Disc Review
Cannibal Ferox
Released by: 
Grindhouse Releasing
Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, and Zora Kerova.
Directed by: 
Umberto Lenzi
Written by: 
Umberto Lenzi
Run time: 
93 minutes

After several weeks of delays, I finally received my Cannibal Ferox disc from Sazuma Trading. Although Sazuma posted a disclaimer that this version was only to be used on widescreen TV’s, it worked fine on my 55-inch Toshiba. Was it worth the wait?

The story centers around a postgraduate student who is writing a dissertation on what she considers the “myth” of cannibalism. Her “proof” of this is to be obtained by journeying into the deep wilds of the Amazon, and exposing as false a magazine story about a village of cannibals there. The student travels to the nearest civilized outpost, accompanied by her brother and a friend. The three then attempt to reach the village in a Jeep, but it breaks down part of the way there. They try to complete the trip on foot, but before they reach the village, they find two dead natives, and two American men, one of them mortally wounded. The two men claim to have been attacked by cannibals from the village, and that that all should flee, but the student party insists on continuing on. They reach the village, accompanied by the two men; and find terrorized natives, and several mutilated bodies. Alone in a hut with his benefactors, the dying man reveals that they, not the natives, had been the ones doing the torturing, and that they had been able to do this because the able-bodied men of the tribe had been away on a food-gathering expedition, but would return any time. The student party refuses to leave the mortally wounded American until he dies, but by then it is too late. The tribesmen return, and extract a bloody revenge on the foreigners.

The film is extremely violent, and has been banned in some 31 countries. The acting is a little wooden, but the special effects are prolific and gruesome. There are some scenes involving actual animal cruelty, including a mongoose being crushed by a giant anaconda, a monkey being killed by a jungle cat, and a large turtle being hacked apart by natives. This film is definitely not for the squeamish!

Video: The image is OAR 1.66:1, 16x9-enhanced. This disc is intended for use with 16x9 TVs only, and its use on 4:3 displays will result in image distortion.

Audio: Dolby Digital mono

Packaging: Keepcase.

Supplements: Dutch, English Finnish, German and Swedish subtitles; German and American theatrical trailer; and 16-page illustrated booklet with complete Lenzi biography and filmography, as well as stills from the feature presentation.

Conclusions: All in all, the film itself is a worthy addition for collectors of this genre, but it might be best to pass on this version in favor of the newer Image one.

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