❉ “There is such a staggering amount of ineptitude on display here that it eventually becomes fascinating in its own right.”
“88 Films know exactly what they release, and they should be applauded for doing so in such a celebratory and knowledgeable matter. “
The night before viewing Cannibal Terror for this review my Blu-ray player broke down. I managed to fix it then I watched Cannibal Terror. Now I am worried that my Blu-ray player will commit suicide and drive itself off a cliff, so it won’t be subjected to such inept mediocrity of the lowest order ever again. However, if you are the type of cinema watcher who delights at the onscreen antics of Tommy Wiseau, Neil Breen or Ed Wood and you are searching for the new Holy Grail of crap, stop digging! You have just hit the motherlode of onscreen shite.
If you really want to know what a film called Cannibal Terror is about then let me just quote the entire voiceover from the trailer. However vague it may seem from a single reading it is for the most part uncannily accurate: “Lena, a kind-hearted prostitute… Two small time hoodlums… They meet in a bar and plan… What they want is money and it could have been an everyday story if it weren’t for… Cannibal Terror… Fear… Horror… (audible grunt from voiceover artist)… You will never forget it.”
Cannibal Terror has it all: lack of a plot or basic story? Check. People looking into camera? Check. Atrocious acting? Check that too. Atrocious dubbing and a copious amount of offscreen dialogue over repetitive stock footage? Triple check! Suspiciously looking French extras daubed in beyond basic face paint embarrassing themselves by dad dancing and whooping embarrassingly and looking embarrassed into the camera? Check please! A soldier with an air rifle in the jungle stalking French-looking cannibals? Where is my cheque? This is a film with a budget so low that the same wig makes multiple appearances on multiple actors. And the cannibals do so much dad dancing!
There is such a staggering amount of ineptitude on display here that it eventually becomes fascinating in its own right. Made at the tail end of the cannibal boom that accounted for a large share of the video nasty scare it stands out in that field for its origins alone. Whereas the majority of cannibal jungle films hailed from Italy this is a very rare French and Spanish entry that the credits proudly proclaim as “un film de ALLAN W. STEEVE” aka Alain Deruelle, director of Festival Porno and Pornographie Speciale – Rage Porno, whatever they were. I’ve not heard of them. Honest. Filmed at the same time as Jess Franco’s Last Cannibal World, it shared multiple cast and crew members. Franco, who may have co-written this, proclaimed Last Cannibal World as his least favourite film but at the least his films have that certain distinct dreamy atmosphere that this work lacks. You could find more atmosphere on the moon than you could here.
This is barely a film. Scenes start and finish with no information, context or even basic structure. They just… happen. The final thirty minutes feel like thirty days. And yet in a way I am glad that Cannibal Terror exists. Kind of. Before it becomes unbearable the theme tune has a surreal jauntiness to it. I am still trying to work out if that was the sound operator or camera assistants hands that just pop into the edge of frame in the hotel room scene and just stay there. The amateurishness somehow ascends to a surreal level. What other film has the nerve to scribble magic marker on multiple guys faces and pass them off as cannibals?
Thanks to 88 Films we can now enjoy this grade-Z schlock forever in a wonderfully remastered print than highlights the childish face paint on all those embarrassed French actors. The documentary included here, That’s Not The Amazon, nicely details the cannibal films ripping off most of the cannibal films that were already rip offs in the first place. It is a good little package for a genre that very few would want to celebrate. 88 Films know exactly what they release, and they should be applauded for doing so in such a celebratory and knowledgeable matter. Cannibal Terror may be crap, but it is solid gold crap.
- Limited edition o-card slipcase [first print run only]
- Limited edition collectors’ booklet by Calum Waddell [first print run only]
- High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Uncompressed English audio
- Optional English subtitles
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- ‘That’s Not The Amazon! – The Strange Story of the Eurocine Cannibal Film Cycle’
- Deleted scene
- Theatrical trailer
❉ 88 Films released ‘Cannibal Terror’ on Blu-ray 11 March 2019, RRP £14.99. Buy Cannibal Terror direct from 88 Films: http://bit.ly/CannibalTerror88
❉ Iain MacLeod was raised on the North coast of Scotland on a steady diet of 2000AD and Moviedrome. Now living in Glasgow as a struggling screenwriter he still buys too many comics and blu-rays. Has never seen a ghost but heard two talking in his bedroom when he was four years old.