Cut and Run (1983) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Is Italy the only country that has a separate genre for cannibal films? 

To be precise, there are no cannibals in this film, but it is otherwise qualified to be a member of the genre. The jungle natives kill, maim and mutilate, but don't actually eat their victims. At least I didn't see them actually chowing down on any bodies. Maybe they were Catholic cannibals and they filmed it during Lent, or on a Friday. Or maybe these particular tribesmen were vegetarian renegades in the cannibal tribe, so they killed just like cannibals, but didn't actually eat their victims. I don't know. 

As per genre convention, it involves white people lost in the jungle amid extremely sadistic natives. It also features graphic gross-out depictions of violent acts like mutilations, dismemberment, and decapitation. My personal favorite was a guy who was torn in half like a wishbone, all depicted in horrifying detail. To make it worse, while he was being split in half, he was begging another guy to kill him and release him from the agony. Pretty grisly stuff. 


Several naked dead bodies were seen, all stark naked, all with their legs open (although not gyno shots)

Valentina Forte was seen topless in a sex scene, then nude from the side and rear in the shower.

The director managed to recruit a bunch of familiar American actors, Willie Aames and Karen Black and others, to make it seem more like a legitimate movie than like one of those Italian gross-out films. In fact, it has a plot which involves an evil South American cocaine dealer, the missing son of a Miami executive, and some Miami TV reporters doing location footage on the jungle. This might have the most spectacular photography ever seen in a sensationalistic movie. There are aerial shots of planes dwarfed by gigantic waterfalls dropping from dizzying heights, helicopter shots shot straight down to the river and its surroundings, massive snakes, crocs, and ground shots of the reporter talking in front of spectacular scenery. Some of these shots were unrealted to the surrounding action, and were just forced in because they looked good, but I'm OK with that.

It plays out about like an OK episode of one of those old crime shows like Mannix, except with more violence and spectacular scenery. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that is doesn't suck nearly as bad as these violent Italian exploitation movies usually do. If you think you'd like to see an episode of Mannix with extremely graphic depictions of violent acts and lots of dramatic jungle cascades, here's your chance.

But forget about the silly movie. You have to rent this just to see the retrospective interviews with the producer, actors and director. (They are so serious, you'd think they were talking about Gone With the Wind). The director says that American actors had a hard time working with Italian directors because the Americans expected to play their characters as they prepared it, and the Italian system might change everything extemporaneously. He points out that he sometimes went to the locations in the morning not knowing which scenes he would film or where he would place the camera. He also speaks with great candor, much of it contemptuous, of some of the actors. He points out that Willie Aames was difficult and not especially competent. He points out that another American actor in the movie was drunk all the time, was fired, and begged to be taken back. Pretty juicy stuff.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • making-of featurette, retrospective created especially for the DVD.

Perhaps the best part is that the writer is also being interviewed, and that he has as low an opinion of the director as the director had of the actors! So the whole documentary is everybody dumping on almost everyone else. And yet, the director says at the end, "I think it came out quite OK"

Well, I guess so. If you like this kind of stuff. I suppose this is the Citizen Kane of vegetarian cannibal movies. 

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.9 
  • With their dollars ... gross in the USA: $374,000.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Surprisingly watchable, even though I hate these films which are violence for the sake of violence. The documentary/interview makes it a worthwhile rental. Richard Lynch made quite an effective and eccentric bad guy, ala the Bond villains.

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