Cannibal Holocaust (1980)


Cannibal Holocaust achieved notoriety because its graphic violence aroused a great deal of controversy. After its premiere in Italy, it was seized by a local magistrate, and Deodato was arrested on obscenity charges. He was charged with making a snuff film, due to rumors that some actors were killed on camera. Although Deodato was later cleared, the film was banned in Italy, the UK, Australia, and several other countries due to its graphic depiction of violence, sexual violence, and the actual slaughter of seven animals. Some nations have since revoked the ban, but the film is still barred in several countries. The critic David Carter suggests the film is a commentary about civilized society.

Filmed in the Amazon, the film tells the story of the search for a documentary film crew who had gone to film indigenous tribes and been missing for two months. A second team, headed by the New York anthropologist Harold Monroe, recovers their lost cans of film and learns their fate. Much of the film is the portrayal of the recovered films' content; the sections of "documentary" film function similarly to a flashback and grows increasingly disturbing as the film progresses.