20 Sick Cannibal Movies You Need To See Before You Die

Some aperitifs before you're eaten alive...

On the outskirts of the mainstream horror genre is the cannibal movie, a dark element consisting of some of the most depraved, sick films you could possibly imagine. Think top shelf in the back room of a DVD store you're not allowed to go to. Those video nasties were extremely popular mainly in the late '70s and early '80s, with plots usually involving kids journeying into the jungle only to be tortured and eaten by members of a cult. At times it essentially just felt like a competition between film-makers to see who could be the most outrageous and who could offend the highest number of people. And despite their age, many of these movies rival or exceed modern torture porn. The result was the "video nasties" list, a collection of extremely graphic films heavily criticized in the UK press. In many cases, government bodies were forced to step in to heavily censor or ban these products from hitting shelves. Then there are slightly tamer cannibal stories which explore the subject matter without resorting to as much cruelty, such as recent entries like We Are What We Are and the Hannibal TV show. Still, eating people on screen has never been as popular or messed up as it was in the 1970s...

20. Cannibal Holocaust

Two decades before The Blair Witch Project, Cannibal Holocaust followed a documentary crew who supposedly went missing while filming cannibal tribes in the Amazon. An anthropologist who goes to find them discovers they've been killed, but upon viewing their footage, it becomes clear these filmmakers were themselves rather evil. They even murdered some of the tribe members in order to stage a massacre for their documentary, reflecting a theme of the media preying on tragedy for personal gain. They also raped a girl and impaled her on a wooden pole, claiming the natives did it. There's only one moment when a person is eaten, but the film is still pretty shocking, and six animals were actually killed on screen. The movie is a bit more complex than just a bunch of nasty footage, though, and the narrative structure was ahead of its time and would be emulated years later during the found footage boom. It feels genuine, so genuine in fact that the director was arrested. Rumors were flying around that certain scenes were real, and so courts had to step in and determine whether it was all staged. Decades before The Blair Witch Project and The Fourth Kind tried to fool audiences by claiming to be authentic, Cannibal Holocaust basically did that by accident.

Lover of horror movies, liker of other things. Your favorite Friday the 13th says a lot about you as a person, and mine is Part IV: The Final Chapter.