Wednesday, October 20, 2021

pretty? vacant.

Was out shopping before work yesterday when I saw this in my local Fopp bargain bin for £3.

Unfortunately I already own it.

And mine cost me £15.

But that was about 10 years ago.

Interesting eh?

Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story (AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2: The Catherine Miles Story, Captive Women VII: White Slave, Forest Slave, White Slave. 1985)
Dir: Mario Gariazzo.
Cast: Elvire Audray, Will Gonzales, Dick Campbell, Dick Marshall, Alma Vernon,
Grace Williams, Sara Fleszer, Mark Cannon, James Boyle, Peter Robyns, Jessica Bridges, Stephanie Walters, Neal Berger, Deborah Savage and what looks like Jill Gascoine and Alfred Molina.

But probably not.

The local nosed, thin-lipped and vacant eyed bimbette Catherine Miles (Audray, star of the sword and sorcery classic The Iron Master and the wobbly thigh obsessed Klaus Kinski epic Vampire in Venice) has journeyed to Brazil from her posh boarding school in London (England near Europe but not in it, well not for much longer) in order to spend the summer holidays with her wealthy (yet spookily dubbed) plantation-owner parents.

As a special treat to celebrate her eighteenth birthday, her parents decide to take her on a scenic river tour on their luxury houseboat (tho' her aunt and uncle must stink of piss seeing as they've been forced to follow in a canoe).

Lounging in the sun and enjoying the stock footage all around her, Catherine is reminded of her happy childhood growing up in the jungle, unaware of the tragedy about to befall her family as, without so much as a scary musical cue the houseboat is engulfed in a hail of poison darts fired from a native raiding party led by the sexily haired Brian Umukai (Gonzales, taking a break from running really quickly in those slightly racist Warner Brothers cartoons).


Not too surprisingly her poor parents are killed in the crossfire and Catherine is incapacitated by a potent paralyzing frog-venom covered spear.

And no, I didn't see that coming.

Tho' to be fair neither did she.

Audray: She'll have no trouble here.

Lying incapacitated on the deck and slowly weeing herself, she can only watch in mild discomfort as a band of arse flashing Indio warriors board the houseboat and proceed to cut off her parents heads before clumsily lifting her up and carrying off to their camp.

Her aunt and uncle (husband and wife team Gascoine and Molina) however appeared to have been spared this horror by obviously being far too smelly for the tribe to attack.

Or were they?

Catherine, awake at this point and tied to a pole like a stringy pale turkey is clumsily dropped in front of a hut belonging to one Geoff Ungowa.

It seems that this Geoff fella is the tribal leader and he's decided to award Catherine to Tony the richest man in the village as a big pink, wobbly arsed gift.

A big pink, wobbly arsed gift with a fucking shocking perm.

Big Tony is obviously excited by the myriad of possibilities open to him now he has a lady of his own and can hardly contain himself, as he jumps up and down with what looks like a mouldy carrot sticking out of his loincloth at a right angle whilst dribbling uncontrollably.

His passions are soon cooled down tho' when he discovers that sweet lil' Catherine is still a virgin.

It appears that the tribe have rule that states that a woman with an intact hymen can't be touched.

Yup, they have a special 'Hyman Go!' machine that they use on ladies during a big ceremony every second Thursday of every third month.

No, I am not making this shit up.

Tony's luck goes from bad to worse tho' as by the time it comes round to Catherine's shot on the big machine he's being challenged for her hand (and the rest of her obviously) by the aforementioned Umukai.

The pair get down to a bit of slightly homo-erotic wrestling before Umukai beats the rich boy to a pulp.

"I still cannae see mah car keys hen!"

You see, it seems that dear old Umukai has had a huge girlie crush on Catherine from the moment he first set eyes on her as she lay paralyzed on the deck of her parents’ boat.

Which would be OK if he hadn't have been beheading her mum at the time.

But who said the path of true love was a smooth one?

Trying to win her round and to get her used to the jungle lifestyle he enlists the help of his sister Janice (Fleszer, probably) who as luck would have it spent her younger years living with a group of English speaking missionaries so has a mastery of Catherine's native tongue to rival your average Glaswegian.

In return for all this girly chat about pop music and nights spent painting each others nails, Catherine repays her new friend by teaching her basic first aid (she must of been a Brownie I guess), which comes in mighty lucky when the tribe's top hunter, Barnaby breaks his leg.

Re-setting it for him (whilst mopping his brow in a concerned manner) is enough to convince King Geoff that Catherine is in fact a powerful white witch, which helps no end with her being accepted as a member of the tribe.

"I thought Jimmy Savile would be taller".

With the passing of time (and bad dad gas), Catherine begins to see that Umukai really does love her (I know it's vomit inducing but I didn't write it) and eventually they learn enough of each other’s tongues (snigger) to communicate.

With each other that is not with insects like Jennifer Connelly in Phenomena.

During one of their late night chats Umukai reveals a secret so devastating that it turns Catherines world upside down.

It appears that Umukai's tribe didn't start the attack on her parents boat, only joining in later because they were bored, and that the real culprits were DI Maggie Forbes from The Gentle Touch and Doctor Octopus.

Catherine is shocked by this revelation (well, I say shocked but it's more a look of mild apathy if I'm honest) and refuses to believe Umukai.

It's only when Catherine remembers that she overheard her dad telling her dear mum that his will gives her aunt and uncle total control of the plantation (and all their cash) in the event that both her parents die plus the fact that aunt and uncle had lost everything they had due to a string of Hollywood flops that everything seems to slot into place.

Jill Gascoine's attempts to stop Alfred Molina
wanking in bed had maybe gone a wee bit too far.

Catherine decides that a dose of rampant raging revenge is on the cards and luckily, her months of living with a group of head hunting cannibal savages have given her the skills and determination she needs to see it thru'....

Mario Gariazzo's slow burning everyday tale of love, severed heads and revenge against a jungle back drop is unfortunately better known for being flogged to unsuspecting German punters as Cannibal Holocaust 2 (a film to which it's completely unrelated) than for anything else, which is a shame really because underneath the interminably po-faced courtroom framing device featuring a recently returned Catherine on trial for her aunt and uncles murder, the stilted acting, wooden dialogue and copious amount of man-ass on show there's a not too bad movie desperately trying to claw it's way out.

I'm not saying it's a good movie however, far from it but compared to director Gariazzo's other work (The Brother from Space? The Sexorcist? Very Close Encounters of the 4th Kind anyone?) that you realise that the last 90 minutes could have been a lot harder to sit thru'.


But for all it's wobbly bits, violence and (naive) attempts at showing 'the white man' as being even more savage than the great unwashed tribal folk, Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story never amounts to anything more than an obscure entry in the (by this time) bloated tummy of the cannibal genre.

Saying that, it's way more enjoyable than Castaway (tho' Tom Hanks does have much perter breasts than Elvire Audray) and has a nicer collection of arses than 120 days of Sodom.

So it's a winner by default then really.

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