Friday, March 8

Cannibal Ferox (1981) - 1996 Cinemart/Daewoo South Korean VHS

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the red bottom banner I believe means this is an age-restricted movie
VHS releases from South Korea are just plain weird. The ones I've owned almost seem to treat the feature as secondary to ritzy commercials for electronics and cars both before and after the movie. Every one I've seen even have a color bar test pattern at the very start of the tape for TV calibration. Also the Korean-made cassette tapes themselves usually appear manufactured to a high standard, with different colors and markings denoting such, but are actually rather lightweight and cheap feeling.

This tape of Umberto Lenzi's cannibal atrocity smorgasbord bypasses the upper crust commercials for trailers for Past Perfect (1996), Savage (1996), a Korean-text only trailer of what looks like an American urban actioner comprised of firing machine guns and shit exploding at night, another unidentifiable trailer for an Andy Lau film, and a Korean female pop star's goofy music video with "TOO SOON 2" splashing across the screen. You got me...

But getting back to Cannibal Ferox, due to South Korea's stupidly strict censorship, this presentation is cut to shreds. The knife eye gouge, big cannibal chowdown (pictured on the back cover), penis-macheting, hand removal, breast hook n' hang, and "hole-in-table" decapitation are severely edited but still give the viewer the gist of what's going on. Here's where it gets strange, all of the animal cruelty is completely uncut. So yeah, that doesn't make any sense. We can't show some fake limbs being hacked off, but a real turtle getting butchered alive is fine.

Oddly, the Spanish dialogue spoken by the guides and police officer back on the mainland is totally unsubtitled. I guess the translator only knew English. The small Korean subtitles are a plain white, but they turn into a karaoke-like italicized red-orange when the girls sing Red River Valley while imprisoned. Of course, the edits are bullshit, yet given the general rarity of Korean tapes; this release of Cannibal Ferox definitely isn't common. To see a scan of the uncut Japanese VHS and links to a couple other rare Ferox tapes in my collection, see this past entry here.

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