brifilms’s review published on Letterboxd:
Save the turtles....
Cannibal holocaust is a seriously deep, dark, and masterful film in many ways, which I was not expecting. I was really only expecting shock and violence, I didn’t think it was real before watching it but I thought it could be. So about 20 minutes in was when I realized how much I truly loved it but I was still thinking the human violence could’ve been real so I was thinking it would either be a .5 or 1 or 4.5 or 5, but that sense of reality is what makes it so good.
Some people criticize the beginning for being slow and boring and don’t like the non found footage stuff but even though some of the early scenes can drag a little, I find it to be completely intriguing. It’s jarring but in the best way possible, taking you from this savagery jungle of uncivilized beings to this industrial cutthroat wasteland of the 70s and the clashing of the societies was really amazing.
I also think all the performances were amazing for what they needed to be.
Of course, when talking about cannibal holocaust, I have to bring up the animal cruelty. It’s horrible, it’s revolting, very hard to watch at times but also in a fucked up way intriguing just at how savage these thought to be civilized people can be, and even though I don’t think animal cruelty should be used for any film I can understand the budget limitations of this film made in the mid 70s and somewhat forgive it.
Cannibal holocaust also has one of the best endings in all of film and it blows my mind how deep and thought provoking it is.
A lot of gore I can take in films, not much triggers me, I do get grossed out by a lot in the film, but a lot of it is so horrible I can’t look away, if I was actually in the film I would internally just stop because a lot of this, snakes, alligators, cannibals, are some of the things I would least like to come in contact with but through the celluloid lense, it isn’t so bad.
The score and the dialogue is also so detailed and amazing social commentary. The score puts you into this state of relaxation but also unsettlement and gels well with the film and how we think 1 culture is completely civilized but in some ways we’re incredibly savagery.
So other than some of the animal cruelty and some slowness in the beginning, I think cannibal holocaust is a masterpiece and very important in the history of film and revolutionary in the found footage genre.
Onto Clifford’s really big movie!