THE MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1973)
An English photographer (Ivan Rassimov) goes to Thailand to watch some kickboxing and snap a few pictures. He then takes off for the jungles of Burma and predictably, gets captured by savages who quickly string him up and let their kids beat him like a piñata. When he tries to escape, the natives strap him to a pole and spin him around till he gets dizzy and then tie him up and let him suffer in the sweltering sun. After proving his worth, the tribe elders invite him to chow down on some monkey brains and he is accepted into the tribe.
Rassimov then makes goo-goo eyes at the chief’s hot daughter (played by the appropriately named Me Me Lay) long enough for him to consent to their marriage and after the ceremony they run around the jungle having a bunch of sex. As a result of some much damn sex with her new horndog hubby, Me Me becomes pregnant. Then a neighboring cannibal tribe starts chowing down on some of the native girls, so Rassimov has to dispense some jungle justice and cut some tongues out. After busting a few heads, Ivan returns to his wife who bears him a tot (“My little black savage!”), then dies in childbirth. In the end, a helicopter flies overhead but Ivan chooses to stay with the natives to raise his son and help rebuild the village.
The Man from Deep River is widely regarded as the first gory Italian cannibal movie, but regrettably you have to wait over 70 minutes before the cannibals even show up. A more fittingly description of the film would be A Man Called Horse; set in the jungle. Director Umberto (Cannibal Ferox) Lenzi brings a nice travelogue look to the Thailand scenes and makes the jungle scenes feel more or less authentic, yet he could’ve been a little bit more ruthless with the editing.
Even though the flick does get bogged down every once and awhile, it still features enough gory goodness to make it worth a look for cannibal fans. Tongues are cut out, monkey brains are eaten, and there is an excellent scene where the cannibals munch on a girl’s boob. Speaking of the female anatomy, the amount of naked women on display in this movie is considerable. Me Me Lay hardly ever wore a stitch of clothes and the scene where a bunch of native girls laid around sunbathing in the nude was A-OK by me. There were also some nasty real life animal mutilations in there too, for folks who are into that sort of thing. We got a mongoose vs. snake scene, a cockfight, crocodiles being gutted and goats getting their throats slit. In short, The Man from Deep River is no Eaten Alive; but it’s still a decent flick nevertheless.
Rassimov and Lay later starred in Jungle Holocaust together.
AKA: Deep River Savages. AKA: Sacrifice!