Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)

“You don’t forget the taste of human flesh!”

Synopsis:
A woman (Ursula Andress) searching for her missing husband travels deep into the New Guinean jungles, accompanied by her brother (Antonio Marsina) and an anthropologist (Stacy Keach). Once there, she encounters a sexy explorer (Claudio Cassinelli), many predatory animals, and a tribe of cannibalistic natives.

Genres:

Review:
Within the sub-genre of “cannibal horror flicks” — which “has a well-deserved reputation as the genre that was prepared to go to the most graphically nasty extremes of any exploitation genre” — this Italian adventure flick holds some limited fame, given that it had a generous budget, starred a couple of big-name actors (Andress and Keach), and wasn’t banned by any country. Does that make it worth viewing? Most decidedly not — unless your idea of fun is watching one-dimensional protagonists slogging their way through dense jungles, camera shots zooming in on menacing wildlife, native tribesmen (and women) enacting bestial rituals, and Andress heaving her glistening bosom while making heated proclamations:

“Why can’t you realize — I want to find my husband, that’s all!”
“My husband is missing — and I’m prepared to do ANYTHING to find him!”

Be forewarned that there’s a particularly nasty, infamous scene in which an enormous python devours a monkey in real-time. In an interview on the DVD, the director (Sergio Martino) claims it was all accidental and they just happened to film the moment, given that they “couldn’t do anything at that point to help” — but a freeze-frame analysis shows that the monkey was shoved into the snake’s mouth. Classy.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Effective use of authentic jungle settings

Must See?
No — unless you’re a film fanatic determined to familiarize yourself with every sub-genre out there. Listed as a Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book.

Links:

2 Responses to “Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)”

  1. First viewing. Only must-see for its sudden cult value (there is no camp value here) in the last 30 minutes. As I just now posted in Revival House of Camp and Cult (on facebook), after watching it on YouTube:

    [Starring Ursula Andress (yes, we see her breasts, if that helps) and Stacy Keach – and various other people I never heard of. AKA ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ (better title, considering where the plot ultimately goes). Since I was feeling like CRAP, I decided to watch crap. Prompted by [this assessment], I watched this for the first time. It didn’t help my mood much at first because…for the first hour, this is a very tedious flick. In its own way, it has a ‘Deliverance’-like feel to it. But it wasn’t being bad in a fun way. However…in the last 30 minutes, suddenly and without warning, an unexpected turn takes us into full-tilt cult boogie and the film becomes NUTS. My jaw dropped. But, of course, none of that will make sense to you unless you sit through what precedes. Is it worth it? …Probably. I certainly perked up considerably because the film suddenly married my current mood. 😉 ]

    NOTE: The film’s actual title is ‘Mountain of the Cannibal God’. That’s the title written on the print, that’s how you find the film at IMDb, and the title is referenced in the film – but, as I stated, ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ is a better title.

  2. ⭐️⭐️

    A silly jungle adventure given a late ‘70s gory, sensationalist fillip by cashing in on the craze for graphic films and it’s heavily influenced by The Man from Deep River (1972), Last Cannibal World (1977) and would be followed by the Eaten Alive (1980).

    The two most notorious examples would also follow: Cannibal Holocaust (1979); a hugely influential, controversial, nihilistic film that introduced the world to found footage. Cannibal Ferox (1981 AKA Make Them Die Slowly) a much more trashy version of Cannibal Holocaust. These were cut heavily and / or banned in many countries.

    Anyway, back to Sergio Martino’s epic. Like the other examples mentioned above this has far too much reprehensible animal death, especially in the full uncut version (103 minutes at 24 frames per second) found on the US DVDs from Anchor Bay and Blue Underground.

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