The Mountain of the Cannibal God Blu-ray Review
Feasting on Ursula Andress
Mountain of the Cannibal God Film Review
Italian director Sergio Martino's 1978 cannibal horror The Mountain of the Cannibal God celebrates its 40th anniversary dripping in 2K restored animal blood.The 70s and 80s were ripe for cannibal horror films (a kind-of realistic take on zombie flicks of the era). Survival horror pieces, they traded in unsuspecting victims being ripped apart and eaten - and worse - for the viewing pleasure of their intended audiences, but they also delivered more than their fair share of animal cruelty, with living creatures often torn to bloody shreds just for kicks.
These incidental shots - often having very little to do with the movie itself and merely designed to further earn the film its celebrated video nasty badge (The Mountain of the Cannibal God was banned for almost a quarter of a Century in the UK) - are seldom what even fans of the sub-sub-genre want to see from their cannibal horrors.
One of the better conceived efforts of the era.
One of the more coherent productions of the era, The Mountain of the Cannibal God followed Ursula Andress's rich wife who, along with her brother, enlist the help of Professor and local tribal expert Stacy Keach to find her missing husband, last heard from exploring the jungles of New Guinea.
Shots with some visible style, and relishing the benefits of a gorgeous jungle backdrop, The Mountain of the Cannibal God builds some degree of tension as it has its core characters journey deeper and deeper into the heart of the treacherous environment, throwing decapitations, severed limbs and impaling into the mix just to keep you engaged before the final act affords the true interactions with the cannibal tribe and all bets are off.
It's a very niche piece, an acquired taste which requires those who may enjoy a bit of survival horror to endure some more extreme forms of gore and physical mutilation, but given the more schlock output from the era, it's undoubtedly one of the better conceived efforts.
Mountain of the Cannibal God Blu-ray PictureThe Mountain of the Cannibal God celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a UK Blu-ray release courtesy of Shameless Entertainment, who deliver this banned, frequently cut 70s video nasty with an impressive 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1.
Given a brand new 2K restoration from the original negative, the film undoubtedly looks better than ever before and, even if it's still been cut for animal cruelty, the end result is likely the best fans could have hoped for from this niche cannibal horror.
Looking better than ever before.
Detail is frequently very good indeed, taken within the context of a filming style that trades in softer focus shots and dreamy style. Close-ups reveal light beard growth, the wisps of Andress's hair, the clothing textures and the stunning jungle backdrop in all of its impressive detail, as well as not holding back on the gory visuals which - at least when it comes to the animals which are ripped apart, are frequently too unpleasantly real to watch.
The colour scheme is slightly stylised, favouring mud browns but still enjoying the sumptuous green jungle backdrop, and affording rich blacks which only occasionally smother a little of the detail. It's an impressive restoration, cleaned up and rendered with excellent clarity and authenticity to the textured, softer style of the piece, and looking better than ever before.
Mountain of the Cannibal God Blu-ray SoundThe Mountain of the Cannibal God's Blu-ray release affords it a Linear PCM Uncompressed Mono 2.0 track, which is a strong enough aural accompaniment notwithstanding the inherent limitations of the original low budget shoot.
Dialogue is reproduced with reasonable clarity, taking priority in the piece (although optional subtitles would have been nice), whilst effects are very much of the era and in-line with the Italian low budget shoot, but nonetheless get strong enough dissemination.
A faithful rendition of the audio.
There's plenty of the jungle life to give the track something to do, whether on the river or in the heart of the jungle itself, whilst fleshing-eating chomps and screams of agony take centre-stage later on. It's the score, however, that dominates, almost frustratingly so, thundering into action and overwhelming the rest of the tracks elements.
It's a faithful rendition of the audio and the best this is likely to ever sound given the production's inherent limitations.
Mountain of the Cannibal God Blu-ray ExtrasShameless Entertainment's Blu-ray release of The Mountain of the Cannibal God isn't exactly packed with extra features but there are a few solid offerings, with an Introduction by the film's director, Sergio Martino, who talks about the flourishing Italian cinema at the time, as well a further Interview on Filming Animal Cruelty, where he discusses the more controversial scenes in the film.
A few solid offerings.
There's also a Making-of Featurette, Cannibal Nightmare, complete with interview snippets and clips from the shoot, and there are some alternate Italian Credits and a Theatrical Trailer which round off the disc.
Mountain of the Cannibal God Blu-ray VerdictAlong with Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox, Italian director Sergio Martino's The Mountain of the Cannibal God is another cannibal horror video nasty which, once banned, has now found a way to UK shores.
Another cannibal horror video nasty once banned in the UK.
Shameless Entertainment afford it a strong 2K restoration on their Blu-ray release, as well as uncompressed audio and a few nice extras. The film remains slightly cut (the pre-warning says that, with the help of the filmmakers, they elected to 'soften' the animal cruelty despite reinstating plenty of the other previously cut footage) but, given what's missing is likely more live animals getting ripped apart, hopefully few will be offended by them having left such shots to a minimum. Fans should rejoice in this release.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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