Cannibal Carnival

You've come to trust Night & Day for news about events that will improve your sense of culture. For that, we're terribly sorry, because we're about to recommend something that will drop your cultural standing about, oh, 400 points. On Thursday, Shock Cinema proudly presents Make Them Die Slowly. This Italian film from 1981 chronicles the quest of a New Yorker who journeys to South America in search of riches and glory, only to find himself making the most meaningful connections of his life. Er, actually, he's a coke-fiend drug dealer who rapes and kills a few people, and he winds up dragging a bunch of innocent college kids into a cannibal-crazed bloodbath. Other than that, though, it's kind of wholesome.

You might expect a movie series with a tag like Shock Cinema to deliver harmless, campy horror fare, but Make Them Die Slowly (originally titled Cannibal Ferox) slices and dices that expectation quite a bit. How? By slicing and dicing real-life animals, of course. There's plenty of other disgusting stuff in this ode to cannibalism directed by the infamous Umberto Lenzi, but if you can get past the PETA-unfriendly gore, then the staged hangings, impalings and feasts of human flesh should roll off you like blood off a gutted duck's back. No wonder it's been banned in 31 countries. Gore fans might want to keep their eyes peeled for a cameo by porn star Richard Bolla, who also appeared in the king of stomach-turning movies, Cannibal Holocaust. That said, gore fans who have chronicled the disgusting movie career of Bolla should probably also seek professional help.

At any rate, this can't be half as bloody as that Passion of the Christ movie, right? If you have the stomach for it, this screening of the shock classic should put the DVD edition to shame. And once you toss in a live preshow titled Meat-Bath of the She-Devils, you really can't lose. Unless, of course, you're worrying about that "culture" thing. Don't bother ordering your movie tickets in advance, by the way. We have a hunch that the barf bags will sell out before the movie does.

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sam Machkovech