Directed by Ruggero Deodato [Other horror films: Ultimo mondo cannibale (1977), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), La casa sperduta nel parco (1980), Camping del terrore (1986), Un delitto poco comune (1988), Minaccia d’amore (1988), Vortice mortale (1993), The Profane Exhibit (2013, segment ‘Bridge’), Ballad in Blood (2016), Deathcember (2019, segment ‘Casetta Sperduta in Campagna’)]
Commonly known under the title Cut and Run, this Italian movie is somewhat styled after the cannibal movies popular five years prior. Ruggero Deodato directed two of them (Jungle Holocaust and, most famously, Cannibal Holocaust), and came back to do this one, but it’s a surprisingly tame affair.
Make no mistake, if you watch the uncut version of this one, you’re going to get a lot of solid gore (such as a quality decapitation and, perhaps the best scene, a man being pulled apart by the legs), but there’s no cannibalism whatsoever in the movie, and I can’t help but feel the movie’s not near as gritty as it should be.
That may not even be the biggest problem, though. Portions of the story were sort of interesting, but I have to admit to losing interest around halfway through, and Richard Lynch didn’t engage me in the least, especially during his inane philosophical ramblings toward the end. Lynch (who was far better in Bad Dreams) wasn’t a great antagonist, but even the best antagonist here (Michael Berryman) disappeared halfway through the film, and when he popped up again, it was somewhat pathetic.
I just didn’t care that much for the plot. I liked the attacks by the native tribes (that opening sequence was on point), and Berryman made for a very scary opponent (I last saw him in Deadly Blessing, but I’d put this performance perhaps second only to The Hills Have Eyes), but I didn’t much find interest in Willie Aames or Valentina Forte at all. Lisa Blount (Prince of Darkness) was fine, but I wasn’t impressed by Leonard Mann and definitely not by Karen Black.
The gore here was great (and, again, I highly recommend the uncut version), but that’s really all that was great. The jungle setting was good, but why watch a watered down movie like this when you can just go to Jungle Holocaust, Mountain of the Cannibal God, or hell, even Man from Deep River (which I didn’t even care that much for)?
Cut and Run is an okay movie. I think it’s certainly below average, but I’d still recommend it to fans of the classic Italian cannibal movies, even though, in my opinion, this couldn’t quite capture the same vibe of them.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Cut and Run.