Ruggero Deodato  

Famous for defining the extreme cannibal movie genre in the 70s but actually a couple of notches above his peers Lenzi and Fulci in terms of quality. He usually goes for the throat instead of only exploiting, takes no prisoners with his attempts at realism, and gets more out of his actors and mean-spirited plots. Before and after his extreme period, he directed the usual giallos, horror movies, thrillers, spaghetti westerns and b-movies.


Cannibal Holocaust  
Notoriously disturbing movie that actually has something to say and still packs the same powerful punch decades later. A professor backed by a TV crew that wants sensational footage goes in search of a missing documentary crew deep in the jungle. The jungle gives them the first taste of hostility and the local savages seem extremely unfriendly, but they soon find out that the civilized white man can outdo nature with senseless cruelty and sadism. Features realistic footage a la Blair Witch (but 20 years earlier) rape, abortions, head-smashing, castration, a very extreme impalement, real animal bloody killings and a dozen other such niceties, but somehow rises above mere exploitation and brutal gore for a disturbing experience that asks some interesting questions. This is not defendable as art or intelligent social commentary but its visceral approach, disturbingly realistic gore and overall effect is unlike any other.

Of Some Interest

Cut and Run  
Deodato tries his hand at a more Hollywood-friendly action movie, mixing in some of his extreme cannibal ingredients. A band of primitives led by a white man (a la Apocalypse Now) declares war on drug traffickers with intrepid reporters hot on their heels, who fly into the jungles for an interview. Heads get chopped off, women literally get nailed to the floor and raped, and men get disemboweled and torn in half. With the exception of the tearing in half however, this isn't as gory as it sounds. The violent jungle action scenes balance out the scattered spots of bad acting, making this into an entertainingly violent adventure yarn.

House on the Edge of the Park  
Nasty exploitative tale of violence, rape and revenge with a twist inspired by Last House on the Left (which in turn was based on Virgin Spring). A violent hoodlum gets invited to a party with weak-willed rich folk who seem to be just as sleazy only with more money and hypocrisy. A cruel and nasty house siege ensues with loads of sexual and class tension. Flaws include some weak acting and nasty exploitation. This one is possibly the most extreme copy-cat modelled after Last House on the Left, and is more explicit than other similar Italian nasty movies such as Last House on the Beach, and Night Train Murders AKA Last Stop on the Night Train.

Jungle Holocaust  
Easily one of the best in the cannibal genre. It was the second after The Man From Deep River and while it raised the bar in terms of extreme gore and nastiness, instead of just wallowing in exploitation, it was a valid attempt at portraying unflinching jungle survival and the consequences of a civilized white man's encounter with cannibals. After a small plane crash, a group of people find themselves in a sudden fight for survival in a brutal jungle where animals are used as bait and gutted, humans are toyed with and eaten and babies are thrown into the river for crocodiles. One survivor slowly turns into an animal and finds himself reacting with his basest instincts. Features the expected real animal deaths and buckets of gore as well as realistic scenery and tribesmen, and brave performances by the cast. Animal lovers who like to whine can go back to eating their burgers.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents