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Horrific film deemed so gruesome and disturbing the director was charged with murder
Featured Image Credit: United Artists Entertainment

Horrific film deemed so gruesome and disturbing the director was charged with murder

The movie's production was also fraught with controversy, with many actors and crew being extremely disturbed during production

The movie industry is well known for sometimes seeing actors and directors take things a step too far when it comes to getting into character and perfecting their craft.

But while the questionable antics of some Hollywood A-listers on set have been the subject of criticism, one movie took things to a whole other level.

So bad was the film that the director found himself in court on a murder charge, and had to explain the special effects used in the film before the charges were dropped.

Not only that, but there were a number of highly controversial and unpleasant elements in the movie's production which reportedly left cast and crew members feeling physically sick.

The movie, if you hadn't guessed already, was called Cannibal Holocaust.

Released in 1980, the film was among the first of the found footage genre that went on to become hugely popular with later examples such as The Blair Witch Project.

But Cannibal Holocaust instead followed a group of people as they went into the Amazon rainforest and encountered a cannibal tribe.

The movie was widely criticised for animal cruelty.
United Artists Entertainment

Director Ruggero Deodato reportedly made every actor cast in the movie not make any media appearance a year before the film was released, to give the impression that they had disappeared for real.

When the film was first shown it was met with an outcry and seized by authorities for its graphic depictions of violence, sexual assault, and animal cruelty.

One infamous scene showed an actress being impaled on a wooden stake, and combined with articles suggesting some of the deaths shown were real, Deodato was ultimately charged with murder.

However, the charges were dropped after three of the actors appeared on an Italian television show - proving they were very much alive.

Deodato also explained how the infamous impalement scene had been filmed, with the actor sitting on a concealed bicycle seat with the stake protruding from her mouth.

It is the first found footage horror film.
United Artists Entertainment

But the murder charge was only one of the controversies surrounding the film, which included graphic depictions of sexual violence.

The movie was also highly criticised for its racist caricatures of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest.

Despite being cleared of the allegation that it was a snuff film, a film which depicts an actual death, the movie was still censored on grounds of animal cruelty.

A number animals were actually killed on the set of the movie, including a pig, a monkey, a turtle, a coati, and a boa.

Despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, Cannibal Holocaust has become a cult film, and even featured on lists of the best horror films of all time.

Topics: News, World News, Film and TV