Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

by | Sep 16, 2023 | 1980s, Adventure, Film Reviews, Horror | 0 comments

A Shocking Cinematic Spectacle That Crosses Boundaries


Release date: 7 February 1980 (Italy)
Genre: Horror/Adventure
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Cinematographer: Sergio D’Offizi
Budget: 200 thousand USD
Box office: 100 thousand USD


5 MIN Read Time



There are films that push the boundaries of storytelling, challenging conventional norms to provoke thought and evoke powerful emotions. “Cannibal Holocaust,” directed by Ruggero Deodato in 1980, is one such film. However, my aim here is not to delve into the usual tropes of cinematic praise, but rather to provide a critical examination of this controversial piece of work. Prepare yourselves, for “Cannibal Holocaust” is not for the faint of heart.



“Cannibal Holocaust” ventures into the depths of the Amazon rainforest to tell the tale of a group of documentary filmmakers who journey there in search of indigenous tribes. Led by the enigmatic Professor Harold Monroe (played by Robert Kerman), they disappear without a trace. Months later, Monroe embarks on his own expedition to find them, discovering their lost footage in the process.

The narrative unfolds through the lens of recovered film reels, as Monroe watches the horrifying footage left behind by the ill-fated filmmakers. What transpires on screen is a descent into the darkest realms of humanity. Graphic violence, sexual assault, and the brutality of tribal warfare paint a gruesome picture of the Amazon’s heart of darkness.


Facts About Filming and Cast

To truly understand the controversy surrounding “Cannibal Holocaust,” we must delve into the facts behind its creation. One of the most shocking aspects of this film is the on-screen killing of not one, but seven animals. These scenes have rightfully garnered intense scrutiny and outrage over the years. Regardless of one’s stance on depicting such acts in cinema, it’s undeniable that they leave a lasting, disturbing impression.

The cast of “Cannibal Holocaust” delivered convincing performances, blurring the line between fiction and reality. Robert Kerman’s portrayal of Professor Monroe stands out as a beacon of humanity in a sea of chaos. The ensemble cast, including Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, and Luca Barbareschi, played their roles with a disturbing authenticity that further blurred the line between fiction and reality.


Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes of “Cannibal Holocaust” lies a narrative that’s as tumultuous as the one portrayed on screen. Director Ruggero Deodato’s unflinching commitment to realism led to the film’s notorious notoriety. The decision to include the on-screen killing of animals and the graphic depictions of violence against humans pushed the boundaries of what was deemed acceptable in cinema.

Legal troubles followed the film’s release, as authorities questioned whether the depicted deaths were real or staged. Deodato had to prove that his actors were still alive, even appearing in court with the cast to dispel rumors of their demise. This bizarre chapter in the film’s history only added to its mystique and controversy.


Reception at the Box Office

Upon its release, “Cannibal Holocaust” faced bans and censorship in numerous countries due to its extreme content. However, it also found a cult following and became a symbol of the so-called “video nasties” era in the UK. Its notoriety contributed to its box office success, as audiences were drawn to the taboo and the forbidden.


Final Verdict

“Cannibal Holocaust” remains a polarizing and unforgettable experience. It is not a film to be taken lightly or watched casually. The graphic violence, the controversial animal killings, and the unsettling realism of the performances all contribute to its status as a disturbing cinematic spectacle.

As a film and movie blogger, my role is not to pass judgment on the moral aspects of a film but to provide an honest critique. “Cannibal Holocaust” is a testament to the power of cinema to push boundaries and challenge societal norms. It’s a film that cannot be dismissed, but one that must be approached with caution and an understanding of its disturbing content.

For those who seek thought-provoking cinema that explores the darkest corners of human nature, “Cannibal Holocaust” may hold a certain fascination. However, it is essential to approach it with a strong stomach and a critical mind, fully aware of the ethical dilemmas it raises.

In conclusion, “Cannibal Holocaust” is a cinematic anomaly, a film that has left an indelible mark on the history of cinema, for better or worse. Its shocking content and controversial production have earned it notoriety, but it is up to each viewer to decide whether its provocative message justifies the means through which it was delivered.


My Rating: 1/10


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