Review Date: July 2, 2008
Released by: Severin
Release date: 9/9/2008
Region 0, NTSC
Widescreen 1.66:1 | 16x9: Yes
After seeing the umpteenth overhead shot of an Amazonian lake in Cannibal Terror
, Iím convinced that were it not for horror movies, every stock film company would have went out of business long before the eighties came around. Thereís usually more nature footage in exploitation-era cannibal films than there are on Discovery broadcasts. Donít even get me started on Hell of the Living Dead
. After the surprisingly awesome Papaya: Love Godess of the Cannibals
, Severin strikes once more with another man eating savages flick. Cannibal Terror
promises boatloads of reaction shots from canned sea turtle footage, but can it deliver the cannibal goods?
Iíll tell you what I know. Two guys and a scantly clad woman kidnap the child of a rich broker. Their attempt to flee by car falters when their pickup crashes into a cop car. Not to worry though, another guy gets them setup on some stock footage of a plain flying so they can make a retreat to the only Amazon in the world rife with spruce trees. They run into cannibals. From there, your guess is as good as mine as to what happens.
Calling the story inept implies that there actually is one. Cannibal Terror
beats to its own drum, with little to no continuity between scenes, with characters coming and going sometimes in the same shot. One minute the little girl is there, the next ten minutes she doesnít exist. One minute a woman is raped, and the next she is having a drunken dance off with a villager and his pet parrot. The last half is near wordless, as people randomly wander off into the jungle, and this incessant drum loop continues to back them as they search for a Christmas tree, err, their safety.
You know a movie is bad when a vicious tree tie rape is intercut with a man playing a banjo. Or if you still donít know itís bad, then how about a choice exchange like: ďYou mind your own ass!Ē to which the woman responds ďMy ass is go fuck yourself!Ē Need more? Cannibals with finely groomed mutton chops? Little girls dubbed by grown women doing baby talk? Spanish dudes with finger paints looking directly into the camera for their fifteen minutes as cannibals? The ineptitude never lets up, right down to the salsa theme. An eight second still shot of a man with a parrot also deserves its own sentence.
Italy had long held a rein on the genre, thanks to cannibal kingpins like Ruggero Deodato, Umberto Lenzi and Joe DíAmato, but Spain and France also gave it a go with a number of co-productions. Determined to make a cannibal film even worse than their Jess Franco helmed Cannibals
, Spain and France largely succeeded with Cannibal Terror
, setting the bar so low you could roast a pig on it. For fans of crap cinema, that might just be what they want to hear, but all others will be better chewing on the grizzle of Italyís offerings than suffering through this trifle.
Severinís done their job in restoring the colors and presenting the film progressive, anamorphic, and in its original 1.66:1 widescreen ratio, but the producers certainly didnít do their job with the footage. The quality is all over the map, with some scenes filled with grain and debris (mostly all the stock footage, and thereís a lot!) and plenty others ridden with all sorts of imperfections. The opening credits are particularly headache inducing, with a weird blurring from the doubling of optical effects, making it look like a 3D movie without the glasses. Then thereís the footage from that other crap cannibal co-production, Cannibals, thatís intercut to make the film look even more scattershot. Thereís constant jumps in quality throughout, and while Severin canít really be faulted, this is far from reference quality. It looks more or less like the cannibals got to this one first.
The mono mix here sounds fine, but the content is another story. The incessant yammering and drum beating on the soundtrack gets very annoying very quick, and not even laughs from the adult trying to dub a child can make up for it. Since thereís hardly any dialogue and even less story, watching this on mute is probably just as good.
We get a deleted scene, although considering the non-existent structure of the film in the first place, it may as well have been edited back into the film. Itís basically an extended scene of the rape victim having a blast and dancing moments after being raped. In this cut though, she gets naked and taunts the men watching her. Yeah, the director was really going for empathy when he wrote her bio. A shoddy trailer is also included for those dying to see more. The best extra is probably a rambling but passionate easter egg with Jess Franco, talking about Cannibal Terror
as well as Zombie Lake
. If you thought Zombie Lake
was bad enough as it is, imagine Franco getting his original wish to direct it!
Well, cannibal fans, I give you the worst of the worst: Cannibal Terror
. About as competent with film as a cannibal with a computer, Director Allan W. Steeve makes waste his middle name. Thereís bad movie blunders abound, so if playing spot the spruce tree or drink twice when horribly dubbed kid comes on screen sound like your cup of tea, then tie this DVD to a tree and have your way with it Ė weíll work it into the script tomorrow. Severin does what they can with the shoddy picture and cacophonous sound, throwing in a deleted scene for good measure. Itís nice, at least, knowing Iíve finally dealt with the worst of the cannibal flicks. So whatís up next from my friends at Severin? Another cannibal flick from Jess Franco? Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Movie - D
Image Quality - C+
Sound - B
Supplements - B-
- Running time - 1 hour 29 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- Chapter Stops
- English mono
- Theatrical trailer
- Deleted scene
- Jess Franco easter egg