Cannibal Apocalypse

1980 [ITALIAN]

Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
May 29, 2021 at 05:50 AM

Top cast

John Saxon as Norman Hopper
888.67 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 7 / 10

Shakeaspearen tragedy masquerading as cannibal rampage flick

Italian director Antonio Margheriti's goriest film is this, a so-called "video nasty" that was banned here in the UK back in the '80s at the height of the cannibal phase, when anything with the word "cannibal" in the title was removed from sight in the shops. Yet, while a unpleasant film - considering the subject matter, that's unavoidable - CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE isn't really that gory or, indeed, horrific. Margheriti shows his penchant for the action genre over the horror throughout, with plenty of cool fist fights, shoot-outs and siege situations which are invariably more exciting than the horror elements the film has to offer. Sure, there are half a dozen moments of graphic bloodshed which made this film a nasty, but don't be fooled: this is just as much an action flick as it is a horror.

Margheriti has long been one of my favourite directors and once again he creates an above-average, always interesting, genre picture. Even during some long pauses in between the action and bloodshed the film grips us with the macabre situations thanks to the strong, realistic characterisation and a plot which is a little more original and unique than most. Instead of heading off into the South American jungle like Lenzi or Deodato, Margheriti instead brings the cannibalism to the American streets of Atlanta, Georgia, which leads to some new and interesting situations, including a city-wide battle between the police force and the cannibals themselves. Here the cannibalism is seen as a biological virus (just how it works is explained only through some theoretical garbage, a throwaway line designed to bamboozle the viewer) which is spread by being scratched or bitten by an infected victim, just like zombies or vampires.

Once again Margheriti seems to be working on a relatively low budget but manages to create some impressive, stylish action sequences. There are some great set-pieces in the film including a tense scene in which genre regular Radice is held under siege at a flea market after having bitten a woman at the local cinema, butchering half a dozen security guards/police/Hell's Angels in the process. Also check out the sewer-set finale which is top-notch stuff, very exciting, and the prologue is even a mini-war film set in Vietnam, a theme which Margheriti would develop for THE LAST HUNTER. Once again the dialogue gives us some priceless and memorable lines for the cast to devour, and boy what a cast.

The three main cannibals are made up by genre veterans John Saxon, John Morghen, and former blaxploitation star Tony King. Saxon takes the lead role of Norman Hopper, who is bitten whilst rescuing his comrades in Indo-China and tries to suppress his cannibalistic urges before finally taking a bite out of the Lolita-like girl next door. Saxon always seemed to be an actor above the films he was in, a real presence, and his acting as he struggles psychologically with his bodily urges is great stuff and a delight to watch. John Morghen (aka Giovanni Lombardo Radice) is often an underrated actor, playing dirty, perhaps mentally handicapped characters like the boy in CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. Well it's another nervous, twitchy on-the-edge role for the actor as the most evil of the cannibals and a surprising moving performance by the actor. Tony King (who later would pop up in loads of Margheriti films like TIGER JOE) plays his role completely over-the-top and hammy right until his death, which I greatly appreciate. There's even a police sergeant right alone the lines of Arthur Kennedy in THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE to add to the fun and spout some more insane angry dialogue ("Oh my god son - put it down!" is a particular favourite when he sees one of his officers devouring a woman's breast).

To give the film that realistic look, the special effects are handled by Fulci's goremeister Giannetto De Rossi who once again excels with his work. As well as loads of people getting shot, bitten and the like, "highlights" include tongue and eyeball violence and the oft-remembered shotgun blast to Radice's stomach in the sewers at the end of a film, leaving a gaping hole which Margheriti is quick to zoom in on. Top quality stuff and it'll leave you wondering just how they achieved that effect. As per usual for the genre, Margheriti gives us a downbeat ending but what is surprising is the inherent tragedy present in it, it finishes almost like a Shakespearean tragedy. They have to go and spoil it with a silly twist but it still packs a punch in any case. An unfairly maligned action/horror crossbreed, effective in the two genres it manages to cross successfully and another feather in the hat for Margheriti.

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

Taking cannibalism out of the jungle and into the city

Rugged Vietnam veteran Norman Hopper (an excellent and convincing performance by the almighty John Saxon) gets reunited with his maladjusted war buddies Charlie Bukowski (ably played with fierce sweaty intensity by Giovanni Lombardo Radice) and Tom Thompson (a hysterically manic portrayal by Tony King). Exposed to cannibalism back in 'Nam, the trio embark on a bloodthirsty rampage in Atlanta, Georgia.

Director Antonio Margheriti keeps the absorbing and enjoyable story moving along at a snappy pace, does a good job of creating and sustaining a bleak tone that stays grimly true to itself to the literal bitter end, stages several action set pieces with skill and flair, and delivers a few potent moments of high impact splatter (said hardcore gore includes a tongue being bitten off, some splashy gunshot wounds, and, in the undeniable gruesome highlight, Charlie has a massive hole blown in his torso by a shotgun-toting police officer). The solid acting by the sturdy cast rates as another major asset: Elizabeth Turner lends sound support as Hopper's worried wife Jane, May Heatherly likewise impresses as infected nurse Helen, Cinzia De Carolis makes a sexy impression as tempting teenage trollop Mary, and Wallace Wilkinson grumps it up delightfully as the grouchy Captain McCoy. Moreover, Margheriti and co-writer Dardano Sacchetti deserve praise not only for putting the primitive practice of cannibalism in a novel modern urban setting, but also for their nifty nightmarish approach to depicting soldiers suffering from a highly atypical form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Alexander Blonksteiner's funky-throbbing disco score hits the get-down groovy spot. The slick cinematography by Fernando Arribas provides a pleasing polished look. A fun piece of vintage early 80's Italian horror trash.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 8 / 10

A cool cannibal classic.

The story may be complete bunkum, and the dialogue rather cheesy, but Antonio Margheriti's Cannibal Apocalype is still a great way to pass the time. With some deliciously juicy gore FX, a great turn by lead John Saxon, and a funky score by Alexander Blonksteiner, this Italian splatter pic tells of a group of Vietnam vets (Saxon, John Morghen and Tony King) who have contracted a virus which turns them into cannibals. Along with an infected nurse, they attempt to escape the police (and a biker gang) via the network of sewers under the city.

Margheriti keeps the action flowing nicely, only pausing slightly to throw in a sub-plot featuring a rather tasty teen who has the hots for Saxon. The blood runs regularly, and Giannetto De Rossi's great gore make-up is excellent. Highlights include a bloody tongue-biting and the infamous 'shotgun-blast to the belly' effect which is well worth the wait.

If you love the classic Italian zombie and cannibal movies of the 70s and 80s, then be sure to catch Cannibal Apocalypse (but make sure to see the uncut version!!!).

7.5 out of 10 (rounded up to 8 for IMDb).

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