Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Cannibal Ferox"(1981)d/Umberto Lenzi

After you guys hit the Wop for a best ever record week, I've gotta put some tainted candy and an extra razor blade apple in your treat bags for the effort tonight, kiddies.And what better reward is there, than to cover the granddaddy of grindhouse movies from the Italian potentate of poor taste, Umberto Lenzi.A movie so multitudinously rotten that it embarrassed Johnny Morghen, an actor who had no problem amorously coddling a blow up doll on screen for Lucio Fulci, and known for suffering ultraviolent deaths in genre movies.In tonight's review, also known as "Make Them Die Slowly"(the title I caught it under at the drive in back in the eighties), Lenzi goes easy on Johnny, chopping his hand off, removing his dick with a machete, and extricating his brains after truncating his skull with said blade.Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for animals that appear in front of Lenzi's lens here, as he certainly doesn't shy away from the sadistic cruelty that often befell wildlife in the cannibal subgenre in its heyday.If that sounds too heavy for your karma, you'll probably want to stop reading here and wait for the next review.Also succumbing dilatorily here are Italian genre vets Lorraine De Selle, Zora Kerova, Danilo Mattei, and Robert Kerman, aka/ seventies porn dick, R. Bolla, who seemed to turn up in every one of these pictures back then.Lenzi's screenplay is chock full of marvelously insane dialogue, set to a dated-yet-funky soundtrack provided by Donati and Maglione, while the abundant on-screen splatter is deftly handled by maestro Giannetto De Rossi.The original advertisements boasted of the film's being 'banned in 31 countries', though you'd be hard pressed to find it censored anywhere these days(besides tolerant Britain, of course), let alone being outright banned.Call it what you will, but it definitely rates as a cult classic.Man, I can still remember the queasiness in my stomach from the front seat of my old man's '79 Impala like it was just last night...
After 100 grand of their dope money disappeared, Pigface gets a different type of shot than the one he was looking for.
At the outset, we see a junkie whose quest for horse leads him to the Manhattan apartment of one Mike Logan(Johnny Morghen), only to meet verbal abuse and roughhousing at the hands of two mobsters who Logan has cheated out of a hundred grand("A hundred grand!OUR hundred grand!From OUR dope!") before skipping town.The gangsters issue a message of impending retribution to Logan through "Pigface" that he'll never receive, seeing as how they shoot "Shitface" dead in his tracks before he can ever pass it on.Meanwhile in Paraguay, Rudy and Gloria(Danilo Mattei, Lorraine De Selle) are two siblings planning an excursion with their friend Pat(Zora Kerova) into the green inferno of the Amazon River basin to prove Gloria's theory that cannibalism not only doesn't currently exist, but in fact, has never existed among the primitive tribes; a European myth perpetuated to justify colonization of the region by covetous land barons.After one of the guides chews a phony-looking butterfly on a wire(a bad prop and a bad omen at the same time), a jaywalking iguana causes Rudy to get their jeep stuck in a nearby bog(naturally blowing the engine) forcing them to hoof it through the perilous rain forest.After stumbling across a couple of dead booby trapped savages, the group arbitrarily bumps into two desperate westerners, Mike and Joe, who claim they've been set upon by cannibals.Joe's been shivved by one of the angry primitives, while Mike is blowing through cocaine like Stevie Nicks at Eric Clapton's housewarming party, as he relates the sordid tale of how they ended up in such a predicament after their get-rich scheme of panning for emeralds with a Portuguese guide turned sour and their guide ended up bound to a stake, having his genitals removed and eaten by hungry practitioners of anthropophagy.Looks like man eats man isn't bullshit afterall, is it, Gloria?
"...A hot-pussied little whore, who arrived down here looking for freedom, a victim of Puritanical breeding, seeking release for strange new feelings."
When Gloria goes missing, Rudy stumbles upon a small village of indios where the group is forced to hole up due to Joe's infected wounds, worsening by the minute.Mike shares his nostril candy with the formerly puritanical Pat, and after balling her, suggests that making an indio girl might be a kick she could really groove on.When she refuses to cut the frightened young native, the coke-raging pusher plants some hot lead in her himself.In the throes of a fever, Joe confesses to Rudy and Gloria that Mike's wild yarn about cannibals wasn't exactly accurate, and that Logan killed the Portuguese(really one of the local tribesmen) himself, while zooted on Bolivian marching powder, causing the natives to resort to brutal aggression in retaliation.Rudy and Gloria realize that the indios won't split hairs when it comes to their vengeance, and every white will pay for Logan's drug-fueled misdeeds.Mike and Pat sneak off on their own as the males of the tribe return to find Joe's lifeless corpse and soon splay his innards into a raw feast.Eventually, all of the group is captured and locked in a bamboo cage(that Logan had used earlier to instill fear in the locals) to watch as the tribesmen seperate the drug dealer from his third leg via machete and one of the cannibals pops it into his mouth and chews it like Bubblicious(!).After they cauterize his cock-stump(!!), they move the prisoners to another village where Rudy makes a break for it, hiding in a swampy pool from the hunting party until some ravenous pirahna nibbling his open wounds give him away.One poison dart later, and then there were three.An indio-with-a-heart-of-gold(how cliche'!) tries to help the girls, but Logan digs his way out of the bamboo prison and cuts their escape rope before bounding into the jungle.He's almost able to flag down a plane containing a rescue team, but he's abducted again, and his hand is chopped off for his troubles.The cannibals force Gloria to watch as they suspend Pat in mid-air via tit-hooks(!!) to bleed to death and remove the top of Logan's head using a primitive brain-surgery table, eating his brains afterwards(!!!).Gloria barely manages to escape into the dense undergrowth thanks to the aforementioned kind indio(who eats booby-trap death for his troubles) and is rescued by a pair of trappers.Back in New York, Gloria has written a book called Cannibalism: End of a Myth, effectively covering up all the horrors she'd witnessed.
Johnny Morghen loses his organ.
I had six or seven new horror reviews laid out for you guys, to end Wop-tober with an appropriately horrific bang, but alas, my busy social life( know, like people on television always seem to have) seems to have temporarily gotten in the way of my good intent.You know me and my sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.Fret not, kids, I'll work them in sometime during November.As is the case with most entries in the cannibal subgenre, pre-PETA, tonight's review is laden with a lot of unnecessary animal cruelty and death that'll turn off a lot of individuals.From a tech standpoint, Ferox is a pretty rotten movie, as evidenced by the single Wop rating, but it remains a grindhouse legend none-the-less, and one of my favorites at that.The ridiculous dialogue and over-the-top gore'll have you rolling in your seats.Grab the Grindhouse Releasing extra-packed deluxe edition disc.Oh, and Happy Halloween, as Dan O'Herlihy so memorably said back in '83...
Pat(Zora Kerova) has had it up to the tits with cannibals already.


Outsider said...

Classic exploitation horror, good review!

beedubelhue said...

Thanks, man!


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