Name of a movie
July 23, 2009 5:08 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a name of a movie that came out I think in the 60s or late 50s. I think it took place in the jungles of South America. A group of people are trying to track across the jungle and they are being attacked by headhunters. I know at the end there is a big fight by a river and in one scene a guy is wounded in a cart and holds up a gunpowder barrel that causes an explosion and they defeat the headhunters. Anyone with info please let me know.
posted by Ron Ducz to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Longshot...because it was made later...but sounds somewhat like Southern Comfort. Substitute Louisiana for South America and Cajuns for headhunters....
posted by vito90 at 6:44 PM on July 23, 2009

The details don't completely match, but your description reminded me of "Lord Jim" (based on the book by Joseph Conrad) starring Peter O'Toole. The movie was released in 1965, and other matching points include a river, a difficult journey, a big fight, and a key gunpowder barrel (Jim was helping to transport/protect gunpowder and guns).

The story is set in Southeast Asia in the early 20th century. It's been a long time since I last saw the movie, so I can't recall Jim or someone wounded in a cart, but it's possible there was a scene like that. The Wikipedia page linked above has a fairly good summary. Here's the film's page on IMDb -- also, someone has also put up a clip of the big battle on YouTube.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 7:08 PM on July 23, 2009

There's a very slight chance that it was titled "Cannibal Holocaust [n]", where [n] is some integer between 1 and 3, possibly higher.

I only say this because I have seen only one movie even remotely similar to what you're describing. And I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about it.

I was in Arequipa, Peru with a friend of mine, and were at the end of our three week vacation. We had to catch a bus to Cusco that night. Before going to the bus station, we had dinner at a Turkish döner kebab place in Arequipa. My friend, another traveler dining with us, and I -- we all had the same thing. I was the one who did not become violently, horribly ill.

So there we were on a bus. 11 hours, overnight, winding through the Andes. And my friend was having just about the worst 11 hours of his life in the seat next to me (and in the bathroom at the back of the bus). Already a bit surreal. But then they started the movie.

I can only imagine that the guy in charge of the in-bus-cinema that night had gone down to his local pirated DVD shack, said something along the lines of "dame lo más barato," and purchased whatever he was handed. Let's just say I was a bit surprised to see the title come up, which translated to "Cannibal Holocaust 3." My friend was still dying next to me.

So now I was on an 11 hour overnight bus, winding through the Andes, my friend horribly ill at my side, watching a low-budget, old-school gorefest dubbed into Spanish along with a bunch of presumably Catholic, socially conservative Peruvians. We're talking little old ladies with the bowler hats and fifteen layers of petticoats, here. Hey-ho, random graphic dismemberment! Some of them chuckled. I think my mouth was hanging open.

A band of white Americans were searching for a downed airplane somewhere in South America. They seemed like shifty individuals, not exactly moral pillars of their communities. This plane had something fairly valuable on it, and the whole thing might have been a bit shady. So there they were in the jungle, looking for their loot. And the cannibals wanted to kill them for whatever reason. There's your plot.

Random graphic dismemberment fits into the plot well enough. What seemed a bit of a stretch was... well, were... hm.

Random graphic sex scene. Okay, maybe that fits into the plot somehow. A bit surprised by the nudity. Still might be rated R, anyway, I guess. [looks around - aren't there children on this bus?]

Random graphic penis dismemberment. Hello! Hello? Oh my. [looks around, others still watching.]

Random graphic -- Wait. Hold on. I'm in Peru on this 11 hour, overnight, friend dying, yadda yadda, and there's a fully nude woman masturbating on the television in front of me? There is? Yes. For a while. With no real context other than "the cannibals are having a party." I think my jaw broke off at this point.

Random -- I don't know if it was better or worse when that scene cut directly to a shot of a man going at it with a pig the size of a small car. With gusto. The pig was so large, I'm not sure it even noticed. The man seemed happy.

Cannibals really know how to party.

We made it to Cusco. Reality returned. My friend survived, but I don't think he got to see much of the movie. I still cannot fully fathom how this movie came to be shown to a captive, essentially public audience in Peru.

I can only imagine what 1 and 2 were like, and how the finances worked out such that they even made a 3. I have not investigated whether there are more. But I can tell you that 3 exists, and I assume 1 and 2 do as well. I don't want to ground my experience by finding them on IMDB or wikipedia.

There is a slight chance that one of them is the movie you are looking for. You just might find it on a bus in the Andes.
posted by whatnotever at 7:23 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

The Naked Prey?
posted by cazoo at 7:26 PM on July 23, 2009

Aguirre, Wrath of God?

I don't quite remember what happens in which... both Herzog/Kinski movies.
posted by cmoj at 10:53 AM on July 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for some help-Some more info is that the movie seemed to be set in the late 1800 's, sorta leaning toward a western like feel-and they had army troops protecting from the savages
posted by Ron Ducz at 9:14 PM on July 25, 2009

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