Tuesday, October 5, 2010

#60. Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

Directed By: Antonio Margheriti

Starring: John Saxon, Elizabeth Turner, Giovanni Lombardo Radice

Tag line: "In the jungle, or in the the city, still they must EAT!"

Trivia: This film was available uncut on UK video back in the early 80, but found its way onto the government's "Video Nasties" list, and the distributors were successfully prosecuted for obscenity

Right out of the gate, when we're treated to a military rescue operation in Vietnam, Cannibal Apocalypse had the promise of being a very entertaining movie.

It is a promise the filmmakers certainly delivered on!

Vietnam veteran Norman Hopper (John Saxon) is having nightmares about his wartime experiences. More specifically, he has been dreaming about a rescue mission he led to recover two of his men, Sgt. Charles Bukowski (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) and Tommy (Tony King), who had been captured by the enemy. The mission was a success, but something happened to both men while they were in captivity. When Hopper and his troops finally located Bukowski and Tommy, the two were devouring a recently killed Vietnamese woman, and Tommy, in a fit of rage, ran over and bit Hopper on the arm.

Though married now and living in the suburbs of Atlanta, Hopper is still haunted by this mission, primarily because, ever since that incident, he himself has been fighting the urge to take a bite out of the people around him!

When Hopper learns that Bukowski, who was recently released from a Veteran’s hospital, bit the neck of a young girl in a movie theater, he decides its time to get some answers to those questions he’s avoided asking for years.

There are plenty of gory shocks throughout Cannibal Apocalypse, with cannibalism treated as a contagious disease transmitted by a bite from the infected. At one point, Hopper finds himself alone with Mary (Cinzia de Carolis), a teenage neighbor who has been flirting with him. Unable to control his urges any longer, Hopper stares into Mary’s eyes, lifts the young girl’s shirt…and bites her on the stomach! It’s a quick U-turn from where we assumed the scene was going, and a rather humorous way to kick off what would soon become an epidemic.

While fitting neatly into the horror genre, Cannibal Apocalypse also boasts some impressive action sequences. Aside form the opening scene, which recreates the battle that led to Bukowski’s and Tommy’s rescue, director Margheriti throws in some car chases, a few fistfights, and even a dramatic stand-off with the Atlanta police department. Not to be outdone, the film's climax is equally as thrilling; a chase through the sewers!  It’s moments like this that keep Cannibal Apocalypse flowing along at a brisk, almost break-neck pace, which it effectively maintains throughout.


AdamMoody said...

Nice short review. That is one of those movies that I will end up watching someday because my interest will become too strong.

DVD Infatuation said...

Adam: Thanks! This was written back when I thought I "needed" to be brief in order to accomplish this 2,500 movies task! I've gone back and expanded on some of these earlier entries, and will certainly have to do so for this one as well. Glad you enjoyed it, but it's far TOO brief, in my opinion!

As for the movie, it's a great bit of exploitation, and a lot of fun.

Thanks for the comment!