Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust

Repulsion is a natural reaction to atrocities depicted on-screen during Cannibal Holocaust. You're actually supposed to be repulsed by these images in order to understand Ruggero Deodato's statement being made about the depravity within even the most civilzed among us. There is an argument in this work, about the not-so-differences between civilized humans, and the uncivilized. There are animal killings actually caught on camera. These were the scenes where I was most disgusted. Then there are depictions of brutal rape and torture, and where Deodato captured these images in a realistic manner, I knew that these were staged, but they were disgustingly brutal nonetheless.

Does the staging of these images, however, mean that Deodato has created art? I understand the message of Cannibal Holocaust but perhaps subtlety was the way to go, as the repulsive, disgusting and brutal imagery was much too extreme to provide a focus on what Deodato was saying. Suddenly, the violence and gore is the message and not any social context.

So, no this is not art. This is exploitation, and this is shock for the sake of shock. It's an influential work, for sure, but the "found footage" genre of filmmaking, at this point, has become watered down and bloated that I don't even care what Cannibal Holocaust is even influencing.

Reprehensible characters doing reprehensible things. That's all this was. And given the conceit of "found footage", where the person holding the camera continues to film, even when their life and the lives of their companions are on the line, the plot element of someone holding a camera while witnessing their dirtbag friends getting turned into rotisserie brisket should be a hint that you drop the camera and run for your life.

Fuck this movie.

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