Ultimo mondo cannibale
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Ultimo mondo cannibale (1977; Last Cannibal World, also known as Jungle Holocaust) is an exploitation film directed by Ruggero Deodato, which stars Massimo Foschi, Me Me Lai, and Ivan Rassimov, based on a screenplay written by Renzo Genta, Tito Carpi, and Gianfranco Clerici. This film is the precursor to Deodato's controversial 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust.
Unlike the aforementioned film, Ultimo mondo cannibale is a straightforward survivalist adventure rather than a horror film (although it was clearly influenced by the Mondo Cane films, and utlizes experimental film techniques like "Cannibal Holocaust"), and does not use the faux-documentary film-within-a-film structure. The film is about Robert Harper (Foschi), an affluent American enteprenuer and oil-prospector who crash-lands in the rain forest on the Philippine island of Mindanao with his party. He soon becomes separated from the others, stranded in the jungle, and is eventually captured and maliciously abused by a society of cave-dwellers referred to as the "Tajedoes", a tribe "still living in the stone age;" "the last cannibals left in the world, except for some on the Amazon Basin and in New Guinea." It was shot in Techniscope entirely on location in Malaysia and was previously distributed under a morass of different heavily-censored edits and titles, including The Last Survivor, Cannibal and Carnivorous. It was recently released uncut on DVD by Shriek Show.
Robert Harper (Massimo Foschi) is an oil-prospector who is travelling to an outpost on the Philippines island of Mindanao. They land safely, but in the process, damage one of the wheels. While the pilot makes repairs, Robert and his geologist/survivalist companion Rolf (Ivan Rassimov) descend upon the nearby campsite and find it to be completely deserted, aside from some stone-age weaponry which raises some questions as to the eventual fate of Robert's companions. After finding one of their bodies, they conclude that the other prospectors were killed by the natives, then hurriedly return to the plane but need to wait until morning to take off. Unfortunately, one of their ranks (Judy Rosly) leaves the plane and subsequently disappears. The next morning, the three of them search for her, and after the Pilot meets a rather gruesome fate involving a mace the size of a wrecking ball, they stumble upon a tribe of stone-age cannibals devouring the young woman. The two of them become separated while trying to make their way back to the airplane, and lost in the rainforest with no survival skills, the weary and annoyed Robert is eventually accosted and captured by the cannibals.
The next half-hour of the film, which contains no dialogue and abundant amounts of nudity, is devoted to the various degrading and humiliating acts Robert is subjected to by the natives, including having his penis and testicles vigorously fondled (in close-up), imprisoned, starved, urinated on, repeatedly bungeed off a cliff (the natives think he's some manner of bird since they saw him arrive in an airplane, and subsequently test this theory - "...the bird, the plane... oh, my God, they think I can fly."), pelted with rocks, fed nothing but inedible bowels and sinew, and abused by a toucan with a short temper. The severe terror, boredom, and degradation of Robert's mental state is chronicled during this section of the film, although one member of the tribe, Pulan (Me Me Lai) seems fascinated by him, misinterprets his desire for food, and subsequently engages in mutual masturbation. However, after several days pass, culminating in a lengthy sequence involving the evisceration of an eagle from a crocodile's stomach, Robert finally snaps and his fate occurs to him. He manages to escape from the cave with Pulan. After repeated attempts to break free of Robert's grasp, he violently rapes her, and apparently asserts his dominance over her as she is now subservient to him.
After even more days of wandering aimlessly through the jungle, Robert eventually finds his companion Rolf hiding in a cave, who has developed a nasty case of gangrene, and his condition is steadily worsening. Soon enough, Robert and his companions find the landing strip, but not before the cannibals manage to find them and eat Pulan in a highly-detailed sequence which shows how the cannibals prepare the human body for consumption. Robert eventually kills one of the tribesmen in a heated battle and manages to make it to the aircraft with the quickly-decaying Rolf, and finally takes off.
In an epilogue, it is explained that this film was based on a true story, and that it eventually led to the discovery of the primitive tribe on this island.
|Massimo Foschi||Robert Harper|
|Me Me Lai||Pulan|
|Shiek Razak Shikur||Charlie|
- Massimo Foschi did all his own stunts in the film.
- Originally slated to be directed by Umberto Lenzi as a follow-up to his film Man from Deep River.