The Real Cannibal Holocaust – DVD Review

With all the hype about the royal family, it’s a delight to see Queen Elizabeth II headline an exploitation flick. She must consider the highlight of her monarchy being the star of The Real Cannibal Holocaust. She didn’t audition for the role back in 1974 and beat out Paul Newman or Julie Christie. She merely had to show up in Papua, New Guinea to celebrate the island nation’s independence and membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.

Royalty get all the showbiz breaks, apparently.

This is kind of how Martin Luther King Jr. ended up in Swedish erotic classic I Am Curious Yellow. You show up for a meaningful public event and then you’re a grindhouse superstar. The Queen may have been a bit peeved since this movie has nothing to do with the grotesque faux documentary Cannibal Holocaust.

The title comes from the movie’s re-release when cannibalism was all the rage amongst the sleazy cinema crowd. This was a genre that the major studios wouldn’t hijack. Think Universal ever considered a film with Burt Reynolds devouring Dom DeLuise? Exploitation theaters knew the shiny new multiplex at the mall wasn’t going to be running Cannibal Holocaust in 1980. A smart distributor updated the title of the shockumentary Nuova Guinea, l’isola dei cannibali to The Real Cannibal Holocaust to bring in the flesh eating fanatics.

The documentary crew captures the Queen’s arrival in New Guinea. She’s surrounded by hundreds of native tribesmen for the ceremony. It is here that we learn of the rumors about the locals turning their funerals into all you can eat buffets featuring the host as the main course. There’s footage of how they prepare the corpse for a family style send off. The cannibalism doesn’t turn into a Night of the Living Dead zombie orgy. If you have a sensitive stomach you’ll be bothered at the images.

‚Ä®Plenty of the footage will test the visually squeamish. There’s an unflinching view of how the pigs are prepared for a feast. This would get the Anthony Bourdain seal of approval. There’s strange nose jamming rituals that end with lots of dripping blood. The wedding ceremony involves feathers, blood, a bow and arrow. This is not like how Queen Elizabeth was hitched. Homosexuality between tribesman is exposed including a disco hut scene. As expected there’s plenty of nudity in the wilderness along with devouring of local drugs. The creepiest part of the film is when the tourists flock to a body piercing ceremony with their Instamatic cameras. Judging from what’s been shown about the tribesmen, they hopefully packed their lunch and didn’t eat at the concession stand. The Real Cannibal Holocaust is like the dark side of a Travel Channel special with a royal touch.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer is taken from a rather rough print which adds authenticity to the image. This feels like it was rescued from the New Guinea rain forest. The audio is a mono track in Italian. The quality is rough, but forgivable since it’s not like the natives are saying much on microphone. The movie has English subtitled.

None.

The Real Cannibal Holocaust is a shockumentary about the tribesmen of New Guinuea. There is an emphasis on the eating of deceased although nothing as gruesome as the sights in the original Cannibal Holocaust. The prize of the film is getting to see Queen Elizabeth as the star of the film. This is the perfect wedding gift for Prince William and Kate.


One 7 Movies presents The Real Cannibal Holocaust. Directed by: Bruno Mattei. Starring: Queen Elizabeth II. Running Time: 99 minutes. Released on DVD: March 8, 2011.

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