Ultimo mondo cannibale (1977; English: Last Cannibal World, UK theatrical title: Cannibal, also known as Jungle Holocaust) is a cannibal exploitation film directed by Ruggero Deodato, which stars Massimo Foschi, Me Me Lai and Ivan Rassimov. The screenplay was written by Tito Carpi, Gianfranco Clerici and Renzo Genta, and tells the story of a man trying to escape from a jungle island inhabited by a native cannibal tribe.
The film was distributed under a confusing number of different titles, such as Cannibal! (UK title) and The Last Survivor (US title), and edits, and is available uncut on DVD from the company Media Blasters, under their "Shriek Show" label. It is the precursor to Deodato's controversial 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust, but was originally slated to be directed by Umberto Lenzi as a follow-up to his prototypical 1972 cannibal film Il paese del sesso selvaggio (Man from Deep River).
While not prosecuted for obscenity, the film was seized and confiscated in the UK under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 during the video nasty panic.
A group of oil prospectors travel to an outpost in a jungle on the island of Mindanao. A rough landing damages the plane. The two prospectors Robert (Massimo Foschi) and Rolf (Ivan Rassimov) find the abandoned remains of the original prospecting camp. Later, a member of the team goes missing. The two prospectors and their pilot go into the jungle, and the pilot is killed. The two prospectors then discover that the missing team member was eaten by cannibals. After getting separated in the jungle, Robert is kidnapped by a stone-age cannibal tribe. The tribe subjects Robert to various tortures, including tying him up, stripping him nude and fondling his genitals, and repeatedly dropping him with a bungee cord. The cannibals then imprison Robert in a cave, where he is starved.
Robert manages to escape with a native girl (Me Me Lai), who he keeps tied to a cord. The native girl tries to escape, and Robert rapes her. The two then find Rolf, whose leg is infected with gangrene. The three of them wander through the jungle until they eventually find the landing field. The cannibals then set upon them and kill the native girl, then cook and eat her. After Rolf is hit in the chest with a spear, Robert fights and kills one of the cannibals with a spear laced with cobra venom. Robert then eats the native's liver to frighten the other cannibals. Robert and Rolf then manage to make it to the plane and fly off.
Though not nearly as graphic or brutal as several of the films which followed during the cannibal film boom in Italy (Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox), this film contains a number of graphic and disturbing sequences which have led to the film frequently being censored or cut. In particular, scenes involving live animals, including a snake's head being crushed by natives, and a prolonged scene of an alligator being skinned and eviscerated while alive, as well as scenes of animals killing other animals. Deodato claims that these scenes were added by producer Giorgio Carlo Rossi without his permission.
In addition to the violence, the film also contains a controversial amount of full-frontal nudity, as the two lead actors – Massimo Foschi and Me Me Lai – are naked throughout the entire middle-section of the film. The film also contains explicit close-ups of Foschi's penis being fondled by natives, as well as a similar close up of Me Me Lai's vulva during her character's death scene.