42nd Street Cinema

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Umberto Lenzi's Cannibal Ferox. The ex-Video Nasty, which was apparently banned in 39 Countries.

Our ensemble cast consists of John Morghen; all you Italiano aficionados will know him as the great Giovanni Lombardo Radice. Who plays a complete badass criminal named Mike Logan. He's also a bit of a sadist. Logan who appears in the jungle with his partner Joe at the same time as our 3 intrepid explorers; Gloria Davis who is a New York grad student and anthropologist, her brother Rudy and their friend Pat Johnson who basically just wants to get high and have her photo taken. Radice's acting in this is surprisingly better than his other outings..."...and then they...ate his genitals". As for the other actors the dubbing really let's the film down on their parts.

As the story progresses so does Joe's ill condition. He eventually dies and the cannibals get a pretty tasty meal. Turns out the story that Mike told them was bullshit and that he actually went mad and killed a few innocent natives. The group then get captured by the cannibals and thrown in a pit, to be kept for a little while. When Logan escapes the girls hope he will help them escape, but as usual he has other things in mind. But unlucky for him, he gets captured again and tied to a post, as the women are then taken out of the pit. This is when things start to get nasty. I won't say anymore as you won't really have a film to watch. As the police choppers go looking for them, they have no luck in finding to troop. Until one of the cannibals helps Gloria free so she can escape she manages to get out into the river and just in the nick of time a boat is going up, she climbs aboard and makes her way back to New York.

Shot on location in the savage Amazon, this features some really lush locations. From the deep jungle to grassy plains. Ferox like Cannibal Holocaust share iconic shots of a female, I am of course talking about the woman who is unfortunately hung from her breasts by hooks in CF and the wooden stake impaled Amazonian from CH.

The music score in this is better than average and you'll be no doubt humming along with the prominent tune every time you hear it and believe me, you will hear it a lot.

Like many of the cannibal/jungle adventure films this features some animal cruelty, which ranges from animals being pitted against each other, a pig being gutted (this is very quick, not that graphic), a crocodile gets gutted and a turtle scene which isn't anything like the one Cannibal Holocaust. Those are the worst ones in there.

As for extras this release is bubbling over with them.
If you are a fan of cannibal movies or jungle flicks. This is the version for you with an impressive amount of extras and a beautiful transfer.

DVD: Grindhouse Releasing
Running Time: 93 Mins
Extras: Audio commentary from director Umberto Lenzi and star John Morghen, The original Italian, German and U.S. theatrical trailers. Dozens of rare production stills, posters and publicity materials from around the world, Liner notes from legendary Times Square historian Bill Landis. On-camera interview with director Umberto Lenzi


Unknown said...

Wow, I'll need to pick up this edition for the extras alone. Funny that Morghen does commentary has he's gone on record a few times about how much he hated making this film.

Nigel M said...

You are right Rev- and he had nothing good to say about Lenzi either. The commentary will certainly not be a dull one!

Phantom of Pulp said...

Yes, the Morghen commentary is a classic. He revels in disparaging the film like a bitter old queen who feels superior to it. He's very entertaining. Although 'Ferox' is less Cinema to me than 'Holocaust', I still like it to a substantial degree.

iain said...

"... a pig being gutted (this is very quick, not that graphic)" Hmm. I bet the pig didn't find it "not that graphic". ANY cruelty towards animals is ALWAYS unjustified. Especially when it's used to tart up a dismal movie. And I include Roeg's 'Walkabout' in that assessment.

James said...

i agree iain, the animal cruelty is one thing that really spoils the cannibal/jungle adventure films. i think the screaming coatimundi and turtle in cannibal holocaust are atrocious and repugnant. the monkey is somewhat obscured by that doesn't distract from the fact they killed two monkeys (i believe the scene needed to be reshot).

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