Cult Film Finder: Finding the Cult Movies We All Enjoy

Cannibal Holocaust – 1980


The most controversial movie ever made


Italian Cannibal
Directed by Ruggero Deodato
Cast: Robert Kerman, Carl Gabriel Yorke, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen and Luca Barbareschi


As I was sorting through my vast collection of shitty horror movies, I noticed that I really don’t own all the classics of the genre. Films that, if you visited any horror movie forum, your fellow posters would shun you for not owning. I decided to rectify this and I stopped buying the cheap (read: shitty) movies* and started to pick up the films that are usually represented in those top 5/10/25 lists that seem to run on every website.

*note: I didn’t stop buying the shitty ones either, the vow of only buying the “classics” lasted a whole week.

When I first heard of Cannibal Holocaust, I just thought it was a cheesy fake movie about people eating each other. It was one of those, I heard about it from a friend – who heard it from a friend -who saw an edited vhs copy at his uncles house kind of deal. I think I was like 12-13 years old. I knew it was controversial. I knew it was suppose to be “realistic”. But thankfully I never watched it when I was young. I’m pretty sure I would of been scarred to death. Fast Forward 13 years and I decided to give it a shot. I checked on Amazon and noticed that the edition I wanted was OOP. So I ended up scouring EBAY till I found the edition I wanted – brand new. I hate buying used – don’t ask me why. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I sat down and started to watch it. I can safely say, that I was disturbed, baffled and in utter awe of what I just watched.

And for some reason…I liked it.


An anthropologist leads a rescue party into the Amazon basin to find a missing film team that was making a documentary on the cannibal tribes of the region. The rescue team returns with only the found footage, showing a crueler side of the film team.

DVD Release

I knew I wanted the 2 disc Deluxe Edition from Grindhouse Releasing . I typed the movie in the search engine in eBay, and low and behold – there was like a million of the same version that came from Hong Kong. It was cheap (like 5 bucks shipped). But I wasn’t sure if it was a bootleg or not, and I was destined to find the Grindhouse Releasing version. I ended up having to get a hold of the UPC and typing it in and bingo – I found it. Maybe I’ll try and track down the other versions.

Here’s what the 2 Disc Deluxe Edition consists of

  • New hi-definition 16×9 digital restoration of the original uncensored director’s cut
  • New Stereo re-mix
  • Audio Commentary by director Ruggero Deodato & Robert Kerman
  • On-Camera Commentary
  • Making of Cannibal Holocaust
  • Interviews
  • Original Trailers
  • Other Trailers
  • Poster Art and Stills
  • Script
  • Necrophagia music video
  • Liner Notes by Chas. Balun

Grindhouse Releasing has given us an amazing edition of Cannibal Holocaust. Granted, I haven’t seen any of the other ones, but I’m not complaining about it at all. Great Picture and Audio (given the source material) .There’s even some Easter eggs lurking in the DVD. I won’t tell you where they are. Not all of them are cool, but Easter eggs is something that DVD’s are  lacking today. Its cool to come across a random trailer while going through different actors filmography for instance.

The special features range from super awesome to bleh. Grindhouse Releasing appears to have gotten Roger Kerman to do most of the features. Which is cool, but at times Roger Kerman is a little boring to listen to. The making of documentary was informative and fun to watch. Ruggero Deodato was informative to listen to as well. My personal favorite was the Gabriel Yorke interview.

Animal Killings

Probably the biggest problem most people have about this movie deals around all the real animal killing. They kill everything from pigs,snakes to even a giant turtle. I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, and its not really mine either. I don’t condone the mindless killing of animals to promote anything. But I’m pretty sure the animal killing helped throw red flags into the face of the censors who then pushed it to get it banned.

  • A coatimundi has its jugular veins cut open
  • A large turtle is disassembled alive. (the actors ate it).
  • A large spider is killed with a machete.
  • A snake is killed with a machete.
  • A squirrel monkey has the top of its skull chopped off with a machete.(twice, one is not on film)
  • A pig is shot.


Cannibal Holocaust is one of those movies that must be seen to be appreciated. After all the talks of animal cruelty and the filmmakers being arrested for allegedly killing
the actors, it still stands as being very unsettling. The film never approaches cheese territory either, which is common in this kind of genre.


10/10 – Recommended.