During this month of ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and zombies, it is important to remember that there are other sub-genres of horror films that still make essential viewing. Unbeknownst to a lot of horror fans, there was once a style of film made mostly in Italy during the Seventies and Eighties known as The Third World Cannibal Film, or simply The Cannibal Film genre.
These films gained a certain notoriety for their savage imagery (most notably the onscreen killing of animals) and brutal conventions (predominantly white people being set upon by primitive tribes and being summarily eaten). Due to this, a lot of otherwise intrepid horror audiences shied away from this sub-genre, thinking the filmmakers “out of their minds.” When certain governments caught wind of what was going on, these films soon found their way onto banned lists. Despite the efforts of “morality watchdogs,” the movies are just as much a part of the horror pantheon as any other archetype. So, if you’re in the mood this Halloween for something … different … take our advice and give some of these a try.
Oh, and bring a barf bag. Some of them can be pretty gory.
One of the first films in the genre, this Umberto Lenzi-directed flick is basically a riff on A MAN CALLED HORSE. The film is an interesting one and notable if only for its “going there” first. The story-form is still finding its way – think of it as baby steps toward a great goal – but the film’s impact is palpable. The main actor (Ivan Rassimov) chews scenery like a champ and we are introduced to genre staple Me Me Lai who stars as the welcoming native girl.