Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Cursed Films II: Cannibal Holocaust

Technically, no cast-members were killed during the making of this film, despite the director trying to create the illusion to the contrary, for the sake of publicity. The animals killed on-camera are a different story. Perhaps the most controversial and vilified film of all time, Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, is featured during the final episode of Cursed Films, season II, which premieres this Thursday on Shudder.

Cannibal Holocaust
was the last gasp of Italian cannibal exploitation movies and Italian genre filmmaking in general. In retrospect, many consider it an early forerunner to the documentary-like horror that fully exploded with The Blair Witch Project. It also happened to be especially brutal—so much so, the cast were already regretting their participation, before even filming their scenes.

By all accounts, it was a horrible shoot, for reasons that are fully explained. In terms of the “curse,” it mostly just applies to the careers of those involved, except Deodato, who seems to have done just fine subsequently. (Remember, he helmed
The Barbarians, a jokey Conan knock-off for Cannon). Yet, it definitely fits the theme of the series, because good lord, what a sleazy horror show it was.

This is one episode of
Cursed Films you might want to just listen to, while streaming it on a tab you’re not looking at. The visuals from the film are about what you would expect. You might think Italian cannibal films are interesting in theory (or not), but not a lot of us what to spend much time with them. There is a lot of inside dish in this episode, but not too much to crush viewers. Recommended for serious cult film fans, Cursed Films II: Cannibal Holocaust premieres Thursday (5/5) on Shudder.