Monday, April 29, 2013

The Human Buffet: Cut & Run

It's time for the...oddly-different finale!  Today's film is Cut & Run, which is the final part of the Cannibal Trilogy from Ruggero Deodato.  In the time since Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero has faced critical scrutiny, backlash from the U.K. and actual murder charges.  To help the 'viral marketing' of the film, he made the leads sign waiver saying that they would stay out of the public eye for a full year.  Gee, why does this sound familiar?  When pressed on it, he had to finally make them come forth and he also had to show in Court how the 'impaling' effect was done.  Wouldn't you just love to see that reenactment?  After that gap, he finally got this film made.  The film is practically a 'Who's who?' of Italian Cinema too.  The Director of Cannibal Holocaust, the lead man behind the Suspiria soundtrack, the Co-Writer of Demons, the Co-Writer of Slave of the Cannibal God, Jafar from Sinbad of the Seven Seas & Kadar and Dirtmaster from The Barbarians.  Granted- there's a quality drop near the end, but you get my point.  The bottom line: you've got Richard Lynch, Michael Berryman, Karen Black and John Steiner in one film.  Do I need to say any more?  Well, just in case, here's the review...
In a great opening, a group of Natives and Michael Berryman go all Splinter Cell and take out a bunch of drug producers in the Jungle.  This leads to an interesting issue with the U.S. DVD...
There are apparently two versions of this film: an R-Rated version (for the U.S. and U.K.) and an Unrated one (for the rest of Europe and Japan).

Following this scene, we see our intrepid Reporter leads set up a drug bust...only to find all of the people killed.  Guess which version of the scene is on the U.S. DVD...
Naturally, all of this relates to...Jim Jones?  Yeah, they go looking for a Lieutenant of his that is somehow alive in Central America.  I just love the way they mix the real and Stock Footage.
As a bonus, the man standing next to the man (Lynch) is the Director.  Holy Hitchcock Cameo, Batman!
Speaking of weird cameos, the Reporters get a lead on how to find the man courtesy of a Pimp...played by Eriq LaSalle.  You're a long way from E.R. still, I see.
Anyhow, they are also looking for the son of some rich guy- on the right- who is being held captive by 'Jafar' here.  He's not holding him for ransom- he's just using him to help pack the drugs.

The plots collide as Lynch's men- which includes Berryman- attacks the site and our heroes end up in his hand.
Things take a turn for the weirder when an attack on Lynch's camp is thwarted, but the man is injured.  The next day, he makes the pair film he orders his lead man to decapitate him on the air.  Cue freak out!
In a tonal shift, the man and his son are reunited happily.  I don't think the blood has dried yet, guys.
In a bit right out of Live and Let Die (great film), Berryman sneaks on board the plane (not train) to try and steal the kill.  He fails.  The End.
It's a weird finale, to say the least.  The plot of this movie is good, but a bit scattershot.  It tells the tale of the young man and a woman trying to escape the dealers, the Reporters trying to find Lynch, the Reporters also trying to find the young man and Lynch's strange, master plan.  Is that enough story for you?  Getting past that, the movie has some good action, good Acting (overall) and sounds great.  I can't hate on Claudio Simonetti- sorry.  The best part is that everyone here is used in the best way possible.  Willie Aames (as the young man) is not that great of an Actor per se, but he looks naive, innocent and scared here.  Of course, it could be that Deodato really just dumped him out in the Jungle- he'd do it.  I love Steiner, Lynch, Berryman and the rest here.  Hell, I even kind of like Karen Black, something I almost never do.  It's an interesting film and stands out on its own.  It's not as great as Holocaust, but does some different stuff.  You should really give it a try, this silly shirt aside...
Next up, it's taken me over two years, but I'm finally going to do House III.  Will I regret leaving it in my Queue for all this time or will my hesitance be well-founded?  Stay tuned...

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