Written by: George Pacheco on November 12th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, March 16th, 2004 (Video)
Director: Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn)
Writer: Bruno Mattei, Giovanni Paulucci
Cast: Cindy Matic, Claudio Morales, Helena Wagner
DVD Release Date: November 11th, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Intervision / Severin Films
Region Encoding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Mondo Cannibal is yet another shameless remake of Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust from fellow Italian director Bruno Mattei, here directing under his common “Vincent Dawn” pseudonym.
The film follows a television crew who are in search of publicity and ratings heaven as they document and stage atrocities during a trip to the deepest, darkest Amazon basis (a.k.a. The Philippines), raping, killing and filming it all for the violence-hungry masses back home. The excursion is led by investigative reporter Grace Forsythe-played by the sexy Helena Wagner, who only did this film for Mattei before dropping off the face of the earth-and her cameraman/cohort Bob Manson, played by Claudio Morales but dubbed by the legendary Ted Rusoff, who gives this film a slight air of respectability solely based upon that legendary voice.
These two film the carnage and send it all back home to the grinning, cigar smoking executives, who are only too happy to rake in the financial gain without taking on any of the danger. It isn’t until Grace and Bob’s crew burn down a village (a la Cannibal Holocaust) and rape a native girl (ditto, Deodato) that the brass back home begin to get cold feet, and begin distancing themselves from the crew, who are now in way too deep to ever hope for a safe passage out of the Amazon.
Mondo Cannibal is again shot on video in that digitized, hyper-reality manner most of Mattei’s final films were captured, yet the whole affair is imminently watchable and enjoyable from beginning to end, thanks primarily to the po-faced seriousness with which Mattei’s cast and crew approach this obvious plagiarism. Bruno and Paolucci truly do not give a fuck as they rape and pillage Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust script for all its worth, right down to dialog and scene set ups.
Still, this film-released as Cannibal Holocaust: The Beginning in many countries-is a jolly fun watch, particularly with friends and a fine amount of alcohol on hand.
Mondo Cannibal has been available on the bootleg circuit before, but this Intervision marks the first time Mattei’s film has seen proper home video release. Quality-wise, there isn’t much of an improvement to the SOV full frame image present upon said bootlegs, but it’s nice to have the film pressed on a proper disc, even if the only extra to be had is the original trailer. Production footage or extras would have sweetened the deal a bit more here, but even so, Mondo Cannibal is a nice addition to the Intervision library.