In July 1985 five video 'nasties' won a victory at Snaresbrook Crown Court, effectively meaning they could be removed from the DPP's list of banned videos.
The most famous of these was THE EVIL DEAD. The least famous - not without good reason - was CANNIBAL TERROR ... (the others included Argento's INFERNO and Sherman's DEAD AND BURIED).
The story concerns two petty thieves who are looking to score big after their latest job has proved rather fruitless. Their moll tells them of a delightful little girl - Florence - she has befriended on a nearby harbour.
A scheme is hatched to kidnap the girl and demand a ransom from her rich daddy. But when the police turn up unexpectedly at the drop-off destination, our villains need a speedy exit from the country ... and are hooked up with the mysteriously sexy "Micky Mars" (really! looking a damn sight more sultry than (s)he ever did in Motley Crue!!) as their guide to a remote island.
Once the crooks land on the island, they shack up with an old friend - calling in a favour, if you will. Meanwhile it doesn't take long for the natives - the most unconvincing cannibals you've ever seen - to rear their ugly heads amongst the straw fields.
After a slow start, the first victim suffers a satisfyingly gory death that will please all those who appreciate a director willing to zoom in on slimy entrails for far too long.
While the pig guts are filling up the screen, one of our crooks - Mario - is busy raping the wife of the man currently housing him (bad move). In the one scene that I'm a little surprised the BBFC didn't take umbrage at, the woman is tied between two trees and assaulted by the frothing Frenchman, while her friend makes passionate love to a man in the comfort of a villa (movie readers will no doubt find something to remark upon here, what with the rape victim being adorned in red [passion, violence etc] while her friend - wearing virginal white - finds tenderness in stark contrast).
But this isn't high art - despite the occasional lush locations.
From hereon-in, it's safe to say the plot is pretty non-existent (or perhaps I just stopped caring?). Yet as the film degenerates into an episodic catalogue of perversions such as voyeurism, rape, cannibalism and dodgy Euro music (the soundtrack is an absolute blast!) I found the whole thing oddly compelling!
As trashy as this Spanish-French production is, it will appeal to all those who found something to enjoy in such efforts as ZOMBIE CREEPING FLESH and BURIAL GROUND. You can draw your own conclusions from that!
Not the greatest cannibal film then, but not without it's fair share of gruel and thankfully devoid of the genre's most controversial content - animal slaughter. And it's fully uncut.
The picture quality on this disc from Screen Entertainment (under their new Hardcore banner) is absolutely gorgeous. Okay, there is the occasional blemish and I'd be lying if I told you the film was devoid of the odd speck here and there - but overall, it's a delight. Presented in it's original 1.85:1 ratio (anamorphically enhanced!!), images are clear and sharp, with minimal grain and no colour bleeding whatsoever. In short, the picture far exceeded my expectations (more a comment on the film's age and origins, than a slur on Hardgore!).
Sound is presented in 2.0 Mono, being both capable and reliable in the process. No complaints.
Extras are a bit of a let-down. There's a very stingy stills gallery that consists of 4 (wahey!) video covers from around the world - though not the pre-Cert UK release?!
The only other 'extra' is a link to trailers for other films in the Screen Entertainment/ Hardgore series ... REIGN IN DARKNESS looks like a really naff (albeit splattery) rip-off of THE MATRIX, whereas DEMONIUM and NUTBAG just look shit.
The film comes in a keepcase packaging, and has 16 chapters that can be accessed via a rather bland static menu page.
Definitely worth a look.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by Hard Gore/Screen|
|Region - All (PAL)|
|Rated - 18 (uncut)|
|Stills gallery, Bio/Reviews text sections, trailers selection|