In 1980, Italian director Ruggero Deodato made cinematic history with the release of Cannibal Holocaust, a film in which a documentary crew goes missing while investigating cannibal tribes in the Amazon rainforest.
The movie – which laid down the foundations of the 'found footage' genre which would later be popularized by titles like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield – was controversial from the moment it was released; following its premiere in Italy, it was ordered to be seized by a local magistrate. Deodato was arrested on obscenity charges, only to later be also charged for murder as it was erroneously believed that several of the on-screen deaths were in fact real (Deodato had made the main stars sign contracts that forbade them from appearing on-screen for a year to reinforce the notion that they were, in fact, missing in the Amazon).
Despite the murder charges coming to nothing, the film remained banned in several countries thanks to its graphic violence, portrayals of sexual assault and genuine violence towards animals. The movie was added to the British Board of Film Classification's 'video nasty' list and was not approved for release in the UK in 2001.
Why are we telling you all of this? Well, on the 40th anniversary of the original film's release it has been announced that Deodato has teamed up with Fantastico Studio to produce the fourth chapter in his cannibals saga, and it's going to be a video game.
Described as an "interactive horror graphic adventure" directed and written by Deodato himself, Cannibal will allow the player to control various different protagonists as they uncover the horrifying mystery found in the heart of the jungles of Borneo.
Deodato said the following about this new venture:
Experimenting is one of the things that I consider most fundamental in this field. What really interests me is to test myself, try something new. Maybe that's also why I waited so long to return to the world of the jungle and cannibals. At the time we went to the jungle, lived with the natives, showed the public a reality that they could never have personally experienced and understood. Today, instead there are dozens of documentaries and films that show life and nature of those places, and for me the theme had lost its appeal.
Meeting the Fantastico Studio guys offered me the opportunity to return to those atmospheres, to those themes, but trying something new: contaminating my world with the video games language is a new challenge, making the story interactive opens up many new possibilities and I hope it will also help to bring young people closer to my narrative universe.
No gameplay footage has been released as yet, but the game – built using the Unity engine – is expected to launch on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC and mobile this November.