Starring: Silvia Solar, Gerard Lemaire, Pamela Stanford, Olivier Mathod, Burt Altman
You know what the problem with CANNIBAL TERROR is? There’s just not enough cannibal action. Although cannibals are featured in this film, they are featured so incidentally that they really don’t merit being included in the film’s title. Also known as TERREUR CANNIBALE, a more appropriate title for this film would have been “Botched Kidnapping Attempt With Some Cannibals Thrown In For Good Measure“, albeit it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Like PSYCHO, CANNIBAL TERROR starts out without giving even the slightest indication that the film will take a major left turn into the horror department. In the case of PSYCHO, however, once the psycho stuff starts to actually happen, it’s unrelenting. In CANNIBAL TERROR, we must first sit through a run of the mill-kidnapping scenario whereby a wealthy business man’s daughter is nabbed by a trio of villains and brought to a safe house in the “jungle” (in this case, a few over grown shrubs passes for jungle). Only when they arrive in the jungle do the cannibals show up.
Quite ironically, it is their guide who explicitly warns them of the cannibals who is first taken by the savages and devoured. In a shockingly un-PC instance of casting, the cannibals for the most part seem to be a bunch of white guys dressed up to look like exotic natives. The feasting scene is both gory and un-frightening. We see close ups of organs being munched on but they are so clearly inhuman that they would make Tom Savini positively cringe.
The film’s focus then shifts back to the bandits (made up of two men and a women) who have made it to the safe house, greeted by another contact and his wife/daughter (I honestly couldn’t tell). In the most horrific scene of the movie by far, one of the bandits rapes the wife/daughter while her husband/father is away. It is a scene that is painfully long and makes the rape scene in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE seem tame by comparison. Apart from the terribly exploitive nature of this scene, it just doesn’t make much sense as it seems it would probably be a good idea not to rape the wife/daughter of the guy who’s hiding you from the law.
Of course her husband/father finds out and vows revenge. Pretending that he wants to go hunting with the rapist, he leads him out to the same spot where the rape occurred, only to turn the gun on him, tie him to a tree and call out to the lurking cannibals that supper is served. Meanwhile, the rape victim alerts some noble neighbors with rifles that there is a kidnapped girl being held at her house so that they may contact the girl’s father.
When the remaining kidnappers find out that the jig is up, they flee into the “jungle” where a climactic finale unfolds between them, the cannibals, the parents of the kidnapped girl, the villagers and the husband and wife/father and daughter. I won’t spoil how it ends but I’ll just say that from this film I have learned that cannibals can be reasoned with as long as you know their language.
DVD extras are limited to the theatrical trailer and a “spicy” deleted scene in which the aforementioned rape victim dances topless mere hours after having been viciously assaulted. Spicy indeed.
Not even coming close to the Italian gore fests which it clearly aspired to, CANNIBAL TERROR is almost guaranteed to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.