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Cannibal Holocaust and Chill?

Genocide, castration, animal slaughter … and that’s before the events of the title. Steve Rose on the rerelease of the most controversial movie ever made

“First you take the liver out, then you open the rib cage and take the innards out. Then you fill it with hot stones and aromatic herbs …” Ruggero Deodato is explaining how to eat a human being. Not that he’s done it, or has he met anyone who has – but when it comes to cannibalism, the 72-year-old director is still something of an authority. In 1980, Deodato released what is still regarded in many quarters as the most controversial film ever made: Cannibal Holocaust, now being rereleased for home consumption, if that’s the right word.

Cannibal Holocaust lived up to its billing in so many ways. The movie follows a team of American filmmakers into the Amazon basin in search of a previous expedition, who disappeared investigating cannibal tribes. What we see is supposedly the footage recovered after they themselves disappeared. Cannibalism is just the dessert course. Before we reach the gruesome climax, we’re served up a degrading onslaught of rapes, murders, torture, salacious sex, genocide, castration, and even news footage of real-life executions… read more >

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