Cannibal World ★½

Bruno Mattei was possibly the most shameless rip-off artist in Italian exploitation history (and that’s frankly saying something). As he marched on from making genuinely insane Nunsploitation like THE OTHER HELL (‘81), to nonsensical collages of stolen footage and cheaper filler like CRUEL JAWS (‘95), his craft level edged into the Syfy/Asylum realm of modern trash cinema. MONDO CANNIBAL (‘04) is Mattei remaking CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (‘80) with green screens, backyard jungle sets, and reels of borrowed clips from the subgenre classics it’s imitating. In short, it’s simply an aughts iteration of ‘70s knock off cheapies, never straining to do anything more than earn its production budget back on the DTV market via copious amounts of gratuitous nudity and rubbery gore SFX.

To be completely honest - while MONDO CANNIBAL is certainly awful, it’s still incredibly watchable, despite the motion smoothed digital photography and Wakaliwood-style production value/stunt work. For die hard fans of the “cannibal vomitorium” subgenre, it’ll play like a greatest hits reel, compiled by a very accomplished YouTube video guru. Mattei is providing further proof that in order to create a turgid rip-off, you still have to maneuver around subgenre stereotypes, until they play like a self-referential parody. “My public wants one thing: blood, you asshole!” The lead reporter screams at her squeamish cameraman before their guide butchers a baby alligator. It’s as if Mattei’s reminding himself and his crew what they all showed up on set to deliver that day, as well.