Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

aka APOCALYPSE DOMANI, aka VIRUS, aka INVASION OF THE FLESHHUNTERS, aka CANNIBALS IN THE STREETS


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M Dawson)
Written by: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)/Dardano Sacchetti (as Jimmy Gould)

Most cannibal movies take place in the jungle.  I guess that’s because that’s where most Italians think that cannibalism takes place. But every once in a while it breaks free of its jungle residence and takes a little jaunt. That’s what happens in Cannibal Apocalypse.

What’s funny is that it still starts off in the jungle (this time in Vietnam) and it treats cannibalism like zombies. It’s passed from person to person with a bite. (That’s actually how I started to like sushi.)

Norman Hopper (John Saxon!) is a Vietnam vet who gets a call from one of his soldiers. He’s gone a little funny….in the head. The guy starts shooting eventually and, well…all hell breaks loose and everybody starts eating everybody else. And not in a nice way.

Not a terrible movie (I seem to be saying that a lot about these Nasties lately), but not particularly good, either. It’s a movie only a gorehound could like, actually.  And it has the added bonus of the whole zombie connection, so there’s that. I was a little disturbed by the number of gun fights, though. Gun fights? In a cannibal movie? The fuck?! But there’s eye trauma, so it all works out in the end.

A couple of questions, though: 1) Why do the cops allow a random douchebag to walk into a hostage situation? That doesn’t make any sense at all. These guys are terrible cops. 2) Do couples really get naked to have sex at theatres? Even in grindhouses? I doubt it very much. 3) Why does every scene (even the battle scene in Vietnam) have a waka-jawaka? The music is atrocious.

All that not withstanding, it’s actually a pretty terrible movie. But I did enjoy it in a really weird way if only because it was different from every other freakin’ cannibal movie out there. Good for writer/director Antonio Margheriti and his co-writer Dardano Sacchetti.

LOW POINT: When Norman’s cannibal buddy gets it. He gets a fuckin’ hole blown right through him! And he just kind of stands there with a giant, gaping hole in him. He looks down a bit and the camera pans down to reveal the bloody great hole and a little bit of his guts falling out. It’s a little bit of cinematic history…that was co-opted by a silly movie called Fortress in the 90s.