Friday, 15 August 2014

Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)

Content Warning: some of the stuff in this movie is deliberately gross and shocking, so you may want to skip this review unless you're pretty blase about such things.

This bit of 70s Italian sleaze has at least four different English-language titles (the one above, Mountain of the Cannibal God, Prisoner of the Cannibal God and Primitive Desires).  It also has at least five and possibly six different versions: IMDB lists five cuts, clocking in at anything from 86 to 103 minutes, but the one on this DVD runs only 82.

In the interests of completeness, I tracked down a copy of the 103 minute cut, watched that, and then scanned through the shorter version to see what the differences were.  The things I do for this blog!

Anyway, the film establishes that New Guinea is a wild and untamed land, and that a wealthy woman has come looking for her missing husband.  He trekked out into the wilderness, you see, and hasn't been seen since.  Together with her husband and an old colleague of her husband (plus a bunch of disposable extras) they set off to find the missing man.

There then follows lots of tedium.  The group struggles through wilderness - places that would probably be quite beautiful if shot in a more interesting fashion - while occasionally losing one of their number to traps, crocodiles, or natives in scary masks.

In the long cut of the film, the tedium is interspersed with deliberate shocks: the disembowelment (I suspect for real) of a monitor lizard, and the (definitely for real) consumption of a monkey by a python.

Anyway, when reduced to just the three white-skinned characters (cultural imperialism, ho!), they finally meet some friendly people.  One of whom is a handsome frontiersman to whom the wife immediately takes a shine.  What about her husband, you ask?  Well to be honest she has a different motive for coming out here than she claims.  Her husband is missing, it's true, but she is more interested in the uranium he was looking for than she is in him.

Now with their extra whitey, they press on through more scary mask guys and boring wilderness stuff, until finally, around three-quarters of the way through the film (so 60 or 75 minutes, depending which version you're watching) they get whittled down to two and captured by cannibals.

And then they get eaten and the movie ends.

... oh, if only.  Instead we get either lots more tedium (in the short version of the film) or sleazestravaganza (in the long one).  I'm talking nudity, a cannibal banquet, the (simulated) severing of a penis, unsimulated female masturbation, and (hopefully simulated) bestiality.

And well ... either you want to watch that kind of stuff (in which case go straight to the 75 minute mark and skip the tedious journey that precedes it), or you don't (in which case all the movie has to offer is boredom and occasional moments of unintended laughter when it's especially stupid).

Stay well away.

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