Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)

Ursula Andress FestivalAKA: Mountain Of The Cannibal, Primitive Desires, Prisoner Of The Cannibal God, The Mountain Of The Cannibal God
Director: Sergio Martino
Starring: Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach, Claudio Cassinelli, Antonio Marsina, Franco Fantasia
Music: Guido & Maurizio De Angelis

Those in the know will realise that Slave Of The Cannibal God is the cut version of this film. Apparently this version is missing some bestiality towards the end of the movie. Frankly I am not too concerned about the missing footage. The footage presented in this truncated version was enough for my weak stomach.

As the film opens a message flashes up on the screen informing us that:

‘New Guinea is perhaps the last region on Earth which still contain immense unexplored areas, shrouded in mystery, where life has remained at it’s primordial level.’

Then a jet lands at Port Moresby and Susan Stevenson (Ursula Andress) disembarks. Waiting for her is a gaggle of reporters all keen to know her intentions. You see, poor old Susan’s husband, scientist, Henry Stevenson has gone missing in the jungles of New Guinea. Ignoring the reporters, with her brother, Arthur Weisser (Antonio Marsina), Susan heads to the British Consulate and demands action. She wants her husband found. As he has been missing for three months, there isn’t much that can be achieved through official channels. So Susan decides to take matters into her own hands and organise her own expedition into the jungle to find her husband.

The man she chooses to lead the expedition is Edward Foster (Stacy Keach). It is Foster’s belief that Henry Stevenson went to the Island of Roka, and to the sacred mountain Ra-Ra-Me. Ra-Ra-Me translates as ‘Mountain of the Cannibal God’. With a name like that, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the mountain is home to the fearsome Puka tribe, who happen to be cannibals.

The film starts off all very King Solomon’s Mines with the brave adventurer leading the expedition into the wild, to find a loved one, but pretty quickly turns into a fairly intense jungle movie. There are quite a few very graphic animal killings by man and by beast. This film is not for the squeamish or those easily shocked.

Slave Of The Cannibal God is a film that over the years has garnered a reputation, but this reputation is not for the violence, animal cruelty of even it’s cannibal theme. The reputation is derived from one scene with Ursula Andress, where she is tied to a stake, stripped naked, and her body smeared with what looks like blood (but it could be radioactive mud). So once again we find ourselves in familiar territory – that of Ursula Andress cavorting around naked. And while watching Ursula cavort, can be a pleasant pass time, you’ve got to decide that if watching a violent cannibal movie is the vehicle in which to engage this pass time?

Slave Of The Cannibal God may not be as shocking as some of the other cannibal movies out there, but it is still fairly intense. Some of the feeling of imminent danger and claustrophobia that this film evokes can be contributed to the on location cinematography, which looks beautiful on one hand, and impenetrable on the other. Another element that creates a feeling of dread within the movie, is the soundtrack by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis. Utilising primitive drums, chimes and a strange sound that somewhat sounds like a warning siren, the music keeps you constantly on edge.

At the end of the day Slave Of The Cannibal God is not my cup of cocoa, but if you like cannibal films or even brutal jungle adventure, this film may satisfy.

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