Cannibal Holocaust, Eli Roth, & Riz O

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This iconic scene from the movie, Cannibal Holocaust (1979) was so troubling to Italian authorities, the director, Ruggero Deodato was forced to prove the images were fictitious in court and explain to law enforcement that he hadn’t actually killed anyone.

I’m not reviewing Cannibal Holocaust (1979). That’s been done to death and also I just don’t feel like referencing the faux outrage and calls for censorship of Eli Roth’s upcoming remake, Green Inferno (2015). My review today is about the soundtrack from Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1979) composed by the great Riz Ortolani.

But since I’m on the topic of Eli Roth’s new movie, here’s what I’ll say about it for now. When I see it, I’ll compare it against Deodato’s version and write up a gratuitous review for your enjoyment. Trailer below:

Do I think Eli Roth’s movie should be banned? Do I think a movie about white, social justice warriors getting brutally massacred by brown people is offensive? Ha. What do you think? More often in horror movies, brown and black characters are slaughtered without dignity for white entertainment. Our bodies are still first to be jeopardized onscreen and off…so am I supposed to wave torches and pitchforks over fictionalized, reversed-racial horror? You’ll find out when I watch Green Inferno.

But I digress. Let’s listen to the maestro, shall we?

What made Cannibal Holocaust so great was the off-kilter soundtrack. I use “off-kilter” ironically, because in truth, there is nothing off-kilter about it. It’s fucking beautiful. I adore horror movies with a full orchestral score and my absolute favorite composer for that sort of thing is Bernard Herrmann. However Riz Ortalani’s score is a must for any horror movie buff, too. Not only is the soundtrack beautiful, but when combined with scenes from the movie, the result is a strange, horrifying cognitive dissonance. Modern horror filmmakers alert audiences to the horror with music that is meant to frighten us. But Riz doesn’t do that, here. Instead, he uses sweeping violins, folksy guitar, and funkadelic pops of the synthesizer. By listening to the soundtrack alone, you would never know it accompanied such a gory, controversial movie.

There are 10 tracks in all but my favorites are Adultress’s Punishment (the infamous impaling scene) and Savage Rite. If you write horror, I strongly recommend you try listening to the Cannibal Holocaust soundtrack to get you in the right mood.

Have you watched Cannibal Holocaust? Green Inferno will come out September 25, 2015. Place your bets which one will be better. Whadduya think, fam? Should we all be outraged?

Horror Film Banned By BBFC

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Living in America, I’m always confused and baffled whenever I hear that another country bans movies, books, music and whatever else. For example, I actually heard that the church scene from Kingsman: Secret Service was cut in some countries because of the violence. Weird. The general solution we have here is it you don’t like the content then don’t watch. If anything, banning this movie is just going to makes the general populace want to watch it more. But the BBFC has special guidelines for what is appropriate for the general public.

Anyway, a film directed by James Cullen Bressack titled “Hate Crime” has been banned for it’s content. The film is about a Jewish family moving into a new neighborhood. Everything seems great until they film their son’s birthday celebration and a group of meth-head neo-nazi maniacs invade their home. You can take a guess what happens afterward.

The BBFC’s official statement:

“HATE CRIME focuses on the terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse and murder of the members of a Jewish family by the Neo Nazi thugs who invade their home. The physical and sexual abuse and violence are accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse. Little context is provided for the violence beyond an on screen statement at the end of the film that the two attackers who escaped were subsequently apprehended and that the one surviving family member was released from captivity. We have considered the attempt at the end to position the film as against hate-crime, but find it so unconvincing that it only makes matters worse.  
 
“The BBFC’s Guidelines on violence state that ‘Any depiction of sadistic or sexual violence which is likely to pose a harm risk will be subject to intervention through classification, cuts or even, as a last resort, refusal to classify. We may refuse to classify content which makes sexual or sadistic violence look appealing or acceptable […] or invites viewer complicity in sexual violence or other harmful violent activities. We are also unlikely to classify content which is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example, it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) that it may pose a harm risk.’
 
“It is the Board’s carefully considered conclusion that the unremitting manner in which HATE CRIME focuses on physical and sexual abuse, aggravated by racist invective, means that to issue a classification to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board’s Guidelines, would risk potential harm, and would be unacceptable to broad public opinion.”
“Of course, the Board will always seek to deal with such concerns by means of cuts or other modifications when this is a feasible option.  However, under the heading of ‘Refusal to classify’ our Guidelines state that ‘As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual or sadistic violence. Before refusing classification we will consider whether the problems could be adequately addressed through intervention such as cuts.’ The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the fact that unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”

Do you guys agree with this? I may not want to pay money so see this so the solution is simple to me…I won’t watch. But if other want to watch then by all means go ahead. I’ve heard some people say that it really puts the fear in you that this kind of shit still goes on in the world. I guess I’m not comfortable watching it, but for those of you who did then you’re braver than I. If it was any good let me know and Damsel Cannibal and I might check it out.

Check out this article from the Huntington Post UK(here) that argues that BBFC was correct in banning this film. Do you agree?

Here’s the trailer: