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Best Cannibal or Headhunter Movies


CaveGirl
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Ever since I was little I've had a predilection for watching films about cannibals or headhunters. Now this walk on the wild side is only concerned with seeing them in films, not in real life for obvious reasons. Being on a trip to New Guinea or Sumatra or any anthropologically primitive area and coming upon human entities being cooked in a giant cauldron is not my cup of tea, and I would find it in bad taste. But in a movie, seeing those little heads with their eyelids and mouths all sewn up tight, and dangling from a tree branch or doorway is exhilirating.

Now I'm combining the two categories since I would assume a cannibal would be wise to seek friendships with headhunters, since they could parlay their trophies and share. The head would not be particularly appetizing or filling alone as sustenance for a cannibal, and what headhunter needs the body, so it makes sense to sever the unwanted noggin for the one group, retain the carcass and everyone ends up happy, except of course for the victim.

I always enjoyed seeing shrunken heads in films as a kid, and being dumb did not know till I was about eleven that one had to remove the skull first before boiling it down to regulation size...duh! I once saw at a film festival some actual footage of shrunken head devotees in some remote location, going through the whole practice and ritual of achieving their goal of creating an artificially contrived sort of microcephalic item and boy, was that interesting. It made watching a mere trepanation auto-surgery pale in comparison. It was sad after seeing so much attention given to the small details in making the shrunken heads, that the natives had no hot rods in which to suspend their trophies from the rear view mirror on the dashboard.

My favorite movie in this realm is probably "Back From Eternity" since there is a constant threat of being eaten alive by the cannibals near the plane crash area. It was of course filmed before as "Five Came Back" but the later version with Robert Ryan and Anita Ekberg is so much more fun.

It's much harder to find a good headhunter movie, since it seems to be a trait much more frowned upon than the life of a cannibal, with more recent examples like those in massacres in Texas, or the life of Albert Fish or even in writings like those of Jonathan Swift in his "A Modest Proposal". But if you have a headhunter movie you esteem, please submit it here.

Though I would prefer not to include modern day themes of severed heads as in "Night Must Fall" or such, I will accept films like that of Hershell Gordon Lewis and his "The Gruesome Twosome" since I think the true and innate spirit of headhunting is contained in it, even if the heads are only removed to get to the real trophy of the human hair that is being used for wigs.

Any films with soundtracks by Cannibal and the Headhunters will also be welcomed as befitting the theme of my post.

Off with the heads of any who do not comply with my request!

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OMG! Missed it but have seen it before.

I remember thinking when I first saw it, that I'd never seen Rory Calhoun in anything with a satirical slant or any humorous intent. I kinda love that wacky film, and it is hard to keep a small business like a motel going these days so carving up your guests and using them for victuals might be the only way.

Thanks, darkblue!

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22 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Being on a trip to New Guinea or Sumatra or any anthropologically primitive area and coming upon human entities being cooked in a giant cauldron is not my cup of tea, and I would find it in bad taste.

The eating of parts of the deceased which used to be practiced by some tribes in the New Guinea highlands was a religious practice which had a major downside: the eaters occasionally got kuru, a prion disease, probably caused by the eating of the brains. People in rural Kentucky sometimes got kuru (or the related Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) as well, because they used squirrel brains in their local dish: burgoo. Mad cow disease is also a prion disease.

The Brainiac eats brains. When in his more human aspect, he eats them rather daintily; but in his terrible aspect he eats them right from the source.

Brainiac-25285-2529-720x540.jpg

braineat.jpg

 

 

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14 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Heard much praise for Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Cannibal Holocaust is certainly a good one. I definitely recommend it but it's not for those grossed out by actual animal killings. The soundtrack is very pretty too.

 

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Now, right off here I have to admit that I've never watched that 1960 movie All the Fine Young Cannibals, nor really know anything at all about its plot points and storyline. Nope, JUST who starred in that sucker, that's all.

And so question here:

Do R.J., Natalie and Tan Boy Hamilton prefer light or dark meat in that flick?

(...I'm gonna guess the young Wagner couple liked the light meat, and George Hamilton for obvious reasons--that whole tan thing--preferred the dark meat, right?!)

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6 hours ago, Dargo said:

Now, right off here I have to admit that I've never watched that 1960 movie All the Fine Young Cannibals, nor really know anything at all about its plot points and storyline. Nope, JUST who starred in that sucker, that's all.

And so question here:

Do R.J., Natalie and Tan Boy Hamilton prefer light or dark meat in that flick?

(...I'm gonna guess the young Wagner couple liked the light meat, and George Hamilton for obvious reasons--that whole tan thing--preferred the dark meat, right?!)

Did you say Fine Young Cannibals?

:P

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On 9/16/2018 at 10:17 AM, Swithin said:

The eating of parts of the deceased which used to be practiced by some tribes in the New Guinea highlands was a religious practice which had a major downside: the eaters occasionally got kuru, a prion disease, probably caused by the eating of the brains. People in rural Kentucky sometimes got kuru (or the related Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) as well, because they used squirrel brains in their local dish: burgoo. Mad cow disease is also a prion disease.

The Brainiac eats brains. When in his more human aspect, he eats them rather daintily; but in his terrible aspect he eats them right from the source.

Brainiac-25285-2529-720x540.jpg

braineat.jpg

 

 

Yes, the Kuru phenomenon is of interest to me, since I enjoy reading anthropological works related to such issues. Eating of the dead, was not seen as such a morbid topic, since it was probably motivated by receiving some of the inborn qualities of the dead, and becoming one with them. Also a way of uniting the ancestor with the current family member, but sadly not knowing the physical dangers many were affected adversely. We often see such practices as only being examples of gory and distasteful behaviour, not realizing the back story.

As much as I would not want to end up with Kuru, having seen film footage of some who have it, I gotta say I LOVE the movie "The Brainiac". Those eyes, that tongue, the interesting ears...what a doll! Thanks for your sound and always knowledgeable information, Swithin!

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On 9/16/2018 at 6:37 AM, cigarjoe said:

Heard much praise for Cannibal Holocaust (1980) seen Slave of the Cannibal God (1978) which was watchable.

I'm sure Incredibly Strange Films has a breakdown on them. ?

I own that book and yes, it mentions some fine such film fodder!

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On 9/16/2018 at 12:01 PM, hamradio said:

The 1933 short 'Kid in Africa" a parody of Tarzan films. 

It's a riot Shirley powdered her nose and climbed out of the pot bone dry.  

MV5BYzUxZTA0NDktNDE5YS00ZjRiLTk0NWEtODUx

 

Think he...

ShirleyShort-Africa.gif

..was the inspiration for...

482b4803fca8ba249232e5913fe556e6.jpg

:P

I think you are on the right track with that theory!

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On 9/16/2018 at 9:17 PM, Gershwin fan said:

Cannibal Holocaust is certainly a good one. I definitely recommend it but it's not for those grossed out by actual animal killings. The soundtrack is very pretty too.

 

"Animal killings"?

I still haven't gotten over the little monkey whose top of head was chopped off in "Faces of Death"!

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On 9/17/2018 at 7:43 PM, Dargo said:

Now, right off here I have to admit that I've never watched that 1960 movie All the Fine Young Cannibals, nor really know anything at all about its plot points and storyline. Nope, JUST who starred in that sucker, that's all.

And so question here:

Do R.J., Natalie and Tan Boy Hamilton prefer light or dark meat in that flick?

(...I'm gonna guess the young Wagner couple liked the light meat, and George Hamilton for obvious reasons--that whole tan thing--preferred the dark meat, right?!)

Only you, Dargo...only you!

Thank goodness though there is a you, as you make me laugh every day. Of course I was not laughing the first time I saw that film, since I was smitten with Robert Wagner and thought it was so cool that Natalie was named Salome. I would have rejected sun dappled Georgie Boy in those days, but now that he has taken over the Colonel Sanders empire, maybe not. A rather tepid film, but as I recall quite a few good musical bits which still might be fun to see.

A miniature Cannibal and the Headhunters statuette for your post!

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