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To prove there is no such thing as cannibalism for her thesis, Gloria
(Lorraine de Selle) decdes to go to the Amazon jungle, where she has
learned about cases of cannibalism, and she takes her brother Rudy (Danilo
Mattei) and the dumb blonde Pat (Zora Kerova) with her.
Soon enough, our trio stumble over the first corpses, and then they
even meet two other white men, Mike (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) and the
seriously injured Joe (Walter Lucchini), who tell them some wild tales
about cannibals. Weirdly enough, despite of all these wild tales, the five
ouf them decide to go to the cannibal village to nurse Joe back to
health, and not even the corpses, which seem to litter the village in
abundance, seem to warn them. They just think as long as the warriors are
out hunting, they will be safe. Hell they even confiscate a few houses
from the nabtives as their own, and soon enough, Mike persuades 'Pat to
join him in raping a girl. Only when Mike then wants to cut up the girl
too does it get too much for Pat.
Soon enough, Joe dies, but not before telling Gloria and Rudy a
terrible secret: He and Mike were on an expedition to find emeralds, and
for some reason, a native has told them where to find some ... but
somehow, once there Mike and Joe couldn't find any, which is when Mike
started to torture the natives, even castrated one of them and let him
bleed to death ...
Now that's shocking enough, but then the natives return, and they soon
make Gloria, Rudy, Mike and Pat their captives, and since they don't know
who are the good and the bad guys, they treat them all equally cruel: Rudy
is murdered at an attempt to flee and later turned into dinner, Mike is
tied up and castrated, just like he did it to one of the natives, only his
wound is treated so he won't bleed to death and can suffer some more
(eventually he is killed when the top of his skull is cut off so the
natives can feed on his brains). Pat has hooks driven through her breasts
on which she is hung to her death. Fate seems to have mercy only with
Gloria, who is freed by a sympathetic native before anything too cruel can
be done to her. The native also helps her flee, but is killed by a death
trap his own tribe ahs set to prevent its casptives from fleeing. Gloria
though eventually makes it to the river, where she is picked up and
brought to safety bysome hunters.
Back in New York, she is honoured for her thesis which proves that
there is no such thing as cannibalism, but violence against the natives
only creates the appropriate counter-violence.
For some reason, an unrelated subplot about a woman (Meg Fleming), who
was once mike's lover but who has to lean that he is a drug dealer and who
tries to track him down in the jungle without any success, is thrown into
the film as well.
With Deep River Savages,
a fairly decent if violent adventure movie, director Umberto Lenzi sort of
created the Italian cannibal genre back in 1972. This 1981 effort of the
same man though is decidedly bottom drawer. The story is nothing short of
silly, the actors are uniformly bad, and some of them are so unlikeable
you really want them to die, and the cannibal atrocities are just cruelty
by the numbers, with the usual (much more unsettling because they are
real) animal killings thrown into the mix.
And what's even worse, unlike Lenzi's Eaten
Alive from the previous year, this one isn't even unintentionally