4 April 2009 | BA_Harrison
For years, Cannibal Terror was believed by many to be the work of horror/sleaze director Jess Franco, a reasonable assumption since the film bears what seem to be most of the prolific Spaniard's hallmarks, most notably a dreadful script, unconvincing locales, inept direction, terrible acting, and endless meandering shots of nothing much in particular (and I guess, for some, it was also hard to believe that there might be another person out there who could make films quite as bad as Franco).
The real culprit, however, was French director Alain Deruelle, who proves that he can be just as inept as Jess when it comes to delivering jungle horror.
Deruelle's dreadful film follows a trio bumbling kidnappers-two men and one woman-who escape across the border (to where, I have no idea!) with their hostage, the young daughter of a rich businessman. Arriving at a safe house that borders 'cannibal country', the threesome are able to relax for a while, until one of the gang, Mario, decides to rape the wife of their host (after spying on her having a wash in a giant wooden bucket). This kick starts a chain of events that results in the criminals and their hostage being pursued by bloodthirsty natives, with the father of the little girl in hot pursuit.
Taking a leaf out of Franco's Big Book of Cannibal Movie-Making, Deruelle opts to set his adventure in what appears to be a large botanical garden, hires himself some of the least convincing cannibals ever to grace an exploitation film (some have sideburns, many have coiffured hair, a few have beer-bellies, nearly all of them are Caucasion, but none of them look like savages), and throws in some cheapo blood and guts (using what looks like pig carcasses to stand in for human remains) in order to satisfy the gore-hounds.
The result is a mind-numbingly dull piece of Euro-sleaze that now shares top spot with Mondo Cannibale on my Crap Cannibal Movie list.