Sunday, 18 July 2010



Three points need to made right from the start. Firstly, despite the title, this has absolutely nothing to do with Ruggero Deodato's infamous film - in narrative terms, it might as well be called Hannah And Her Sisters 2 or Carry On Screaming 2. Secondly, whatever it might actually say in the title, there isn't any cannibalism in the movie: there are good tribes and bad tribes, but much of the worst behaviour is down to the evil white folks exploiting the resources of the Amazon, both animal and human, for their own financial benefit. Thirdly, the expected level of violence and cruelty is not attained, to the extent that the BBFC have only given it a 15 certificate (the 18 on the DVD cover applies to the entire contents of the DVD which include 18-rated material in the trailers section).

Cannibal Holocaust 2 features a bunch of utter fools who merrily venture into the Amazon jungle to find a missing professor. Before they can get anywhere near him, they first have to do a whole load of other stuff: humanely capture some monkeys, rescue some villagers from some evil kidnappers, and escape from a tribe previously untouched by civilisation but fully conversant in English. Only in the last reel do they actually bother to locate the missing boffin - all of the rest of the movie has been unconnected setup and timewasting, and you ultimately forget why they've gone traipsing off into the jungle in the first place.

That's frankly a major structural flaw and they don't even manage to get around it with basic savagery and violence: it's very mild and very dull. There's little or no animal cruelty so prevalent in the genre (the BBFC only had to take out 12 seconds of monkey blowdart footage) and there's no nudity beyond the anthropological (and thus non-erotic and non-exploitative). Worst of all: a happy ending! Everyone's rescued and becomes rich! Hurrah! Where's the sickening, hideous horror of the ending of the first one (hey, it's unconnected and made by other hands but if they're going to make the connection they can't complain about the comparison)? This is light entertainment: aimless, fluffly and non-confrontational, with a happy pop score completely at odds with the way Riz Ortolaini's beautiful melody for Can Hol 1 threw the brutalities into sharp relief. Even if you're after nice photography of the Amazon, or you really want to know how they make shrunken heads, it's an empty film, a nothing film, a waste of time and attention.


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