Cannibal Ferox – Italy, 1981

Cannibal Ferox is a 1981 Italian exploitation horror feature film written and directed by Umberto Lenzi. It can be considered one of the ‘unholy trinity’ of superior Italian cannibal films, alongside Last Cannibal World and Cannibal Holocaust. In the US, it was retitled Make Them Die Slowly.

ferōx m, f, n (genitive ferōcis); third declension

  1. wild, bold, gallant
  2. warlike
  3. defiant, arrogant

In the jungles of the Amazon, brother and sister, Rudy (Danilo Mattei, Anglicised as Bryan Redford) and Gloria (Lorraine De Selle) and their friend Pat (Zora Kerova) are on a mission to prove Gloria’s assertion that cannibalism is a Western myth.

Alas, their jeep breaks down and they encounter drug dealers on the run from New York; Mike (Giovanni Lombardo Radice, aka John Morghen) and Joe (Walter Lucchini).

It transpires that the pair’s busman’s holiday has developed to bothering the local tribes for cocaine and jewels, not to mention enraging them further by torturing and killing their local guide whilst Mike was high on drugs. This ‘misunderstanding’ has led to the cannibals attacking and leaving Joe badly injured.

Regardless, Mike continues to push his fellow travellers to the limit, seducing Pat and killing a native girl for kicks. The locals take exception to this and begin to hunt down the Americans in an avalanche of cruelty… 

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