthless savage since almost anyone would undergo the same process in a similar situation. What does help the film is the gore, and Deodato throws in enough of the sauce to keep the viewer on his or her toes. The crocodile scenes are bad enough, but those sequences only serve as appetizers to the main course. Yes Virginia, the cannibals do consume a few people during the film. The worst of these scenes involves the hapless Pulan when her fellow cannibals finally catch up to her. In a truly stomach churning sequence Umberto Lenzi would later steal in its entirety for his "Eaten Alive" film, the cannibals turn Pulan into a smorgasbord in gooey close up. It's extraordinarily difficult to watch this scene without turning a bit green around the gills, so much so that what Harper does with the cannibal chief's ticker later on pales in comparison.
Media Blasters, god bless them, gives us everything but the kitchen sink in the way of extras. A commentary with Deodato, poster stills, biographies, interviews with Foschi and Rassimov, and a batch of trailers for "Buio Omega," "Zombie Holocaust," "Nights of Terror," and "Eaten Alive" intrigue the viewer long after the film concludes. For those just beginning their voyage into the cannibal genre, I recommend starting with something light like Sergio Martino's "Slave of the Cannibal God" before plunging into Deodato's grindcore epics.
Jungle Holocaust AKA Cannibal Holocaust: The Beginning
Michelle R. Monroe | Newark, OH USA | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A film by Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust). A plane crashes in the jungle. One of the survivors named Robert Harper (Massimo Foschi) gets lost and while trying to find a way out of the jungle he gets captured by cannibals. He is humiliated, stripped naked, and thrown in a hole with a bird for a while. Eventually, he escapes with the help of a beautiful cannibal girl named Pulan (Me me Lai) and tries to find his plane so he can go home. This is one of my favorite cannibal movies along with Cannibal Holocaust that in my mind is the KING of all cannibal movies that lives up to its name in being the most Controversial movie ever made. Jungle Holocaust is presented for the first time in America Uncut and Unrated released by Shriek Show on DVD. The movie comes with 10 lobby cards that are Extremely detailed. I recommend this movie to any one who likes Cannibal movies, Exploitation movies, and Horror movies. This is a most have for any fan of Euro-Exploitation movie fan. DVD features for this movie are Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Commentary by From Director Ruggero Deodato, Rare Production Stills, Posters and Promotional Materials From Around the World, and Director Commentary. Also the DVD comes with trailers for Umberto Lenzi's Eaten Alive (1980) the original uncut version released by EC Entertainment (1985), a trailer for Zombie Holocaust (AKA Dr. Butcher M.D.) (1982), Burial Ground - Night of Terror (1986), and a trailer for Beyond the Darkness: Buio Omega (1984) as well as a trailer for Jungle Holocaust (1978) trailer. This movie is also called and is known as Cannibal Holocaust: The Beginning. I think one of the best things about this movie except for the blood and gore is the amazing Music and graphics of the jungle and the wild life."