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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Porno Holocaust
Porno Holocaust
Media Blasters // Unrated // April 5, 2005
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted June 6, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Porno Holocaust, despite how it may sound, has no relation whatsoever to Ruggero Deodato's gut munching masterpiece of nastiness, Cannibal Holocaust. What it is, essentially, is a series of fuck scenes linked together by a shoestring of a plot courtesy of Italian sex and gore master, Joe D'Amato (a.k.a. Arisitde Massaccesi of Beyond The Darkness) with some uncredited assistance from the uber-talented Bruno Mattei (Hell Of The Living Dead).

The plot? Ha. I'm glad you asked. A few people who are supposedly scientists (as well as Mark Shannon from D'Amato's later attempt at a 'gorno', Erotic Nights Of The Living Dead and here the captain of the boat that gets everyone to the island), head off to a remote island to have sex with each other and some of the locals. Oh, and they're supposed to be looking into some radioactive mutations as well, but that's pretty much irrelevant. What's important is that they're going to get it on.

They arrive, and soon after the copulation begins, a big black guy with a giant cock and sporting some truly terrible latex zombie make up starts running around getting up to no good. First he forces his schlong down a poor woman's throat, and then he humps a girl after clocking her outside the head (Mark Shannon later finds her dead, blood oozing from her groin).

Black mutant zombie cock man kidnaps one of the women scientists, played by the way too cute Annj Goren (the only exceptionally good looking woman in the cast), and seeing as all the male scientists have been killed, it's up to Mr. Shannon to save the day, and get a piece of tail or two while he's at it.

The first hour or so of the movie is a full on straight ahead porn film. Not a horrific element in sight (unless you count a few of the more unusual looking cast members), we lay witness to a threesome, some medium quality lesbian muff diving and finger bang fun, and a straight scene or two. Once we get to the island, we're more or less numb to it all and the teeny tiny smatterings of bad gore that D'Amato hopes to horrify us with seem tame and rather unnecessary. Once you've seen some warty balls slapping against an ass sorely in need of a Brazilian wax, red paint on someone trying to stand really still with his eyes closed while the camera zooms slowly away to the tune of a rather humorous disco score just isn't all that frightening anymore.

As a pornographic film, while quite explicit, Porno Holocaust sucks. As a horror film, Porno Holocaust sucks even more. But as a curiosity item, it's interesting and the movie does contain some bizarro moments of unintentional hilarity if you can get past the sex scenes that bombard you every five minutes or so. The explicit content isn't so much arousing as it is… curious and the tepid smatterings of blood and guts here and there make it even more so.

D'Amato would go on to hone his horror/porn hybrid skills later on with Erotic Nights Of The Living Dead, which actually does have some interesting horror elements to it (as well as the presence of Laura Gemser), but here he seems to be throwing ideas around and seeing what sticks. The lack of a budget for anything even remotely resembling good make up effects doesn't help matters any (the zombie mutant guy made me laugh every time he came on screen... no pun intended). One has to wonder what the Anthropophagous himself, George Eastman (who also has a small starring role in the film and who co-wrote this thing) was thinking when he put pen to paper for this one.

In short, this is worth seeing mainly to tell people you've seen it and to giggle at it. Don't expect to be scared, and don't expect to be aroused much either. Expect to snicker behind your hand at bad make up, a plethora of body hair, and a score that sounds like it was culled from a European nightclub dance floor from the era.

This is a really bad movie.

The DVD

Video:

The anamorphic 1.85.1 widescreen transfer is quite nice, especially by old exploitation movie standards. There's some mild print damage that appears in the form of some specks on the print and there is some moderate grain in a couple of scenes but the black levels stay strong throughout and the colors look quite good as well. There's a pretty decent level of detail in both the foreground and the background of the image and skin tones, aside from those in poor make up, look pretty healthy and human.

Sound:

The Dolby Digital Italian language mono mix is fine without any serious problems. There are a few scenes that sound a little on the flat side and one or two noticeable instances of mild background hiss but other than that, it gets the job done. The dialogue is well balanced against the funky score and the sound effects come through nicely. The optional English subtitles are clean, clear, easy to read and free of any typographical errors. This one isn't really going to wow you or make you want to show off your surround sound setup, but in the end it all works out nicely.

Extras:

Aside from an all too brief still gallery, Media Blasters has included trailers for Erotic Nights Of The Living Dead, Yellow Emanuelle, SS Hell Camp and Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals as well as a trailer for the feature itself. In addition, there's a twelve minute on camera interview with George Eastman in which he his work with D'Amato and how and why they came up with the ideas for this film in the first place. The interview is conducted in Italian with English subtitles.

Final Thoughts:

Media Blasters/Exploitation Digital have done this title better than it deserves. It looks great, it sounds fine, and the George Eastman interview was a nice, unexpected extra feature that does lend a little bit of insight into why this movie exists in the first place. While Porno Holocaust is an interesting curiosity item and it does have some unintentionally hilarious moments, it's neither a good porno film nor a good holocaust film. Rent it if you're looking for something off the wall or really, really dumb.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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