Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust ★★★★★

Can a movie be ugly and beautiful at once? 

I believe this is a masterpiece, but I understand how the animal violence turns so many people away in disgust. It should. But I’ve come to terms with that part of the movie (and other cannibal films) because I choose to eat meat—fast food at that. If I’m going to consciously eat animals, I shouldn’t turn my head at seeing them killed. I’m not saying it was right. I haven’t read wether they ate the animals or not. It’s a nauseating sight, but I shouldn’t be hypocritical and shame the filmmakers and then go eat a Big Mac. Also, I think to get the full impact of the film, one must watch it with these scenes intact. The animal killings are real, and so you ask what else is real and what is staged? 

I was surprised how good the acting is in this. For some reason I remembered this being more corny, but this is incredibly well made. It’s basically two movies, the first about a rescue team, and the second about the footage they found. The cinematography is excellent and this really goes far beyond just offensive trash. 

One of the film’s finest moments is when the documentary crew walks upon the impaled woman, and the one crew member looks at the corpse smiling—until he remembers he’s being filmed and begins saying how terrible it is.

The first half of the film shows the cannibals doing horrible acts of violence upon each other, while the second half focuses more on the camera crew violating the natives—mocking their rituals, raping the women, etc. This a complicated film, no doubt, but it isn’t empty schock. 

Influential and eccential. Highest recommendation possible.

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