Jungle Holocaust / Ultimo mondo cannibale (1977)

3.0 out of 5

While, admittedly, a 3rd round F.A. Cup round replay against Cannibal Holocaust's Champion's League final, Deodato's Last Cannibal World is still superior exploitation fayre. The reprehensible but obligatory scenes of animal slaughter are present and correct, as are the pudding basin-style haircuts of the natives.

Lacking Holocaust's intelligence and bite, pardon the pun, this is a rather more straight-forwards jungle action picture. Star Massimo Foschi is, basically, an Amazonian Man Called Horse but the sweaty intensity and the, at times, almost baroque imagery and lush soundtrack counteract the more distasteful aspects. The subterranean cavern scene of hooting savages is reminiscent of a third-world version of Reifensthal's Triumph of the Will, with added man-on-a-rope torture.

A massive plus point is the practically naked throughout presence of Me Me Lai, gameshow hostess-to-be and cannibal film veteran. A Burmese Laura Gemser, her presence alone compensates for the graphic scenes of infanticide and full-frontal male nudity. Any subtext of civilised man versus so-called savage is smoothed away under a sea of brown nipples, swinging penises and badly matched stock footage of alligators.

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