Thursday, September 21, 2017

Zombie Holocaust, The Nude vs. the Undead

Nothing says "I gotta see this film" like the catch-line "banned in 83 countries." 1980's "Cannibal Holocaust" (aka "Doctor Butcher M.D.") is a favorite of many of this blog's readers and the decency boards in 83 countries. To add to the cinematic excellence, our film today was made in Italy and is poorly dubbed. Human organs ripped from torsos, nudity, scalping, nudity, exposed brains, cannibals, zombies, and nudity...hardly any reason for a cohesive plot.
Hospitals are alarmed at a rash of thefts from their morgues and cadavers. Someone is ripping out internal organs from corpses. Uh oh, a culprit is caught feasting on a corpse's heart. Hospital personnel including Lori (Alexandra Delli Colli) and Dr. Peter (Ian McCulloch) are still alarmed as it appears lots of cannibals are loose in the city. Now, it is not clear what Lori and Peter do for the hospital but they decide to venture to a remote southeastern Asian island and investigate the tribe that seems to have visited New York. Before they leave, we see Lori strip off her boots, clothes, intimate undies in order to answer her doorbell. Who rang? The beautiful and nubile reporterette Susan (Sherry Buchanan). The two babes stare at each other in a scene not important to the plot.
Dr. Butcher and Susan
Joining Peter and Lori on their expedition is Susan and George (Peter O'Neal). Who is George? Who knows, but his death scene is excruciating and disgusting. The quartet arrive and Lori undresses right away, only to find a maggot infested severed head in her bed. The four then head into the jungle to find the elusive cannibals. Just their luck, the cannibals find them first, eat George and carry the nubile Susan away for a fate worse than death. Lori and Peter consider leaving but they decide to pay a visit to a weird doctor operating on this island. This will be a mistake as Lori is then carried away, stripped of all her clothes ( if she couldn't do it herself) and Peter is slated for the same fate Susan endured. Ah, but wait, a few surprises are in store for the tormentors and cannibals, and Lori's nudity might just give her and Peter a fighting chance. Oh yes, as if the cannibals were not menacing enough...bring on the zombies.
Lori and Peter in the doctor's lab
Will Susan and Lori engage in a nude cat-fight? Who is the mysterious island doctor and what is his relation to the cannibals and zombies? Is Susan's gory and disgusting demise a mere metaphor for the hostility toward the media in 1980s Italy? Directed by Marino Girolami, and filled with severed limbs, machete carnage, ripped out internal organs, and the nude Alexandra Delli Colli, "Zombie Holocaust" was never banned in the U.S. giving you every opportunity to see this. After viewing it, call your buddies in Sierra Leone and gloat.


  1. Not much of a plot. Quite a bit of nudity & craziness. Let's not forget the cannibals! Good review, Christopher.

  2. Awesome review Christopher & I find this one right down to its title ridiculously entertaining, it's like they shoehorned in whatever they felt would put asses on seats, plot coherence be damned! I'm convinced the cannibals are in it purely for um, extra superfluous cannibalism scenes really and also purely to get the actress nekkid for a sleazy tribal body painting scene! The dialogue is also genius- "I could kill you now so easily...but I MUST have your brain! It'll be the culmination of my career!!"
    The fact that the mad doctor kinda reminds me of that old dissident dude Noam Chomsky adds to the whole mad charm. Shameless boast- I was very lucky to meet Ian Maculloch at a horror festival a few years back where he was the total surprise guest. He's a really lovely guy a total gentleman who gave lots of amusing anecdotes during the Q&A. Great review again mate & forgive the long reply, I get kinda gushing at films like these lol :D

  3. Awesomely fun movie! One of my favorites. They finally made the Doctor Butcher M.D. cut available on DVD and Blu-ray. And let's not forget about the mannequin suicide in this.