It’s time we got back to another edition of “The Daily Grindhouse” and this time we go into the lovely and wholesome fun that was the European cannibal subgenre which became popular from the mid-1970’s right up to the early 1980’s. The granddaddy and best of this subgenre will forever be Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust. That film help bring about the flood of cheap copies and knock-offs with each one trying to one-up Deodato’s masterpiece by amping up the violence and gore to try and get banned in as many countries as possible. One of these knock-off’s is Umberto Lenzi’s Cannibal Ferox aka Make Them Die Slowly.
It stars one of the heavyweights of Italian exploitation and grindhouse in Giovanni Lombardo Radice. It pretty much borrows part of the plot of Cannibal Holocaust then adds in a liberal helping of drug-dealers, mobsters and emeralds. Lenzi’s flick dumps the “found footage” style Deodato used for his film and instead goes a more traditional style. This lessens the impact of Lenzi’s film and definitely adds to fuel from critics and detractors who saw nothing of value in this film.
I wouldn’t say that Cannibal Ferox has no redeeming value whatsoever for it is an interesting flick. Gorehounds and lovers of this particular brand of grindhouse cinema have a special place in their heart for this flick with special mention going to the several kill sequences that occur throughout the film. Lead actor Radice gets the most elaborate and gruesome fate in this flick and I would say in most in the subgenre. No wonder in an interview years later he would regret ever filming this flick.
Oh yeah, Lenzi one up’s Deodato’s on-screen killing of a live turtle by doing a pig instead.
Like I said earlier, lovely and wholesome fun for the whole family.