Review: The Real Cannibal Holocaust (DVD)

One 7 Movies releases a film claiming to be the true cannibal nasty. Something tells me I'm in for a mondo deception.

  • Director: Akira Ide
  • Starring: Random indigenous people of New Guniea
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 99 Minutes
  • Company: One 7 Movies
  • Format: DVD
  • Discs: 1
  • Video: 1.33:1 - Fullscreen
  • Audio: Italian 2.0 Mono - English Subtitles
  • Region: 0
  • Released: 3/8/2011
  • -Purchase-


A documentary crew films the local indigenous people of New Guinea just as they are given freedom from Great Britain. From there it begins to focus on the life, rituals and bizarre customs of the tribal inhabitants. Queen Elizabeth, pig killing, tattoos, piercings, necro-bathing and other strange oddities ensure.
If you haven't already guessed, this has absolutely nothing to do with Deodato's infamous Cannibal Holocaust. Retitled purely to cash in on it's success, it's true title (thanks to Chip at Sins of Cinema) is New Guinea, Island of the Cannibals (Nuova Guinea, l'isola dei Cannibali). It's a mix of mondo nastiness and National Geographic fare, which kept my interest throughout.
You might be wondering, what the hell is Queen Elizabeth doing in this? She shows up to greet the New Guineans since they were granted freedom from Britain. It'd be cool to say she joins some cannibal feast but sadly, no. There aren't even cannibals (on screen at least) in the film. It's hinted at many times and just when we think we might see some flesh gnawing action...we don't. A letdown but there are enough bizarre happenings that make you forget cannibals were even supposed to make an appearance. The closest we get to cannibalism is some tribe lady eating maggots off a long dead corpse. Yummy.
This is where the true mondo aspects come into play. One of them is a ritual where the deceased are left to swell up and decompose. As their fluids leak out, loved ones cover themselves in the goo to remember the departed. It's truly disgusting and I couldn't imagine the stench of the rotting corpse. Plus seeing a dead guys swollen up dick is stomach churning...only in New Guniea folks.
Animal violence is accustom to these flicks and this has it's share of it too. A scene in particular shows the people grabbing pigs and smacking them in the skull with a log. It's quite graphic and is down about 6 times. It's harsh and made me look away more than once. Hack any bimbo up with a chainsaw and I'm fine, but seeing animals killed in such a manor makes me instantly queasy.
Tattoos and piercings are popular amongst the tribes and even inner city life. It's mostly done for beauty and it looked at as a hot accessory. Am I on the only one turned on by painful DIY tattoos and piercings? Kidding aside, it's actually pretty interesting to see their process of it.
I'm not crazy about mondo films at all but this was surprisingly entertaining. It's filled with enough odd and gross scenes to keep you from hitting the stop button. While not the best this genre has to offer, it's decent enough for a late night viewing.

  • Video
The 1.33:1 fullscreen picture looks just about as good as the source material allows. It's beat up, scratched and worn out but considering the subject matter it suits it. It's definitely rough with instances of print damage throughout. Overall for being an obscure mondo flick it could look a lot worse. Keep your expectations in check and you'll survive the grainy jungle.
  • Audio
Italian 2.0 Mono is included with English Subtitles. It's has it's pops and hisses but never becomes too distracting. Does a serviceable job and is on par with the video quality.

Bonus Features
Nada, zip, zilch. The cannibals ate all of the special features. I know you are dying for a behind the scenes documentary and an audio commentary...maybe for the Blu-ray.