Cannibal Apocalypse / Apocalypse domani (1980)

3.0 out of 5

If there was an award for misleading English language title then Cannibal Apocalypse should be a nominee for such a dubious honour. True enough there is a cannibal theme but by placing the words cannibal and apocalypse in such proximity there is the suggestion that the film may be in the mould of such doom laden fare as the similarly titled Cannibal Holocaust. Such perceptions were probably not helped by the few seconds of cuts imposed in Britain for animal cruelty where a rat has it's fur burned in what was a probably accident during a subterranean flamethrower scene.

On the other hand the Italian title may give a better clue as to what to expect as Apocalypse domani clearly references Apocalypse Now with domani translating from the Italian as tomorrow. So this film could have been titled Apocalypse Tomorrow as a post Vietnam war movie as jungle obsessed director Antonio Margheriti has here in essence made a cannibal themed urban action film with a strong alienated veteran theme. In some respects this is more in the spirit of the 1982 Stallone vehicle First Blood than either Blastfigher or the Thunder series for while both featured the take to the hills scenario neither dwelt on the alienated veteran shunned and misunderstood by society.

Fans of Italian war films may like to note a poster for Lenzi's From Hell To Victory briefly being shown outside a cinema where it is playing and lovers of Eurohorror will no doubt be expecting Giovanni Lombardo Radice to make it all the way to the end without getting a massive hole blown through him but alas, yet again, dear Johnny buys the farm. Also starring Elizabeth Turner, the long suffering Silvia from Ruggero Deodato's Waves of Lust, and eurocrime and Enter The Dragon star John Saxon, Cannibal Apocalypse is a far more interesting film that the title suggests.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics