#186 – Giungla Che Derise, La (Laughing Jungle, The)

(1981, It, 101 min) Dir Marco Pastrami. Cast Robert Yorke, Gabriel Ciardi, Francesca Pirkanen, Perry Giorgio.

Poor Marco Pastrami – a more gentle-hearted would-be exploitation filmmaker you would be hard pressed to find. A dedicated leech on the hide of success, he followed Il Pugile (The Boxer, his Rocky knock off) with The Laughing Jungle, his own entry to the burgeoning cannibal film genre. Unfortunately for him while Ruggero Deodato, for example, had the imagination to come up with all kind of graphic horrors to depict and the constitution to walk into a jungle and start slaughtering animals for the camera too, Pastrami couldn’t even bring himself to look at Francesca Pirkanen’s breasts during the filming of the obligatory nudity, apparently directing the action with a pillowcase over his head. So what we have instead is a film where the violence is accompanied with all the realism of actual tomato ketchup, jungles which look as much like the Amazon as you can find in northern Italy and Amazonian tribespeople who are really just short actors in fake tan and bowl haircuts. So tame a film that it was only in the cannibal genre to survive the UK government’s ‘Video Nasty’ witchhunt.

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