Acceptable Targets: Deconstructed - the film crew and executives treat the natives as this because of their different culture.
Alternate Character Interpretation: Mark's father, was his assessment of his son truth? Or a reflection of his feelings on his sons profession? Or was it the words of a grieving father angered about having a camera thrown in his face with no regard for his loss and just said what he felt they were hoping he would say in the name of sensationalism?
Awesome Moments: As gruesome as the climax is, it's definitely satisfying to see the natives finally fight back against the film crew. After they kill Jack, the others lose all of their supplies including their guns. It wasn't a matter of if but when the natives would finally put them down.
Awesome Music: It has a very surreal and disturbing effect when underscoring the horrors onscreen, but the main theme by Riz Ortolani is quite beautiful out of context.
Broken Base: This film has a seriously divided reception among cinephiles (for pretty obvious reasons). It is either:
A highly disturbing but insightful and eye-opening commentary on the topic of media sensationalism and Western imperialism.
A trashy and hypocritical Exploitation Film with an Idiot Plot that is not saved by horrendously bad acting and gratuitous scenes of very real animal cruelty.
Catharsis Factor: After seeing Alan Yates and his crew committing all the horrible atrocities for their documentary, watching the natives slaughter them in the most brutal way imaginable in retaliation is arguably the best thing about this movie.
Complete Monster: Alan Yates is a traveling filmmaker with a sadistic streak. Not above staging events for his documentaries, Yates and his crew embark to South America in search of cannibalistic indigenous tribes. When Jack wounds a Yacumo man, they follow him to his village. Once there, Yates forces the tribe into a single hut and sets it ablaze. Locating the Yanomamo, or Tree People, Yates and his crew take advantage of the fact that the tribe wouldn't attack them lest provoked by partaking in filming themselves gang-raping a helpless Yanamomo woman. When they later learn that she had been impaled—crotch-first— as punishment by the natives, Yates—unfazed by the sight before him—is thrilled by what he had done. He also has no qualms with sacrificing his own crew when it suits him as he shoots Jack so that he could film the vengeful tribe desecrating his body. Xenophobic, sociopathic, deceitful and desiring fame above all else, Monroe puts it best when he wonders who were the real cannibals.
Moral Event Horizon: Yates and his crew cross this line when they herd a group of natives into a hut and set it on fire so they can get shocking footage for their documentary. And the final straw that earns them their fate is when they rape a native Yanomamo woman.
Narm: The opening scene where the natives are being shot to death is no doubt intended to be serious, but it just looks goofy.
Squick: Too many moments to count. We got graphic on-screen gang rapes, a coati having a knife jammed in its torso, a woman impaled onto a spike through her anus, one of the crew members having his penis cut off and is literally torn apart by the cannibals, and the aforementioned turtle dismemberment.
Tear Jerker: For many people, the Turtle scene, the sad music doesn't help, and the fact that it was a real turtle being killed made matters worse.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Yanomami tribesmen had every right to be upset with Yates and his crew, but they still don't exactly come off much better than any of them in spite of the film's attempts to portray the tribesmen in a sympathetic light.
Vindicated by History: Much of the social commentary put forth by the film is more relevant now than when it was made, and the stomach-turning gore effects have aged surprisingly well— the authentic animal cruelty notwithstanding.
Visual Effects of Awesome: You know that a horror movie had great special effects when for a long time, people thought that the onscreen human deaths were real— including authorities who arrested the director over them! Averted with the animal deaths, however, which actually were real.