HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Piano, The
Deadly Games
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky's II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Deep River Savages A Man Called LunchBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Ivan Rassimov, Me Me Lai, Pratitsak Singhara, Ong Ard, Sullalewan Suxantat, Prapas Chindang, Chit Choi, Luciano Martino
Genre: Horror, Trash, Adventure
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: John Bradley (Ivan Rassimov) is a British photographer working in Thailand. When he kills a local in self-defence in a bar, he heads up river into the jungle. One day his guide is killed and Bradley is captured by a native tribe, who keep him prisoner in their village and force him to adapt to their way of life.

Umberto Lenzi's Deep River Savages may for the most part be a forgettable Third World adventure yarn, but it has gained a reputation as the film that lay the template for the Italian cannibal cycle. Lenzi confines the actual cannibalism to one short scene, but all the familiar elements are here – graphic animal mutilation, a 'civilised' white man trapped and tortured by savage natives, strange tribal customs, ritualistic sexual violence. By the end of the decade, such elements were de rigeur in films such as Cannibal Holocaust, Prisoner of the Cannibal God and Lenzi's own Cannibal Ferox.

This earlier effort does attempt slightly more social commentary than any of Lenzi's later gut-munchers. At first the captured Bradley is horrified by the tribe's barbaric ways, as they chop tongues out of mouths as a punishment, gut alligators and scalp monkeys, and perform sexual rites on top of funeral pyres. In one scene, Bradley is tied down to bake in the sun for three days, and in another is strapped to a revolving totem as natives shoot blowdarts at him. Fun! Throughout he provides a ridiculous voiceover: "What do they want from me? They must think I'm some kind of fish, because of the wetsuit I had on!"

Bradley is saved by the love of a good woman, in this case a beautiful-but-dim native girl played by former TV personality Me Me Lai, who takes a shine to our hero. Months later, the pair are married and have a baby on the way, but tragedy – and cannibals – are just around the corner.

I suppose the underlying message here is 'they might be savages, but they are real people too!' – a tropical Dances With Wolves if you will. It's tedious stuff though, as Lenzi alternates ploddingly between the laughable and the unpleasant. Particularly hilarious is Rassimov and Lai's soft-focus romance, as the couple romp through the trees and he teaches her English (she's fluent after a couple of months), sappy music tugging at the heartstrings. The jungle does often look gorgeous, but I suspect that's due more to its natural beauty than any photographic skill on Lenzi's part.

As for the cannibalism, there's a bit of arm-munching when a cannibal tribe attack some of the 'good' natives (you can tell the cannibals are the bad guys because they're darker skinned and have teeth missing), but it's tame stuff compared to the atrocities Lenzi would deliver in Cannibal Ferox. Deep River Savages does have a place in film history, but it's still a rotten movie.

Aka: Man from Deep River, Il Paese del Sesso Selvaggio
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 9280 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Umberto Lenzi  (1931 - 2017)

Prolific, workmanlike Italian director and writer who dabbled in most genres throughout his 40 year career. Started work as a film critic before making his directing debut in 1961 with the sea-faring adventure flick Queen of the Seas. The two decades years saw Lenzi churn out westerns, historical dramas, Bond-esquespy yarns and giallo thrillers among others.

It was his 1972 proto-cannibal film Deep River Savages that led to the best known phase of his career, with notorious gore-epics Cannibal Ferox and Eaten Alive and zombie shlocker Nightmare City quickly becoming favourites amongst fans of spaghetti splatter. Continued to plug away in the horror genre before retiring in 1996.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: