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(aka "Schiave bianche: violenza in Amazzonia" or "Cannibal Holocaust 2" or "White Slave")

 

directed by Mario Gariazzo
Italy 1985

 

Young Catherine Miles (Elvire Audray, THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS) is facing trial in the Amazon for the murders of two people, and her lawyer has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of extenuating circumstances. In flashback, she tells of leaving her boarding school in London to join her parents at their rubber plant in the Amazon. On her eighteenth birthday, she takes a trip down the river with her parents only for them to be ambushed by headhunters who murder her parents and sweep her temporarily blow-dart-paralyzed nubile form (and her parents' heads) off into the jungle and back to their village. Young warrior Umukai (Will Gonzales) takes a protective stance towards her when it comes to the undesired attentions of the chief, and Catherine starts to feel conflicted in her hatred for him for murdering her parents. As she is initiated into the tribe (ritualistically deflowered) and even wins the admiration of the tribe (who believe her to have magic when she treats a warrior's broken leg), she continues to plot her escape; but she discovers that there are more dangers than the wilds of the jungle and lurking cannibals in her subsequent brushes with civilization.

Released stateside as WHITE SLAVE through Charles Band's Empire Pictures, AMAZONIA is also known as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST II (and not the only Italian film from this period to have that alternate title), and that does seem to be the aim of director Mario Gariazzo (THE EERIE MIDNIGHT HORROR SHOW) and crew with its contrast of the "savagery" of the natives and the white man, as well as the theme song of Franco Campanino (TO BE TWENTY). It's not really a cannibal film; in some ways, it's more like Umberto Lenzi's MAN FROM DEEP RIVER with its white character adjusting to life among head hunters with the cannibals as an enemy tribe (more of a gory, sexed-up throwback to jungle serials and pulp fiction). The film is gorgeously photographed by Silvano Ippoliti (CALIGULA) - aside from the National Geographic stock footage of variable photographic quality and condition - with some striking visual set-pieces (partially thanks to some fine jungle art direction), and there's a fair amount of gore courtesy of Franco Di Girolamo (NIGHTMARE CITY) and Rosario Prestopino (PHENOMENA and DEMONS) but little gut-munching (and less animal cruelty than normal for the genre except for a couple kills by a leopard and a wincing bit with a snake). The flashback structure does take away from both the film's suspense, but it does allow on to indeed question some of her claims (although the annoying prosecutor's objections voice-over objections dash away any sense of doubt). There are surely better examples of the genre - for those who enjoy it - and AMAZONIA may more interesting as part of Mario Gariazzo's job-of-work filmography that stretched from sixties spaghetti westerns to seventies horror/sci-fi/crime to late seventies hardcore pornography to post-NINE 1/2 WEEKS softcore erotica.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 9 August 1985 (Italy)

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DVD Review: 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:26:27 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:26)
• Alternate 'White Slave' Title Sequence (16:9; 2:00)
• Trailers for ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’, ‘Puppet Master’, ‘Dr. Alien’, ‘Puppet Master II’, ‘Tourist Trap’, ‘Mandroid’, ‘Reel Evil’, ‘Puppet Master III’, ‘Castle Freak’, and ‘Slave Girls from Beyond
• Infinity'

DVD Release Date: September 16th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

AMAZONIA was previously released in the United States in two versions. The first was Media Blaster's Shriek Show edition which used the European master seen here. Full Moon released their own edition using their Empire Pictures video master for WHITE SLAVE (released on tape by Force Video). 88 Films' single-layer, anamorphic transfer utilizes the anamorphic European master as well. It's obviously superior for being anamorphic widescreen and a newer transfer, but the circa-2005 master has obvious edge enhancement marring what seemed like a good source (outside of the variable stock footage). The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is in good condition.

The only extras are the film's international trailer, the U.S. "WHITE SLAVE" title sequence (it would have been nice to see an American trailer for the film), and trailers for other 88 Films/Full Moon releases.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

 

 




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