February 17, 2012

Must Watch Before You Die #25: 'Cannibal Holocaust' (1980)

Ruggero Deodato's 'Cannibal Holocaust' is the most disturbing film I have watched. It is several times more disgusting than 'Caligula', 'Irreversible', 'Baise Moi', 'Dogtooth', 'The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover', 'I Stand Alone', the Saw series or the disturbing bests of David Lynch, David Cronenberg, or Lars Von Trier, including 'Antichrist'. And I know that recommending this movie as a must-watch might become a little controversial. But there are several reasons for me to do so. Please click here to understand my motive behind starting the 'Must Watch' section on this blog and you might get an idea of why I'm recommending this film over several other great ones.

I am not in a state-of-mind to coherently communicate everything I have in my head. So let me just jot them down, point-wise:

  • This is widely considered as the most controversial film ever made. The filmmaker was imprisoned and the film was banned in several countries.
  • This film started the 'Found Footage' genre, way back in 1980, though the genre became popular only with 'The Blair Witch Project' by the end of the 90s. From '[Rec]', to 'LSD' and 'Ragini MMS' - now several movies are using this concept.
  • I loved the structure of the film. I really wish I could make something like this, as far as the structure and style is concerned.
  • The blood and gore in this film is genuinely nauseating and I would have definitely puked if the scenes were longer. I also realized that as long as it is a part of our logical or emotional perception - and integral to the story or the moment, we are not necessarily nauseated. But when the scene is purely a sensory perception - stretching beyond the need of the story, it incites the feeling of nausea, as it happened to me on my first day in an Operation Theater. I believe this insight itself was an interesting learning from this film!
  • There are simulated but realistic scenes of brutal murders, cannibalism, and slashing of male and female genitalia. But the more controversial elements are the obviously real scenes of animal torture. So all animal lovers are going to hate me for recommending this movie. 
  • I deliberately chose this very repulsive poster for this blog post as I want to warn you at the same time as I recommend watching this movie. Do NOT watch it if you think this poster is too disgusting for you.
  • And if you decide to watch it, please go for the UNCUT version. Otherwise, the point is lost.
  • Bring on the moral brigade. I'm ready for their wrath.


  1. Just read a review that ends with: "Moral considerations aside, it seems inescapable to me that Cannibal Holocaust has a certain vile, monstrous genius about it. It may not be a good movie in the commonly understood sense of the term, and it certainly plays dirty, but this is a film that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. I have thus given it my highest rating, albeit with a certain amount of discomfort. I had looked for this movie literally for years, and I’m glad I finally saw it. But I’d be a liar if I said I had any particular desire to see Cannibal Holocaust again any time soon, maybe even ever. This is not a film you enjoy watching. If you do-- if you derive pleasure from the experience, as most of us understand pleasure-- it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to seek out a mental health professional of some sort. No, really."

    For full review: http://www.1000misspenthours.com/reviews/reviewsa-d/cannibalholocaust.htm

  2. if u being a doctor had this kind of experience, what will happen of me! will give it an honest try though.

    P.S. watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THIODWTqx5E

  3. I'd really like to watch this movie but as an avid animal lover and vegetarian I have a hard time bringing myself to do it. I can hardly watch meat being prepared/eaten, lol. I'm not usually bothered by gore in movies, but when it's real, and it's animals....I just don't know if I can do it and not hatused for it ><

    1. That was supposed to say "aND not hate myself for it."

    2. Hi Anonymous,
      I must urge you to not watch this.
      Thanks for visiting the blog! :)