The Movie Waffler Blu-Ray Review - CANNIBAL TERROR (1980) | The Movie Waffler

Blu-Ray Review - CANNIBAL TERROR (1980)

cannibal terror review
Kidnappers find themselves on the menu when they hide out in a South American jungle.

Review by Jason Abbey

Directed by: Alain Deruelle

Starring: Silvia Solar, Pamela Stanford, Oliver Mathot, Antonio Mayans

cannibal terror 88 films

When it comes to the euro cannibal film cycle you expect four main elements - scenes of stomach ripping gore, racism, sexism and an unhealthy amount of animal cruelty and killing. Alain Deruelle changes the rule book by forgoing the cruelty to animals and instead subjecting his audience to unspeakable torture.

cannibal terror review

Cheap and uninspired, with barely a directorial flourish to its name, Cannibal Terror can barely be called a film, so uninterested is it in such things as pacing, craft, plot, logic or suspense. It has all the interest of watching a stranger’s holiday video, albeit one that looks like it has had clips from a Fray Bentos factory visit randomly inserted.

Written on the back of a fag packet, this plays more like a heist gone wrong film, in this instance the kidnapping by two low level hoods of a rich couple’s young daughter, who hightail it to the South American Jungle (looking more like a 2-star rated on Trip Advisor self-catering holiday to Gran Canaria) to await the ransom payment with a compatriot of their Mafioso friend. The youngster seems decidedly unbothered by this turn of affairs. Things take a sour turn when one of the criminals rapes the wife of their host, a turn of events made confusing by a party taking place afterwards in which she flirts semi-nakedly with her rapist, which implies this scene was supposed to happen pre-abuse.

cannibal terror review

The cannibals turn up as a slightly peckish Deus ex Machina to off people at random intervals. Said cannibals look more like the Delaware chapter of the Kiss fan club than an actual South American tribe. Tribal rituals involve some rather hesitant dancing, with cutaways to what looks like a pub cover band discussing the days events in cannibal lingo, followed by some rather amateurish butchery techniques. Most of the violence happens off screen, followed by seemingly endless shots of people holding intestines to camera while the extras look hesitant about whether they should actually be putting this in their mouths.

All this ends with an attempted rescue and a climatic meeting with the Cannibal Clan, which is relatively benign, making it the first woke cannibal movie, ripe for rediscovery on Twitter.

cannibal terror review

Unlike Cannibal Holocaust, which underneath the abhorrent animal violence had a relatively sophisticated plot, this film distinctly lacks the terror promised in the title. When it isn't being tedious in the extreme there are moments of fun to be had. This is also the type of reissue that knows its target audience, and you rather think the audience knows what it is getting into. In truth, this is only really of interest as a footnote to the cannibal cycle of films and the fact it made the now notorious Video Nasties list in the UK.

You get the usual trailer and deleted scene (a more prolonged sexy dancing scene featuring slightly more pissed off parrot), as well as an option for subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Of main interest is a 45-minute documentary on the Eurocine Cannibal film cycle. Eurocine was a French label who did cheap rip offs of Italian genre films that were already rip offs of American genre cinema. Thankfully the doc is fully aware of the shoddiness of Cannibal Terror and its ilk (although they find rather more humour in it than I could muster), with good talking heads from Calum Waddell and Allan Bryce, who help contextualise the films' place in horror history.

Cannibal Terror is on blu-ray now from 88 Films.