Cannibal Ferox – aka Make Them Die Slowly

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

This film is basically the hillybilly cousin of “Cannibal Holocaust”.  A group of erstwhile archeologists head into the depths of the rainforest and disappear.  Meanwhile a team from New York searches in vain as the group attempts to survive the savages they, themselves, have created.

Our three young archeologists (well, one aspiring archeologist, her research assistant brother and her incompetent friend who has no business being here) find themselves lost in the jungle while trying to prove that cannibalism as a social custom never truly existed and was a myth created to paint the natives as savages.  There, they cross paths with two cocaine smugglers on the run from the local natives in one of the most ridiculous chance encounters ever.  The group wander back to the village that our scheming smugglers claimed to have just escaped from and decide to tend their wounds there, eventually earning the wrath of the natives because one of our smugglers happens to be a sociopath.  Torture and cannibalism ensue while a group from New York, comprised of the authorities and Mr. Sociopath’s girlfriend look for the group.

Very little of the film makes sense.  Mike (the psycho drug dealer) has the authorities from New York chasing him into Paraguay, making him officially the most hunted drug dealer ever.  That they took his girlfriend with them is downright baffling.  Almost as baffling as Mike and his injured friend deciding to set up camp in the village that they just terrorized and wait for hell to be unleashed upon them.  This film is a classic example of bandwagon jumping.  The early 80s saw a whole lot of cannibal movies come out of Italy and nobody much cared if it made sense – as long as it was brutal.  This film is brutal.  Stealing yet another page from “Cannibal Holocaust”, actual scenes of animal deaths were used but with the exception of one useless pig scene, most looked like stock footage from the Nature Channel.  There are some decent death scenes, but if you’ve seen “Cannibal Holocaust”, you’ve already seen this film – but better.   This does get some props for a moody, really cool musical score – but, of course, “Cannibal Holocaust” had that too.

Stars: 2.5/5

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