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Extremely graphic film banned in multiple countries was so shocking director was arrested and charged with murder
Featured Image Credit: United Artists

Extremely graphic film banned in multiple countries was so shocking director was arrested and charged with murder

Ruggero Deodato had to prove that cast members were still alive

If you thought Saltburn was graphic, then the 1980s movie will have you falling off your chair.

There have been dozens of controversial movies of the years - with A Serbian Film being hailed as one of the most questionable movies to date.

In fact, it was so controversial and graphic that it was banned in 40 countries.

A Serbian Film follows an aging porn star who agrees to take part in an 'art film' - only to discover that it is anything but - instead it's a snuff film filled with paedophilia and necrophilia.

Probably not one to watch with the parents then (if at all).

But there's another hugely questionable film that was released that's also gone down in history as extremely shocking, and that's Cannibal Holocaust.

While I'm sure you can understand the gist of the story from its title alone, the film is a found footage movie from a documentary crew who have gone missing in the Amazon rainforest.

The film was banned in several countries.
United Artists

And for added drama, Italian director Ruggero Deodato reportedly made every actor cast in the movie not make any media appearances a year before the film was released to give the impression that they had disappeared for real.

The film was filled with graphic scenes, and they were so realistic that some viewers genuinely feared for the wellbeing of those involved and questioned if they were actually killed.

Before Cannibal Holocaust was released in Italy, it was ordered by law that the movie was confiscated and Deodata went on to be charged with obscenity.

The following year it was released in France, when the media began to speculate that the cast were genuinely killed.

Deodato was then charged with murder as well, sparking the director to reach out to the cast to come forward and prove that they were in fact alive and well.

The murder charges were dropped after the three cast members went on an Italian TV show.

The movie's actors had to come forward and prove they were still alive.
United Artists

Elsewhere, Deodato had to explain in court the special effects process used to make the film seem so realistic - including the infamous scene of an actress being impaled with a large wooden spike.

He also supplied the court with pictures of the actress talking with crew, showing she was fully aware of what was happening and was not in any danger.

While he was eventually cleared of all charges and didn't land himself behind bars, Cannibal Holocaust was still banned in several countries because of it's graphic scenes of animal cruelty, sexual assault and violence.

As of last year, it remained prohibited in 50 countries, News18 reported.

But Deodato doesn't have any regrets about the movie - apart from the scenes showing the slaughtering of wild animals.

"In my youth, growing up, I spent a lot of time in the country close to animals and therefore often seeing the moment of their death," the director told The Guardian in 2011.

"The death of the animals, although unbearable – especially in a present-day urban mindset – always happened in order to feed the film's characters or the crew, both in the story and in reality."

In an updated edit of the film released three decades after its initial debut, Deodato cut out some of these scenes.

Topics: News, Crime, Film and TV