“I wonder who the real cannibals are?”
The month of October here at Through the Shattered Lens wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t introduce one of the very films which this site was made for: Cannibal Holocaust.
This 1980 film by Italian exploitation filmmaker Ruggero Deodato remains of the best examples of grindhouse filmmaking. It continues to be many people’s teop ten grindhouse and exploitation films list. Cannibal Holocaust could be considered as the best of the cannibal subgenre films which first began with Umberto Lenzi’s 1972 The Man from the Deep River.
Cannibal Holocaust also remains one of the best found footage films which has regained a sort of come back the last couple years with such popular found footage horror films like the Paranormal Activity series right up to 2012’s The Bay from Barry Levinson. It’s no surprise that Deodato’s film has survived the test of time as new legions of horror fans discover his films and older fans return to watch it again.
The film itself has continued to gain notoriety as newer fans discover the film. Upon it’s release the film was censored or outright banned from many countries who thought it was an actual snuff film (an allegation that even got Deodato and the film’s producers arrested in Italy on charges of murder) or because of atual animal cruelty performed by the film crew on live animals during the shoot. While the notion of Cannibal Holocaust was an actual snuff film remains a sort of urban legend amongst the new and young horror fans discovering it for the first time it really was the allegations of animal cruelty that continues to haunt the film to this day as it remains banned it several countries.
While the film was finally removed from the UK’s “video nasties” list it still hasn’t been released fully uncut and unedited in that country unlike the rest of the world. Though with the global reach of the internet such censorship and banned lists have become irrelevant and thus has given Cannibal Holocaust a much wider reach than it has ever had.
Cannibal Holocaust may be over thirty years old now, but it remains one of the finest example of grindhouse and exploitation filmmaking. It will continue to live on for future generations of horror fans and gorehounds to discover.