Thursday 25 February 2010

Cannibal Apocalypse...

You've got to love a bit of action/horror exploitation from Italy, haven't you? It may not have the absolute onslaught of grue that Cannibal Holocaust displays (also from 1980), and it may not have the pervading sense of sleaze that the likes of The New York Ripper revels in, but it's actually a pretty decent flick.

More "Cannibal Skirmish" than Apocalypse mind you, as the build up is measured (bar a sudden jump into a violent stand-off at a flea market spurred on by a flesh-ripping attack in a cinema) and the scale the title promises never really shows up. However, it's still a good ride with an intelligent performance from John Saxon and an enjoyable wide-eyed turn from John Morghen (seen a year later in Umberto Lenzi's grotty Cannibal Ferox getting his knob hacked off, fact fans). Is it the best of Italian exploitation movies? No. Is it the worst? Certainly not - so over-the-piece fans of such fare should be plenty happy with a viewing, especially when the third act kicks in with guns, grue and gas-masked coppers pursuing the protagonists through the streets and sewers of Atlanta, Georgia.

What's more the DVD features a 50-odd minute featurette boasting a range of interviews with key players - such as Saxon, Morghen, and the director Antonio Margheriti (name-checked in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds ... the Italian guise of Eli Roth's basterd in the third act) - which stretch beyond the remit of the film itself, allowing the interviewees to chat freely about their careers on the whole and Cannibal Apocalypse itself, making for fascinating viewing for the genre fans.

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