Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The most F'd Up Movie Ever

I'm taking a little detour from the classics (although the one Im about to discuss is considered "cult" to some) because I saw this blogathon about messed up movies  and wanted to add my two cents.

1980's Cannibal Holocaust. Seriously.  I've lost friends after lending this one out. The conversation always begins the same:
"man, I thought this movie was gonna be messed up but it was so not scary/gory/etc"
     "oh yeah?  well, I have this movie, but it's pretty rough . . . I've only made it all the way thru it once "
 "whatever it can't be that bad, I so want to see it"
     "well, okay."

The next (and often last)time I see them is when they are slipping the DVD thru my mail slot and scurrying off.

Im not a squeamish person. I can sit thru stuff like Traces of Death, Mondo Magic, the evening news, no problem.  But I can honestly say CH is the most brutal movie I've ever seen, and I always end up leaving the room not because it's really gory, but because it makes me so. damn. uncomfortable in it's realism. In what is considered the birth of the "found footage" format (like Blair Witch, Paranormal activity, etc") we get a movie that was not only confiscated by Italy's magistrate at the release, but a movie that is STILL banned in almost half the world.

 It starts innocently enough. A group of documentary film makers want to travel into the wild to capture tribes on film that are hidden in remote and never before seen areas of The Amazon. Just a bunch of fun loving college kids out to make their mark on the world and have an adventure. Good times, right? Um, no.

Things start to go wrong as cultures collide when the team locates villagers. The group underestimates the villagers and treats them horribly, staging violent and deadly situations for "a good shot", and taking advantage of their women, which is violently retaliated for. Between wars with other tribes and the film makers being just insufferable assholes, the brutality escalates fairly quickly and... just ugh.

 Maybe it's because I'm a chick. Everyone meets a seriously horrible end, but it seems the women (and some animals) get the brunt of it. I get what it's supposed to represent, it jumps back and forth from the "found" footage and documentary makers in New York, and you can't tell who's more messed up - the people that will  rape and murder for entertainment, or the suits that approve this behavior to make appealing programming for ratings.

 The only time i would really recommend watching this is if you are curious to see how much you've been desensitized by society, or to test how much realistic torture and mutilation you can tolerate. If you can sit thru this one and not bat an eye, well, you're likely a little f'd up too (but we still love you).


  1. I've been wanting to see this for awhile, but just never really got to it because of the awful things I have heard. Your review makes me want to stay away from it, but also peaks a twisted curiosity I have which makes me feel like an awful person. Thank you.

  2. Don't feel awful, we all look when we drive by car wrecks :) Thanks for a fun topic! Maybe Ill find a film that tops this one, haha.