Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mangiati vivi! (1980)

...aka: Cannibal holocausto 2
...aka: Doomed to Die
...aka: Eaten Alive!
...aka: Eaten Alive by Cannibals
...aka: Emerald Jungle, The

Directed by:
Umberto Lenzi

An asian blowgun assassin takes out victims in Niagara Falls and New York City before getting run over by a car. Sheila Morris (blonde Swedish babe Janet Agren, given a hilarious "Southern belle" dub to show she's from Alabama) finds a connection between these killings and the disappearance of her sister Diana (Paola Senatore) and sets out to investigate. This brings her to New Guinea where she promises a sleazy guide (Robert Kerman aka American porn star R. Bolla) 80,000 dollars to help locate her sister. After barely making it through a jungle full of bloodthirsty cannibals, they finally locate Diana, who's under the control of Jim Jones-type cult leader Jonas Melvyn (Ivan Rassimov). Jonas does the typical mad guru-style things, like passing out LSD, initiating group suicide, threatening to kill anyone who disobeys him and raping Agren with a giant dong dipped in cobra blood. Every once in awhile a character will look to the right or look to the left and see a gory scene lifted directly from either Deotato's JUNGLE HOLOCAUST (1976) or Lenzi's MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1972). Guess it was a nice way to save time and money. I'm pretty sure they also use footage from at least one other source. Here we get the expected animal slaughter scenes (gutting a gator; natives eating live snakes), plus some additional nudity and a castration. Me Me Lai shows up in her third and final cannibal movie to give her breast implants another workout playing a widow who is gang banged by three of her brother in laws on top of the ashes of her freshly cremated husband. Mel Ferrer also briefly appears as a professor, but is given nothing of interest to do.

So anyway, with MANGIATI VIVI! you pretty much get a promise fulfilled with all the nudity, gore, dead animals and bad taste you expect with one of these titles, so if you're a sleaze hound, by all means watch it. Personally, I got bored with it about midway through and just wanted it to end. The original (heavily cut) U.S. release in 1985 was titled THE EMERALD JUNGLE in order to trick people into thinking they were actually renting John Boorman's EMERALD FOREST, which I find absolutely hilarious for some reason!


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