CANNIBAL TERROR (1981)
When two bumbling crooks and their prostitute friend hatch a plan to kidnap the young daughter of a car manufacturer, they think their money troubles are all over. But, these crooks can’t even get a simple kidnapping right, and when their plan falls through, the trio pull a few favors and quickly cross over into the next country to hide out, taking the little girl with them. There’s only one problem - the cottage they’re hiding out in is right on the border of cannibal territory!
Though the crooks think they’re safe, tension mounts no doubt due to the fact that Mario rapes Manuela, the wife of the cottage’s owner. Manuela’s husband deals with Mario in his own special way, while the other two race into the jungle. On their trail though, are the parents of the little girl and the tribe of cannibals who have picked up their scent. As the chase turns into free-for-all battle for survival, the only question remains is who will be lucky enough to simply die and who will become the next sacrificial meal of the cannibals?
The cannibal sub-genre is a particularly nasty offshoot in the realm of horror, and lends its perverse violence, often times demeaning stereotyping and lurid acts of sexual depravity to those with an acquired taste. And that is when the genre is done right. When done as a poorly cobbled together cash-in such as CANNIBAL TERROR, the results are a mixture of unintentional humor and boredom, interrupted ever so briefly with moments of stomach-turning disgust.
Now the highlight, if one can call it that, of any good cannibal films is of course the visceral display of flesh eating. Derulle’s version of that is to substitute a pig’s body for that of human, drape some clothes over it, and let a few extras tear it apart. We get two scenes of this grotesque barbarity, as a few fellows pull at and pretend to eat the organs of some piggy. Its a bit revolting, until you notice their smiles, as if it say, “look at us, we’re cannibals!” It is impossible to take anything even remotely serious after that.
It is a sure bet that if CANNIBAL TERROR had not been labeled a Video Nasty and briefly banned in the UK during the mid-’80s, the film would have long ago disappeared into obscurity. But now, thanks mostly to this infamous list it has lived on, and now the movie has finally been restored to all its uncut “glory” by Severin Films for its US DVD debut, where it will surely continue to provide laughs for a whole new generation of gut-munching fanatics.
The DVD provides an anamorphic widescreen transfer of an uncut print, and has been remastered in Hi-Definition, though the quality varies from one scene to the next, and even one cut to the next. The sound retains glaringly obvious of its dubbed roots. The special features include a deleted scene, which is just a short clip of Pamela Stanford dancing around topless that should have been reinstated into the film and the theatrical trailer featuring a priceless voice-over, especially when the announcer exclaims “Cannibal Terror!”
For genre enthusiasts this is worth a precursory glance just for the sake of curiosity and mocking, and for those that absolutely positively have to own every Video Nasty. For the rest, there is nothing to see here.