CANNIBAL TERROR * Spain / France 1980 Dir: A.W. Steeve 93 mins
A pair of two-bit criminals kidnap the daughter of a prominent industrialist and head to the jungle, taking refuge at a friend’s house … before some very unconvincing “natives” (white Spanish extras) ensure they get their comeuppance. “Maybe you wanna get your flippity-floppity boobies lifted?” This notoriously weak attempt to cash in on the cannibal craze from rip-off specialists Eurocine has the lamest cannibals in the sub-genre’s history – a bunch of pale, unenthusiastic though sometimes grinning “natives” (one of whom has a tattoo on his chest!) who indulge in a hilariously embarrassed ritualistic dance like the attendees of some particularly shit village disco. The maddening, appallingly abrasive, non-stop score goes all wacky to accompany a typically awkward scene involving a pair of goofy border cops (“Now that’s what I call a nice piece” / “nice thighs!”) and hits a triumphant note with its La Bamba-style central theme! It’s very weak on the gore front, with rubbery severed limbs and repetitive, extended scenes of the tribe rifling through the (animal) guts of their victims. Meanwhile, poor old Pamela Stanford takes a gratuitous bath and gets raped in a depressing sequence juxtaposed with a scene of consensual sex elsewhere. The l-o-n-g establishing shots go on forever, and other padding involves characters driving, partying, walking through the jungle, etc. By virtue of having the word “Cannibal” in its title, this briefly found its way on to the UK’s “video nasties” list and enjoyed some unwarranted publicity.
Review by Steven West