Another of the cannibal rage that was popular in the late 70s, early 80s, this one involves a wealthy woman Susan Stevenson (Ursula Andress) who’s husband is reported missing on a large jungle island off the coast of New Guinea. She enlists the help of explorer Stacy Keach to find him and they set out on their expedition.
They bring along her sleazy brother (played by Antonio Marsina) who does everything he can to sabotage the truth of the expedition. See, Andress and her brother aren’t really interested in finding her husband, they’re only interested in the uranium deposits they believe he stumbled across. Along the way, they run into a guy named Manolo (the late Claudio Cassinelli) who saves Andress from being hacked up by a menacing native. Why he suddenly appears in the film when he did is never explained.
We get the usual gutting of a large lizard by the natives, the eating of a tree monkey by a large python and the devouring of a native baggage handler by a crocodile. Nice gore scene of his arm being bitten off in the water there, with the meat and the bone just hanging off.
Right after Keach is deliberately let go by Susan’s brother and falls into a ravine, it’s up to Manolo to lead the rest of them to the spot where Susan’s husband was last seen. They reach a cave where Susan’s brother is speared to death by a native and the two of them are taken off to be held prisoner. At the other end of the large cave (the same one where Deodato had earlier filmed JUNGLE HOLOCAUST) the natives then proceed to rip out and disembowel Susan’s brother’s body and later cook his remains over an open fire. Cool gore scene and he deserved his fate the same way John Morghen did in my favorite cannibal flick, CANNIBAL FEROX. There’s also a later bizarre scene of a cannibal having simulated sex with a water buffalo!! Good gawd!!
But fortunately Manolo manages to trick his captors and kills one of them by smashing his head against a rock (cool exposed brains scene) and saves Susan (who the natives think is a goddess) by managing to make their escape.
This is one of the better cannibal films not so much for the gore as it was the acting by Keach & Co. While it’s true that Andress’ acting didn’t pass any great thespian skills, nevertheless the film was made in English without the horrible overdubbing you get from others in the genre. Plus we get excellent views of her naked body (she was 40 at the time) that was something to behold. No wonder the natives thought she was a goddess.
Excellent, pristine widescreen uncut DVD by Anchor Bay with production stills, posters and trailers for both the U.S. and European market. We also get an embarrassing 12 minute interview with director Martino where he claims he didn’t harm any animals at all and that the film was not exploitative. The clips the Anchor Bay editors inserted into the interview, prove otherwise.