This 1980 Movie Is So Controversial That The Director Was Arrested…For Murder

What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? Well, the 1980 Italian-made, cult horror hit “Cannibal Holocaust” is almost certainly scarier than your pick. The movie is considered one of the great cult horror movies of the last 40 years, but it’s not without its fair share of controversy. It’s still banned in a number of countries, and for reasons you’ll soon learn, the director was arrested for murder after its release.

The plot of “Cannibal Holocaust” follows a documentary film crew that goes missing in the Amazon rainforest while trying to find and film real-life cannibals living there.

The movie opens with a rescue team recovering the missing crew’s cans of film.

The found footage is then flown to New York, where a television station wishes to broadcast it. After that, we learn of the terrors the crew inflicted on the natives as well as the horrors the natives inflicted onto them.

Needless to say, upon its release, the film provoked quite a bit of controversy. Because the violence is so realistic and shocking, after the premiere, Italian police confiscated the footage and arrested director Ruggero Deodato.

After his arrest, the courts charged Deodato with murder.

They believed he may have actually killed some of the actors during filming. Making matters worse, Deodato had forced his stars to sign agreements not to appear in any media for one year after the movie. The intent was to make the premise of “Cannibal Holocaust” seem more realistic.

In court, Deodato (pictured below in 2008) was forced to explain how he and his crew achieved some of the more brutal death scenes.

The actors were forced to come out of hiding and present themselves to the court. Eventually, police dropped the charges, though authorities in Deodato’s native Italy still decided to ban the film.

(via IMDb)

I know I’m supposed to be disgusted at this point, but I actually really want to check this movie out. If you’re looking for a good movie this weekend, you can rent the whole thing on YouTube.

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I Sought Solace In My Bookshelf

Amidst protests against police brutality, Daniel José Older returns to a favorite novel and explores the misreading of rage.

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Two weeks ago, marching through the streets with a thousand other people, our open hands raised to the nighttime skyscrapers, I thought of Oscar Wao. Across the country, protesters shut down bridges and highways and raised a collective voice of dissent, which the media quickly simplified into a rage-filled sound bite and simulcasted across the world over images of cop cars burning in the streets of Ferguson.

Toward the end of Junot Díaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Oscar marches through a cane field to what he’s sure will be his death. He sends telepathic messages of love to his mom, his tío, his sister Lola, and all the women he ever loved: “Olga, Maritza, Ana, Jenni, Karen, and all the other ones whose names he’d never known — and of course to Ybón.”

On Nov. 24, prosecutor Bob McCulloch told the world that the broad-daylight murder of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown didn’t warrant so much as a trial. The same day, Marissa Alexander began her prison sentence for firing a warning shot while defending herself from domestic abuse. Policemen had killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice the Saturday before and Akai Gurley the week before that. Last Tuesday, a grand jury here in New York decided that Eric Garner’s death by strangulation at the hands of the New York Police Department also wasn’t worth a trial. Before that it was Ramarley Graham, Rekia Boyd, 7-year-old Aiyana Jones, all unarmed, and many, many more. The U.S. judicial system has made it clear that blackness itself is a capital offense and doesn’t deserve the benefit of a trial.

And now let’s draw lines. As two of the original organizers of the Black Lives Matter Freedom Rides, Patrisse Cullors and Darnell L. Moore write: “We could not allow Ferguson to be portrayed as an aberration in America: it must remain understood as a microcosm of the effects of anti-black racism.” And indeed, the tentacles of this deep-seated anti-blackness are woven into the DNA of the American dream. We see it in law enforcement, politics, the media, social justice movements, non-black communities of color, science, and, of course, literature. On Nov. 19, the night before police killed unarmed Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn stairwell, Daniel Handler made his racist watermelon quip toward Jacqueline Woodson as he presented her with a National Book Award. It was interpersonal anti-blackness that led him to make such a statement. Institutional anti-blackness had his back. Neither NPR nor the New York Times bothered to mention it in their coverage of the award ceremony. The Times called his performance “edgy and entertaining.” The National Book Foundation itself didn’t apologize until a few days of continued social media outcry. Prominent members of the publishing community posted blogs in sympathy with Handler, while many others simply remained silent.

“This mission is what’s been passed down to me –” Jacqueline Woodson writes in her essay responding to the watermelon joke, “to write stories that have been historically absent in this country’s body of literature, to create mirrors for the people who so rarely see themselves inside contemporary fiction, and windows for those who think we are no more than the stereotypes they’re so afraid of.” The publishing industry, which by its own count is 1% black and 3% Latino, dropped the ball once again, and writers and readers of color rolled our eyes and cycled between outrage and not even being surprised. Woodson’s essay contextualizes the joke perfectly: In 2014, people of color are still struggling to see ourselves in literature. As BuzzFeed’s own Ashley Ford writes, “Brown girls everywhere know what it means to choke with invisible hands at their throats, to drown with water nowhere in sight. For us, a book like [Woodson’s] Brown Girl Dreaming is air itself.”

In this case, overwhelming silence in the face of explicit racism was the institutional wink and nod: the go-ahead. The same wink and nod, though much more lethal, could be seen in the refusal of grand juries and prosecutors to investigate the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The institutional go-ahead, be it in publishing or the court system, amounts to an abusive, racialized deprivation of human rights. It is violence. But in the upside-down anti-poetry of power, violence becomes simply an act, a momentary physical explosion, the culminating event. And so, in the midst of a historically rooted, state-sanctioned attack on black lives, everyone from the president to the very police department responsible for Michael Brown’s death has demanded protesters avoid violence. This is like a pyromaniac telling a fireman not to smoke a cigarette.

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Thinking of the many fucked up flavors of violence, my whole body thrumming with rage and sorrow, I sought solace in my bookshelf. It took a little while to find — so many sugarcoat and simplify; they tiptoe and coddle when we need books that break-dance and tell hard truths. Gradually, voices emerged: Baldwin and Butler and Morrison. John Murillo’s “Enter the Dragon.” And, of course, Oscar Wao.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a book you devour slowly. You savor each bite because you’re not sure what the world will look like when it’s done. When I first read it in 2007, it was a revelation: a promise written in unflinching poetic vernacular that we can speak complex literary truths without translating ourselves or over-explaining or condescending to the lowest common denominator. It lit a fire under my ass, so many of our asses, that propelled us down the road to becoming writers.

In the canefield, Oscar tells the gunmen that they were going to take a great love out of the world. “Love is a rare thing,” Oscar says as he raises his hands, “easily confused with a million other things.” Michael Brown raised his hands too, but he wasn’t given the benefit of last words.

It is easy to misread rage as hate. This week, as chants of “Black lives matter” echoed once more through the streets of New York, Ferguson, Los Angeles and out into the world, all I could think of was love. Maybe, before he died, Michael thought of love too. And maybe that thought telegraphed brightly across this country, woke us up, rustled us out into the streets as one, loving, rage-filled outcry. As Oscar said, “on the other side…anything you can dream…you can be.”

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17 Shocking Confessions From Gun Owners That’ll Really Make You Think

The second amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants Americans the right to bear arms, but in the wake of recent events, the war over gun control has become a hot-button issue.

With factors such as media attention and political pressures adding fuel to the fire, the issue of gun control has unfortunately divided the nation. No matter your opinion on the topic, however, the fact remains that every responsible gun owner in the country has a reason behind their decision.

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To shed light on their own experiences with guns, here are 17 confessions from people who bear arms that might just surprise you.

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No matter which side of the issue you stand on, you’re living in a world full of illusions if you think change will come without making your voice heard.

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