In the United Kingdom, The Mountain of the Cannibal God was added to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) list of 72 video nasties. The Mountain of the Cannibal God was one of 33 films not prosecuted.
The Mountain of the Cannibal God (La montagna del dio cannibale) (1978) (96 minutes)
Directed by Sergio Martino.
aka Slave of the Cannibal God / Prisoner of the Cannibal God
Written by Cesare Frugoni and Sergio Martino.
Starring Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach and Claudio Cassinelli.
La montagna del dio cannibale – otherwise known as The Mountain of the Cannibal God – was originally released in United Kingdom under the name Prisoner of the Cannibal God, and added to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) list of “video nasties” shortly after its home video release.
Although The Mountain of the Cannibal God was one of the 33 “video nasties” not prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, it remained unavailable on home video until a 2001 censored release from VIPCO was finally passed by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
Directed by Sergio Martino, The Mountain of the Cannibal God celebrates its 40th anniversary with a 2K restored UK Blu-ray release from Shameless Screen Entertainment. The film itself still remains slightly cut – a BBFC requirement relating to animal cruelty – but honestly the truncated footage is exploitation at its worst; a trend that was followed with the release of Ruggero Deodato’s seminal Cannibal Holocaust two years later in 1980.
“Together with the filmmakers, [Shameless Screen Entertainment] elected to soften the animal suffering visuals which were patently inserted, completely out of context, to cater for commercial stipulations of the day.”
Susan Stevenson (Ursula Andress) and her brother Arthur (Antonio Marsina) are in search of Susan’s missing anthropologist husband in the jungles of New Guinea, but need assistance. With no idea of where in the jungle her husband could be, she enlists the services of Professor Edward Foster (Stacy Keach), who believes her husband may have headed to the mountain of Ra Ra Me.
Located just off the coast of the island of Roka, Ra Ra Me – the mountain of the cannibal god – is believed to be cursed by the local residents. Local authorities are also superstitious of the mountain; disallowing all expeditions there. Believing the curse to be nothing more than superstition, Professor Foster, along with Susan and her brother, surreptitiously head towards Ra Ra Me, each with their own agenda!
You see, Susan is not concerned with the whereabouts of her husband – or his safety for that matter! She is concerned only for the uranium deposits that he stumbled upon, and spoke of, before his disappearance. Professor Foster, on the other hand, is out for revenge. The curse of the mountain of the cannibal god is not superstition… It takes the psychical form of a tribe… A tribe of cannibalistic savages!
“Why is everybody so scared of the Puka?”
The Mountain of the Cannibal God is presented on Blu-ray for the first time in the United Kingdom with an impressive 1080p/AVC-encoded high definition transfer, framed in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1, and a Linear PCM Uncompressed Mono 2.0 audio track. Sergio Martino introduces The Mountain of the Cannibal God, and is also featured in an interview entitled ‘Sergio Martino Filming Animal Cruelty‘, where he discusses the controversial scene involving a monkey and a python; cut from this release.
Another feature entitled ‘Cannibal Nightmare‘ includes further interview snippets with Sergio Martino, and footage from the 1978 Sri Lankan and Malaysian shoot – previously included on the original Italian DVD from NoShame Films. This Blu-ray release also includes a limited edition, serial-numbered O-card; a Snakes and Ladders inspired board game titled ‘Cannibal Paradise’ printed on card; reversible cover artwork; the original theatrical trailer; and alternative Italian opening and closing credits.
The Mountain of the Cannibal God is less a cannibal film – cannibalism itself is introduced late into the proceedings – and more a jungle adventure, as Ursula Andress and Stacy Keach fend off anacondas, alligators, tarantulas and the natives of Ra Ra Me. This may be because The Mountain of the Cannibal God predates the apex era of Italian cannibal films: the 1980s – inspired by the notoriety of Cannibal Holocaust. Instead Sergio Martino’s movie is more akin to Umberto Lenzi’s Man from Deep River (1972) or Ruggero Deodato’s Jungle Holocaust (1977) – still graphic in its depiction of violence, but closer to man (or woman) versus nature, rather than the obscenity its history as a “video nasty” suggests.
Sergio Martino’s The Mountain of the Cannibal God is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Shameless Screen Entertainment. Release date: 21st May 2018