Starring Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach, Claudio Cassinelli, Antonio Marsina
Written by Sergio Martino, Cesare Frugoni
Directed by Sergio Martino
The Mountain of The Cannibal God belongs to the Italian cannibal movie subgenre that briefly flourished during the late 70s and early 80’s, which still hold the power to shock – and repulse – like few horror flicks can. These movies typically feature a group of explorers setting off on a wacky adventure into the jungle, before running afoul of a native tribe that has unique plans for dinner. The ingredients of these movies involve stomach-churning gore, scenes of sexual violence and real-life animal cruelty, with Cannibal Holocaust considered the most powerful the genre has to offer.
So basically, they’re not really fluffy pizza and beer movies, though The Mountain Of The Cannibal God is probably one of the ‘lighter’ entries. The story kicks into gear when a rich wife (Ursula Andress) hires a tribal expert (Stacy Keach) to help her find her missing husband in the jungles of New Guinea. Andress and co descend ever deeper into hell, and in addition to surviving the jungle with its killer animals and harsh terrain, they find themselves under attack by a literal bloodthirsty tribe.
While The Mountain Of The Cannibal God is more of an adventure than other movies in the genre, that doesn’t mean it skimps on bloodshed. Heads – and other body parts – are hacked off with gusto, and the camera doesn’t shy away from the details when the dinner bell rings. The movie is also known for a few shots of unpleasant animal cruelty, such as a moment featuring a monkey being eaten by a snake, but most of those shots have been removed from this new Blu-ray.
Andress doesn’t make much of an impression in the lead role and mostly has the same reaction to everything, be it looking at a map or watching someone gets castrated. That said, her utter lack of dimension helps mask a good plot reveal. Thankfully Keach picks up the slack and is even borderline hunky as the expert who is haunted by a past experience with the tribe. The movie really builds to the reveal of the tribe too, and they’re pretty creepy when it keeps them in the shadows.
The Mountain Of The Cannibal God finds time to slip in plenty of sleaze too, but it the lingering shots of Andress getting oiled up by natives, or shots of masturbation and bestiality in the third act. The movie can be a touch grueling at times, but in terms of pace it rarely drags, and Sergio Martino does a solid job in the director’s chair, even if it pales against some of his more stylish work like Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key.
Shameless did a 2K restoration for this Blu-ray of The Mountain Of The Cannibal God, so its easily the best the film has looked. The image is soft, but this is due to the shooting conditions, but detail and colours are strong. There is a part near the end where it is obviously sourced from a different print, but it’s only about four seconds long. The audio is nothing exemplary, but everything is clear and to be fair, the film doesn’t have many show-off moments regarding sound anyway.
There are some great extras too. The film opens with an introduction by Martino where he quickly talks about the restoration and the removal of some of the animal cruelty. There’s a 45-minute archive interview with Martino where he explains his motivation and goes into detail regarding the shoot. Finally, a two-minute interview where Martino apologizes for the animal footage and points out some of the scenes he didn’t even shoot, which were added after the film was sold.
- The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978) is presented restored and re-graded from a new 2K scan.
- Exclusive, Limited Edition Serial-Numbered O card
- Cannibal Paradise, a snakes and ladders inspired board game
- Collector’s reversible inlay sleeve with original poster artwork
- Introduction by Director Sergio Martino
- Interviews with Director Sergio Martino about Animal Cruelty on film
- Making-of Cannibal Nightmare with exclusive on-set footage etc..
- Alternative Credits
- Original English audio soundtrack in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Dual Mono
- Theatrical Trailer
The Mountain Of The Cannibal God is a gory good time with the right mindset. Shameless’ restoration is the best the movie has ever looked.