Cannibal Apocalypse

A schizo genre-swapping early ‘80s thrillride, featuring piles of well-done spurting gore, suburban sexual angst, biker gang viciousness, insane asylum realness, and elderly women running through the jungle while set on fire! Based on its name alone, it would of course be easy (and erroneous) to lump Cannibal Apocalypse into the exact same category as other frolicsome Italian sleazefests like Cannibal Holocaust, but Antonio Margheriti’s crackerjack horrorthon has way more in common with gritty, urban fare like Taxi Driver or Vigilante, with a layer of Rabid‘s virus panic horror on top. After an astoundingly entertaining opening involving John Saxon and his Green Beret death squad ambushing said old ladies in Vietnam with their flamethrowers, we flash forward to years later, when Saxon and some POWs he rescued back in the jungle all reunite, after discovering a mutual taste for ripping hunks of meat out of peoples’ faces with their teeth. Somewhere in the mix, there’s a vague explanation about a cannibal virus picked up by the POWs in Vietnam — but does it really matter?
Dir. Antonio Margheriti, 1980, 35mm, 91 min.

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