original title: Il Paese del Sesso Selvaggio
aka: Sacrifice!, The Man From Deep River, Mondo Cannibale
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Ivan Rassimov, Me Me Lai, Prasitsak Signhara, Sulallewan Suxantat, Ong Ard
See! The torture that makes a modern man defenseless!
John Bradley is a british photographer which is currently working in Thailand, snapping away photos and also watching some local kickboxing. He gets in trouble at a bar and kills a local in self-defence and escapes out to the jungle of Burma. Here he is captured by a native tribe and they keep him captive in their village.
The natives start to use him for labor work and after a while he has gained their trust and is able to be a part of their society. He finds love with one of the natives and tries to teach her basic english so they can communicate better. When everything starts to go well for John, a tribe a cannibals starts to attack their village.
Deep River Savages is known as the first of the italian cannibal wave that lasted almost exactly ten years. Even though it’s the first of this infamous subgenre, it is basically a continuation of another italian dominated subgenre – the mondo movies.
Umberto Lenzi is the guy behind the camera here and he is one of the most active when it comes to these cannibal movies. He later went on to do the very mean, exploitive and gory Eaten Alive and Cannibal Ferox. Deep River Savages is a lot “kinder” movie which is more about the differences between the western and native civilizations. It’s more of an adventure movie than horror and compared to the following cannibal movies, it is also tame on guts.
Like the mondo movies however, it does contain several scenes of animal violence, so if that is something you cannot stomach then this is something you should skip together with the whole subgenre of both mondo and cannibal movies. It is also a much slower film than a lot of the others since its main focus is the adjustment for John to be a part of the tribes daily life.
Ivan Rassimov (Jungle Holocaust, Eaten Alive) is the star of the movie as John Bradley and he does the role very nicely. He makes John come off as a strong and complex character. Me Me Lai (Jungle Holocaust, Eaten Alive) plays his love interest and she is a cute and charming lady here. The rest of the cast seems to be mostly locals.
Deep River Savages deserve respect in starting the cannibal subgenre. It’s a slower and less exploitative movie than the genre is known for, but It is also a good movie if you can look past the animal cruelty. Fans of cannibal films will of course need to see it, but there are something out there for those who enjoy jungle adventure films aswell. It’s exotic, interesting and I like it.