Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)

Genres - Action, Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Jungle Film, Slasher Film  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Director Sergio Martino's contribution to the Italian cannibal horror-adventure cycle of the early to mid-'70s is a rung or two below the vomitus excesses of the subgenre's most unpleasant entries, Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. It's still a graphic and unpleasant film, with all the noxious trademarks intact: gratuitous violence, real-life atrocities committed against live animals, and an uncomfortably imperialist attitude towards underprivileged peoples. But Martino tempers the blow with professional direction and lush cinematography, and the presence of Stacy Keach (an infrequent star of Italian exploitation in the '70s) and Ursula Andress (whose undraped frame, still impressive in her forties, is on display in several scenes) helps add touches of much-needed class and skill to the proceedings. But professionalism and class aren't what fans of these films are looking for, and exploitation fans may be somewhat disappointed by the film's sluggish pace and lack of suspense or dread, something that despite their hideousness, both Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox had in spades. By contrast, Mountain of the Cannibal God comes across as a sort of grisly Boys' Own adventure -- nasty, but also somewhat quaint with its old-fashioned cursed mountains and white goddesses. Anchor Bay's widescreen DVD presentation is uncut and retains about four minutes of graphic sexuality (including a genuinely shocking moment of faux bestiality) missing from most American prints. It also includes a 12-minute featurette on the making of the film, as well as the original Italian trailer and bios on Martino, Keach, and Andress.