The Mountain of the Cannibal God is prolific director Sergio Martino’s answer to his home country Italy’s cannibal movie craze (but was produced before the two most infamous ones i.e. Holocaust and Ferox).
Henry Stevenson, anthropologist and explorer has gone missing in the jungles of New Guinea and his wife Susan is desperate to find him. Along with her brother she enlists the help of fellow local explorer/scientist type Edward Foster to venture into the wilderness and try and locate him.
After staying at a native camp Foster knows, it all goes pear shaped when the local cannibals attack. Susan and another chap are kidnapped and soon enough Susan is declared a ‘living god’ and is stripped naked amongst other humiliating practices.
On it’s Beta/VHS release back in the early 80’s the film was deemed a ‘video nasty’ and banned in the UK for the best part of twenty years. Featuring the obligatory animal cruelty scenes, flesh eating and violence Martino’s film is also incredibly well made and photographed. Being in a beautiful place to make your movie in (Sri Lanka) certainly helps and gives the film a polished look.
It is however an exploitation picture primarily and a half-decent one which even managed to rope in a couple of bona fide stars in Stacy Keach and Ursula Andress. The former Honey Ryder had made a fair amount of Euro nonsense and looks pretty awesome when being smeared with some form of substance by a couple of cannibal girls. The movie is pretty violent and gruesome but due to the UK laws all the animal violence has appeared to be have been jettisoned which I have no problem with. Whatever your stance is no animal should die for human entertainment. I’ve never seen the original uncut version as I find Cannibal films rather tasteless (bad joke, I know) but as a violent horror/jungle adventure it still pretty much holds it own.
Will I watch it again? Probably not but it’s certainly not rubbish and nice little footnote in Italian exploitation history. It’s also the only film I’ve ever seen where some cannibal dude bangs a pig, that’s something who don’t see every day so overall it’s not a film for animal lovers.
- Starring Stacy Keach Ursula Andress. Claudio Cassinelli
- Director Sergio Martino
- Distributor Shameless Films