Films like Cannibal Ferox and Cannibal Holocaust are considered by many to be the pinnacle of horror greatness. The sheer brutality and explicit content presented by the likes Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi are still talked about almost 40 years after they were first introduced to the world. Some have tried to relive the glory days of Italian splatter films over the years and many have downright failed. One of these attempts was Bruno Mattei’s Mondo Cannibale from 2003.
A TV network is in danger of going out of business. This causes lead anchor woman, Grace Forsyte, to take matters into her own hands. With the help of another famous journalist, Bob Manson, Grace takes to the jungle to capture real footage of its ancient tribes of savage cannibals.
I don’t know how I made it through this entire film, folks. There was a lot going on here and almost none of it was good. I’m not sure why this film has been released this way, but I sat through some of the worst dubbing I’ve ever seen/heard in my life. I would have much rather heard the Italian audio track, which I’m assuming is what I was watching being mouthed by the film’s cast. The English soundtrack was void of any emotion and half of the time what was being said didn’t even make sense. Many things must have been lost in translation because I really didn’t even know what was going on half of the time. Even worse was the fact that early on in the film, we were informed that we were now heading to footage that was shot earlier in time. Instead of saying ‘3 months earlier,’ however, it said ‘3 mouths earlier.’ Really? Was the editor of this film asleep when completing his duties on this film!?
Senselessly killing real animals, severing penises, and painting the faces of jungle tribes does not a good cannibal film make. I see what Bruno Mattei, going by Vincent Dawn, was trying to do, but he really missed the mark on this one. The acting was poor, the editing was even worse, and the story itself was not very cohesive. I didn’t know whether Forsyte and Manson were into the brutality or not most of the time because they seemed to be flip-flopping back and forth. In one scene, they’d both be smirking at a woman having her unborn baby ripped from the womb, and a few scenes later, they’d seem disgusted by what they were seeing.
If you enjoy the cannibal films of yesteryear, stick to those. Films like Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust, Eaten Alive, and Jungle Holocaust may not be masterpieces, but they are way better watches than Mattei’s Mondo Cannibal.
I give this film 1 filthy flare gun out of 5.
Mondo Cannibal is available now on DVD from Intervision and Severin Films.