The famous, or should that be infamous, Cannibal Apocalypse is coming to 4K UHD. Also known as Invasion of the Flesh Hunters, AKA Cannibals, in that tradition of Italian splatter and exploitation having many different titles, it is a 1980 action and horror film directed by Antonio Margheriti under his frequent pseudonym of “Anthony M. Dawson”.

Kino Cult is releasing the disc. It has already received a Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber, and has been available from various outlets on DVD.

Cannibal-Apocalypse

The tagline was guaranteed to grab the attention of any young film fan, browsing the burgeoning shelves of the 1980s video rental emporium. It screams:

“POW’S IN VIETNAM… STARVED IN CAPTIVITY… RELEASED WITH A TASTE FOR HUMAN FLESH.”

Doing exactly what it says on the packaging, Cannibal Apocalypse tells the story of two American Army officers, once POWs in ‘Nam, who return to civilian life and discover they have acquired an insatiable taste for human flesh. They begin to stalk the inhabitants of their city to satisfy their primitive appetites.

Cannibal Apocalypse stars Elizabeth Turner (The Psychic), May Heatherly (Pieces), Cinzia De Carolis (The Cat O’ Nine Tails), and the legend that is John Saxon (Enter The Dragon).

Cannibal-Apocalypse

In a classic Margheriti move, the opening Vietnam War sequence re-used props and costumes from his previous movie, The Last Hunter.

Famously, John Saxon was given a badly badly translated script, in which the gory parts were cut out. In a 2002 interview, Saxon explained:

“It was talking about the Vietnam war like it was a virus you could bring home. I thought it was a great metaphor for a psychological condition.”

He only learned the terrible truth when he had already started shooting:

“At one point we were shooting a scene and a guy brings in this tray of meat. I asked what it was for and they explained to me it was supposed to be body parts, even genitals, and we were supposed to gnaw on them. I asked Margheriti to take me out of the scene and I went to my hotel room. Once I found out what the true nature of the film was I got so depressed.”

Saxon says he nearly left the production over these revelations.

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After being dismissed by critics as exploitative trash on release, the movie has undergone something of a re-evaluation by many.

This new 4K UHD version arrives for purchase on July 16th.

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