Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978)

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Movie Review
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Mountain of the Cannibal God  (1978)
{La montagna del dio cannibale}

Directed By: Sergio Martino

Starring: Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach, Claudio Cassinelli, Antonio Marsina

Subgenre: Cannibals, Exploitation, Survival

Just one of the many alternate titles

My experience with the Italian cannibal genre is rather short, with Cannibal Holocaust being the only one I had seen prior to Mountain of the Cannibal God. I was indifferent to Holocaust. It failed to impress or shock me. I thought that the scenes of animal violence were pointless at best. I understand that it goes with the genre, but fail to see why it belongs.

Mountain of the Cannibal God is a story about a wife (Bond girl Ursula Andress) trying to find her missing anthropologist husband. She enlists the help of her brother and another professor to head to New Guinea and find him. Their exploration takes them to an island just off the coast that is dominated by a mountain known as Ra Ra Me, or Mountain of the Cannibal God.

The story plays more like an Indiana Jones movie with the animal scenes thrown in than a horror movie, at least until the climax. The expedition struggles against the elements as they trek through the jungle. Along the way, we learn that everyone has ulterior motives for being there.

Upon arriving at the mountain, the film switches to a full blown cannibal flick. They find the Harry (the husband) in the form of a decaying corpse with a Geiger counter as a heart. The natives worship the corpse as a god. Most of the expedition ends up on the dinner menu while Susan (the wife) gets tied up, stripped down, and covered in mud. I have to imagine that this scene is part of the reason that this movie is as popular as it is. Just about every piece of promo material I have seen for the movie has a shot of Ursula either ties to a post or running around scantily clad. Not that I am complaining, mind you.

Out of the blue, a crazy cannibal orgy breaks out and it is fairly explicit. I had to laugh my ass off at the scene with the native banging the giant hog. It was a real WTF moment. Oddly enough, my wife was walking by during that scene. I had to explain to her that not all Italian horror flicks had bestiality in it, as far as I know anyways!

Overall, I thought Mountain of the Cannibal God was a fun little flick. I enjoyed it more so than Cannibal Holocaust. I think I will make a point to check out Cannibal Ferox or Cannibal Apocalypse eventually as well. Any other decent cannibal flicks out there?

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