Went out last night and drank a little too much so I really couldn't be fucked doing anything today.
Couch + cigarettes + coffee + horror movies. That was basically my entire day.
On today's menu: Sex & Cannibalism.
I thought I'd start out with a cult classic which I've seen numerous times but I never get tired of it. The tagline "the mother of all cannibal movies" is pretty much spot on. It's not the first cannibal movie, but it is definitely one of the most influential and definitive. A professor goes on a 'rescue' mission to the Amazon jungle and brings back tapes from a documentary a crew were filming before they disappeared. The tapes show how the crew got on the native cannibals' bad side and were eventually killed and eaten.
The gore is plentiful and still holds up pretty well to this day, and the underlying social commentary is powerful. It's a shame that the animal deaths were real and in retrospect director Ruggero Deodato has commented that he regrets ever making the film. But there's no doubt that it is a very powerful and impactful movie and the horror landscape today would be very different if it had never been made. Definitely not for the squeamish but it really is a great film. And the soundtrack is fantastic.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (2007)
A quartet of naive young men and women decide to travel to Papua New Guinea to search for Michael Rockefeller who disappeared forty years earlier. The concept is ridiculous and the four main characters are all idiots. The movie sucks too. The first hour is slow and drawn out and the two couples spend most of it arguing. When things finally pick up it does get a little interesting and there is a bit of tension but ultimately it is a very disappointing film. And also I did not see one scene of actual cannibalism. There are plenty of bodyparts and blood towards the end but no people eating other people so that too was disappointing. I should also mention that this is a found footage type movie which I usually like but this time I didn't. All four characters are annoying and stupid and that really ruined any chance of me actually enjoying the film at all. I wouldn't recommend this one.
PAPAYA: LOVE GODDESS OF THE CANNIBALS (1978)
Well I have to say that is one of the most misleading movie titles ever. The only part that's accurate is the 'love' part because this is basically a softcore porn film. If I'd bothered to check director Joe D'Amato's filmography and seen entries such as "Hercules: A Sex Adventure" or "Porno Holocaust" then I may have worked that out but I'm not familiar with his work at all. I'd say that at least a third of this movie involves nudity or sex scenes. There is some vague plot about natives being angry at the prospect of a nuclear reactor being built on their island. They despatch Papaya to seduce and kill the men involved. And there are at the very most two scenes in the entire film that you could possibly say involve cannibalism. One is when Papaya bites off a man's dick and the other is one of the natives taking a bite out of a human heart. If you're looking for a softcore porno then go for this, but if you want a cannibal film then forget it.
CANNIBAL FEROX 2: MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY (1985)
This really has nothing to do with the first Cannibal Ferox. A group of people take a flight to a forbidden place called Dinosaur Valley. The group is comprised of a professor and his daughter, a palaeontologist, a photographer and his two models, a Vietnam veteran and his alcoholic ex-wife. I understand the palaeontologist and the professor, but what the fuck are the others doing going to this valley? Anyway their plane crashes, a couple of them die and the survivors have to find a way out of the jungle without being killed by the native cannibals. They survive the cannibals and stumble across some kind of illegal mining camp where they are taken prisoner. There is a single scene once again involving someone eating a human heart but that's about it for cannibalism. The movie actually focuses more on the mining camp scenario and plays out more like an action film than horror.
WRONG TURN (2003)
It's easy to compare this to other twisted hillbilly films like Deliverance but I think this is a great film that stands perfectly well on it's own. It's a shame about the sequels though.
After an accident a group of friends decide to go find help. They find a house in the middle of nowhere inhabited by a trio of cannibalistic mountain men. The men chase them while they try to survive and escape.
The movie is fast paced and actually has some decent acting in it. The make-up and effects are solid and those mountain men look fucking scary. And I have to admit Eliza Dushku does a pretty good job in the female survivor role. The film isn't fantastic but compared to a lot of other crap that's come out in the last decade it is definitely above average and worth checking out if you haven't seen it yet. I would advise skipping the sequels though.
EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS (1977)
Oh god , it's another Joe D'Amato film. So yes there are plenty of pornographic moments and in fact even more than there was in PAPAYA. Almost every character in the movie is either having sex or masturbating at some point. Emanuelle is a reporter who comes across a mental patient with a strange tattoo. The tattoo leads her to an ancient cannibal tribe and so she sets up an expedition to go check it out. After a whole lot of fucking and fingering for the first hour things actually get pretty interesting towards the end and there is some real gore and horror. Nipples get cut off, a man gets sliced in half and there are actually some real scenes of cannibalism. Hooray!
If the first part of the movie was as good as the second part this might actually have been decent. But all of those tits, asses, dicks and pussies kind of got in the way.