CANNIBAL TERROR (1981): Reviewed by Bryan ‘SHU-IZMZ’ Schuessler
If not for French beauty Pamela Stanford (Sexy Sisters), Silvia Solar (The Wicked Caresses of Satan), and Mariam Camacho, I would completely hate this film. For a movie entitled Cannibal Terror, I would think there would be much more cannibalism and at least one scene that terrified the audience, but director Alain Deruelle (as D. W. Steeve) chose to fill it with meaningless and atrocious acting and boring lines of dialogue. I feel that this movie could have had some great potential, but instead, chose to just flounder and flop its way through the next 89 minutes.
The plot of the film revolves around a totally unbelievable trio of crooks that get bored breaking into yachts and decide to give kidnapping and ransom a go. Well, these retards of crime are useless. The girl’s voice in this film was dubbed in English and sounds ridiculous. In fact, everything about this film is ridiculous. Of note, Severin Films gave this film, as well as every film they put out, the highest treatment any film can get. The print is pristine and letter-boxed and it is just a shame that the treatment was not reserved for a much better film.
I did enjoy one scene that involved Pamela Stanford getting nude for a cleaning in a large outdoor barrel. It definitely was the high point of the film. The film had about three scenes of gore that were decent, if not cheaply done, but amused me slightly for their level of crudeness. I see that this film was banned in the U.K., another one of the infamous “video nasties” but this is one that could have possibly gone unforgotten. Its one of those films that is better than “it’s so bad it’s good” but can’t be considered “it’s so good it’s bad” either. Cannibal Terror just falls between that gray area: not bloody awful, but not bloody good, either.
I was happy that Severin chose to show the buxom beauties getting down and dirty in one scene that was not shown in the original that involved Pamela Stanford showing off more of her “goods”, dancing around in her panties, topless, thick bush spilling out all over. Now scenes like those are what could have saved this film and turned it into an exploitative romp! No such luck, though!
The cannibals that come into play kill off a few characters, but the scenes just look like someone gutted an animals and filled it with tons of guts and entrails, leaving it for the actors to pull out and play with. This film has absolutely nothing on Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, or even the cannibal scenes in Zombie Holocaust (Dr. Butcher, M.D.) Sadly, Jess Franco is one of the uncredited writers, along with Julio Perez Tabernero and H. L. Rostaine. I actually laughed out loud when I read that it took three directors to mastermind this pile of junk (Along with Durelle, Olivier Mathot and Julio Perez Tabernero also helped direct.)
Cannibal Terror really lacks any type of artistic merit what-so-ever, and it really can only be enjoyed for its sparse scenes of nudity and gore, but if one can make it through the poor acting, dialogue, and lack of emotion through-out the film, then that person must enjoy self-inflicted pain, for the only scenes I would want to visit again are the ones involving the women with the least amount of clothing worn.