HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Deep River Savages A Man Called Lunch
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 10318 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 star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: