‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ holds a special place in my heart. You see, my original review for this movie, written back in 2005, became a magnet for vast amounts of Ursula Andress-related traffic on this blog. When I realized that there was a) a lot of interest in Ursula and b) few sites catering to that interest, I decided to fill that niche. And thus was AndressFest born.
I get all misty-eyed just thinking about it.
So that’s the background. Prior to AndressFest ’10 I was wondering how I would review ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’, since I already had a perfectly salient and serviceable post about it. However, it turned out that the version I showed at AndressFest ’10 was considerably different to the original I saw five years ago.
The first version I’d seen was clearly the director’s cut, featuring gory animal on animal violence, not to mention psychotic cannibals chowing down on anyone who was passing by and giving the impression that they’d taste good with barbecue sauce.
It also featured this pivotal scene, in which half-naked cannibal maidens smear orange poster paint (or perhaps zesty Italian dressing) on a half-naked Ursula Andress. And by "pivotal", of course I mean "boobie-filled".
However, the version we had for AndressFest ’10 had neither the savagery-of-the-jungle vignettes nor the zesty Italian dressing scene. They’d all been cut so that ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ could be shown in American drive-ins, without offending the swarms of kindergarteners and the frail aged who were presumably milling about.
They’d also edited out most of the cannibalism, the entire post-prandial orgy scene, all of the pertinent parts (if you’ll excuse the pun) of the dwarf castration scene, and, bafflingly, one scene of Ursula meeting with a government official in Port Moresby, which was about as dirty and violent as an amateur theatre production of ‘My Fair Lady’.
What little remained of the movie was largely scenes of Ursula and her party stomping through the jungle, bickering amongst themselves, and swiping at foliage with machetes. As such, it wasn’t so much a horror film as an aimless episode of one of those backyard renovation shows. Presumably there was a deleted scene in which Ursula staggers into a clearing and discovers a new deck, some patio furniture and a water feature.
As a result, ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ is a fairly tame horror film in terms of direct terror. However it has become a profound piece of meta-horror, at least to me, in as much as it contains Ursula Andress and allows her to do nothing other than act. Acting was not Ursula’s strong suit. Jumping around naked was her strong suit. ‘Slave of the Cannibal God' is like one of those stories that teenagers tell around campfires with torches under their faces:
Teenager: And it was only then, as the closing credits started to roll, that the people realised the horrible truth. The movie was over… and they hadn’t seen Ursula’s boobies once!
It’s enough to give you nightmares for a week.