Let’s Get Nasty: The Burning(1981) and, Cannibal Apocalypse(1980)

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The Burning is and shall remain a part of my regular rotation of films, because it is a virtually perfect slasher film…even though it is a total rip off of Friday the 13th…which itself was a total rip off of Italian Giallo films. For anyone who is getting tired of me making references to Giallo films, seriously…GO WATCH GIALLO FILMS, and see where North American Slasher films found their mojo. I already reviewed the film for my #31DaysOfHorror project: (https://doctorhavok.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/31daysofhorror-october-2nd/), so I thought this time i would delve into the censorship history.  Most films on the Nasty list as reasonably self explanatory in why they were targeted. Usually these films have Cannibals, Zombies, Rape, and other assorted perversions…and they generally seem to be European-made. How then did an American-made slasher make the grade? It seems the whole thing was due to a mix up. The uncut version has two scenes which the BBFC asked to be trimmed,  specifically,  Cropsy’s frantic mass-murder spree in the raft massacre sequence and the sight of a pair of scissors piercing a woman’s flesh in the post-title sequence. The Brittish Video Label Thorn-EMI was happy to release a trimmed version in order to receive certification, but released the uncut version by mistake, leading to this being one of the films that was successfully prosecuted.

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2001 saw an uncut version released in the UK, and Scream Factory has released a special edition Blu-Ray/DVD (http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/216909). As expected, nobody Stateside seemed to have much of a problem with the film and it has been available uncut since it’s initial release. If you enjoyed this film and want a thought provoking companion piece, check out the 2009 Documentary “Cropsey” (https://doctorhavok.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/cropseys-gonna-getcha/)

 

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Cannibal Apocalypse is better known as Apocalypse Domani, and most accurately as Invasion of the Flesh Hunters. If anything can be said of the events in this film, they certainly aren’t Apocalyptic. Sounds like someone was trying to cash in on Cannibal Holocaust.

The film opens with a Flashback to the Vietnam war, where a soldier named Hopper(John Saxon) is bitten by a POW named Bukhowski, who happens to be infected by a virus which makes those infected crave human flesh.

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Years later in Atlanta, Hopper is haunted by nightmares of the war. He is contacted by Bukhowski out of the blue. Hopper blows off his old buddys request to go for a drink so he can almost bang the slutty neighbor girl. Meanwhile, Bukhowski pulls the crazy Vietnam Vet routine, goes nuts, fucks shit up, and the craziness spreads.  In a lot of ways, it kind of reminds me of the plot of First Blood… Moral of the Story: Leave Vietnam Vets the fuck alone!

The biggest crime in the film is that the slutty little neighbor bitch didn’t get exploited more. all she gets is a little nibble on the leg? C’mon! At least fuck her to death then eat her corpse! What a waste. Well, not a total waste. The film definitely has it’s charm and is well worth a look.

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Visually, the film looks great. The technical side of things is top notch, and the gore is awesome, even by today’s standards. Saxon was cast due to his initial interest in the unusual story twist. Unaware it was an Italian exploitation movie on cannibalism, he soon lost interest when made aware but had already signed and committed to the picture. He has claimed never to have watched the movie and was fine with its banning in the UK, claiming it was foul and in bad taste. It is also claimed that Saxon’s subdued performance in the picture was due to his recent divorce and financial strain thereof. I think it was disappointment at not getting to fuck the neighbor slut.

 

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