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Eli Roth's guide to the tastiest cannibal movies

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Eduardo Moreno

In Hostel director Eli Roth’s new horror film The Green Inferno (out Sept. 25), a group of activists — including characters played by Lorenza Izzo and Ariel Levy — travel to the Amazon jungle to protest deforestation. After their plane crashes, however, the survivors wind up on the dinner menu of a local tribe. 

The film is a modern-day reimagining of the cannibal film, a rather notorious horror subgenre which had its heyday back in the ’70s. So, besides The Green Inferno, what other cannibal movies would Roth suggest people check out?

“The one they call ‘The Mother of all Cannibal Films’ is Cannibal Holocaust by Ruggero Deodato,” says the filmmaker, whose second movie of the season, the Keanu Reeves-starring Knock Knock, is released Oct. 9. “Now, I should say, these films have an insane amount of animal killing in them. A lot of people can’t get past that. But Grindhouse Releasing put out a DVD [of Cannibal Holocaust] which has a ‘cruelty-free’ version so, you can play it without the animal killlings. Grindhouse Releasing also just put out a Blu-Ray of the other one you should see, which is (director Umberto Lenzi’s) Cannibal Ferox, which was released in the U.S. as Make Them Die Slowly. That is another fantastic one. If you like them even sleazier, with a bit more sex, I would recommend Joe D’Amato’s Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals and also there’s a terrific film from Sergio Martino with Ursula Andress and Claudio Cassinelli called The Mountain of the Cannibal God, which is much more of a jungle adventure film. Then, if you want to go deeper, you can see the first one, which is Lenzi’s Man from the Deep River, which is a remake of A Man Called Horse, from 1972, then Deodato’s Last Cannibal World, from 1976, or Lenzi’s Eaten Alive, from 1980. If you really want to be a completest you should see Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story, from 1985. Also, there’s a film that I didn’t even know was a cannibal movie, directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini, and it’s called Massacre in Dinosaur Valley. You think, Why is that a cannibal movie? Is it not about dinosaurs? No! It’s a fantastic cannibal movie. They just happened to call it Massacre in Dinosaur Valley.” 

You can see the — somewhat disturbing — trailer for The Green Inferno, above.

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