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From the mid 1970's until around the mid 1980's, a slew of chiefly Italian films were made that are known as cannibal films, and are considered to form one of the most extreme subgenres of horror. The premise for every film involves civilized, predominantly white protagonists venturing into remote South American/Asian jungles and encountering tribes of dark-skinned human-eaters. The tropes for these films are quite consistent, possibly because most of the films essentially ripped off one of three cannibal films that enjoyed financial success. These tropes include:
* [[MightyWhitey The triumph of the white man]] (possibly the only brand of horror films where guys actually have a fighting chance, provided, of course, that they are white). This triumph can come in the form of successfully escaping the jungle or establishing a positive relationship with the savages, using gizmos and measured hand gestures.
* Once contact has been established between the outsiders and the natives, always because the outsiders have been [[CapturedByCannibals captured]] through an act of stupidity, the outsiders are forced to witness an assortment of rituals conducted by the natives, all of which involve blood and something or someone being cut open. The lucky victim is generally not of any specific type; human victims, whether male or female, civilized or savage, have all gone under the spear in these films. These sequences will often also include the protagonist/s suffering humiliating subjugation by the natives.
* [[AlikeAndAntitheticalAdversaries The civilized characters can be distinguished from one another, on a purely visual level. The savages are a collective mentality and rarely is one elevated to any position of significance in the film]] (the most notable exception would be Me Me Lai's character in ''Last Cannibal World'').
* [[BlackDudeDiesFirst Civilized non-white characters are usually the first to die, and never in a pleasant fashion.]]
* Cannibals sympathetic to the protagonists live long enough to get them out of danger before falling prey to their vengeful fellows.
* Civilized women are typically sleazy, whiny bimbos who often serve as {{Ms Fanservice}} (cannibal films do not stray far from standard horror). If they do have an attitude, it can be solved with a good slap.
* Interracial relations between a native and one of the protagonists. Typically the native is female, but either way the sex is rarely consensual.
* Characters played by Ivan Rassimov and Me Me Lai. They appeared in three films in the genre, more than any other actor. Me Me Lai's characters were native women with, um, breast implants.
* Sadly, almost every cannibal film made in this period features animal cruelty either from wildlife footage or in scenes created for the film. This aspect of the films both cements their infamy as a subgenre and their notoriety as going further down the path of moral decadence than most other horror films.

Other common tropes of cannibal films:
* AcceptableTargets
* TheAmazon
* BeatStillMyHeart
* BloodierAndGorier
* BMovie
* CapturedByCannibals
* ChasedByAngryNatives
* EnemyToAllLivingThings
* ExploitationFilm
* ExtremeMeleeRevenge
* FantasticRacism
* FateWorseThanDeath
* GenocideBackfire
* {{Gorn}}: Implicit in the genre
* GroinAttack
* HorrorFilms
* HumanSacrifice
* KillEmAll
* MadeOfPlasticine
* {{Mayincatec}}: Anthropologist Marvin Harris, and author of the 1977 book: Cannibals and Kings, has suggested that the flesh of the victims was a part of an aristocratic diet as a reward, since the Aztec diet was lacking in proteins. According to Harris, the Aztec economy would not support feeding them as slaves and the columns of prisoners were "marching meat".
* NationalGeographicNudity
* NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity
* {{Revenge}}
* RapeAndRevenge
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge
* TheHunterBecomesTheHunted
* TribalCarry
* ValuesDissonance
* VirginSacrifice
* WesternTerrorists

The most well-known and successful of these films was ''Cannibal Holocaust'' in 1980. [[NoAnimalsWereHarmed It is also infamous for scenes of gratuitous animal death, among other things.]] Because of the infamy of this movie, cannibal films were among the many horror and exploitation films banned by the UK as VideoNasties.

Not to be confused with CannibalTribe, the general trope about savage tribes which kill and eat outsiders.
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!!Examples
* ''The Man From Deep River'' 1972 -- was the first Italian cannibal film and introduced the notions of white people being trapped in cannibal territory, exotic rituals, white-native sex and Me Me Lai and Ivan Rassimov.
* ''Last Cannibal World'' 1977 -- four plane passengers are stranded in a jungle, the brown-skinned members of the group die quickly, the main character is stripped, fondled and urinated on and watches the natives kill first one of their own using bull ants and then a crocodile. He escapes using Me Me Lai, who helps him survive before being eaten by the pursuing tribe.
* ''Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals'' 1977
* ''Film/PrisonerOfTheCannibalGod'' 1978
* ''Papaya, Love Goddess of the Cannibals'' 1978
* ''Primitives'' 1979
* ''Film/CannibalHolocaust'', 1980 -- Upon the film's release, the director and producer Ruggero Deodato was arrested on the charge that they had had several of the actors [[SnuffFilm murdered for the camera.]] Their names were cleared when they arranged for the "dead" actors to appear together on television. It has been suggested that ''The Blair Witch Project'' and ''The Last Broadcast'' appropriated their {{mockumentary}} style from ''Cannibal Holocaust''.
* ''Eaten Alive!'' 1980
* ''White Cannibal Queen'' 1980
* ''The Devil Hunter'' 1980
* ''Film/CannibalFerox'', 1981 -- The natives capture two men who previously exploited them, along with three college students who have fallen in with them. The natives humiliate and kill all but one of them in slow, ritualistic fashion, hence the official & alternative movie title: ''Make Them Die Slowly''.
* ''Cannibal Terror'' 1981
* ''Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story'' 1985 -- Despite the title, no it's not a LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek. Also an example of BasedOnAGreatBigLie, as the movie claims itself to be a true story.
* ''Cannibal Ferox 2: Massacre in Dinosaur Valley'' 1985
* ''The Green Inferno'' 1988 -- By that time, film director Antonio Climati was considered to have put an end to the genre in 1988 with the film ''Natura Contro'', which is also known as an unofficial sequel to Cannibal Holocaust.
* ''Film/CannibalWomenInTheAvocadoJungleOfDeath'', 1989, is a satire of this kind of film that is better than it sounds. It [[MoralGuardians had to be]] billed as ''Piranha Women etc etc'' in the UK to avoid association with the genre.
* In 2003, director Bruno Mattei directed and created two straight-to-video release cannibal films, ''Cannibal Ferox 3: Land of Death'' and ''Cannibal Holocaust 2: The Beginning'' a.k.a. ''Mondo Cannibale'', said to be the official sequel to the original ''Cannibal Holocaust''. Both films are a mix of ''Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust, Predator'', plus every other cannibal film from the 70s & 80s imaginable thrown into not one but two giant blenders.
* ''Welcome to the Jungle'', a GenreThrowback (though nowhere near as extreme as the pictures it is referencing) and [[FoundFootageFilms Found Footage Film]] released in 2007.
* ''The Green Inferno'', an upcoming and much more faithful Genre Throwback (just look at the title!) by Creator/EliRoth. Features a tribe never filmed before, whose introduction to movies was Cannibal Holocaust - they agreed to filming after deciding that it was the funniest thing they had ever seen.

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