Umberto Lenzi's infamous Cannibal Ferox involves the story of three hapless adventurers who head in to the depths of the Amazon to disprove the legend of the cannibal society. Not long after arriving they come across a cocaine snorting emerald hunter (played by scene stealer John Morghen) and his injured friend who tell them they had fallen victim to a sadistic bunch of cannibals - but not everything is at is seems !!
Banned not only here in the UK for many years, this cannibal classic has always played on its hype of being 'banned in 31 countries'. What truth there is to this nobody really knows, and in truth who cares. The gutsy outlandish offspring of the straight faced but classic Cannibal Holocaust, Ferox is up there as one of the best of its genre.
Whereas all those low key factory line cannibal flicks like Eaten Alive and Mountain God et al fail to meet the mark, only Holocaust and Ferox meet the grade. Holocaust with its grim horror and Ferox for its ballsy graphic violence and downright awful dialogue that plays in true midnight movie style. Heroine Gloria delivers cornball speeches at the drop of a hat and John Morghen is simply great hamming it up as the drugged up Mike snorting away refering to everyone as 'twats'.
The gore is great fun too (apart from as always the animal scenes which are downright pointless), with loads of imaginative graphic scenarios - dismemberment, castration, brain eating and so on (and that's just Morghen's character) which will have gore fans whooping with delight.
But what about the disc itself ? Well Grindhouse have to be commended for the amount of work they have put into this one. Right from the word go you know you're going to have some rollicking fun, the Grindhouse logo comes on screen like an old 70's cinema trail that had me grinning from ear to ear, then you get one of the tastiest animated menus you'll have seen in ages (and one the censors here would blow away immediately).
The print itself is pretty nice, though showing the occasional signs of age. It's great to see Ferox in widescreen at last too (after years of watching the banned UK full screen tape) which shows off some Lenzi touches at points in the film. My only real small concern on occasion was with the audio on the remastering, sometimes the mix of the sound effects can be obtrusive over the vocal track which I found slightly annoying. Not a big problem though and wont ruin the great fun you'll have watching this delightful release.
Extras wise you'll keep grinning with some very cool stuff on offer. There's an entertaining commentary from Lenzi and Morghen (which as a big Morghen fan I thoroughly enjoyed), an interview with Lenzi, three cool trailers and a great selection of stills backed by the Ferox soundtrack. Tucked away on the disc also is a great showreel of a cinema screening of Ferox and the Beyond at a Hollywood cinema which is thoroughly enjoyable and recommended viewing as an appetiser before watching the film itself.
So, you get a great old video nasty in a beautifully produced package that should be welcome in any gore fans collection. Hunt it down now !!
|Directed by Umberto Lenzi|
|Released by Grindhouse|
|Running time - approx 93 mins|
|Not Rated - Region 1|
|Ratio - Widescreen 1.85:1|
|Audio - Dolby Digital Stereo (English & Italian)|
|Audio Commentary by Lenzi and Morghen|
|Interview with Umberto Lenzi|
|Ferox Screening showreel|