|Siren Visual's Australian blu-ray release of Cannibal Holocaust is a virtual carbon copy of the American version by Grindhouse Releasing. And that's a good thing. This AVC encoded 1080p 1.85:1 framed BD is presented uncut and it blows every other release of the film right out of the water. Of course, the transfer doesn't look like a modern release due to the film's age, budget and natural rawness, but given that, what we have here is pretty damn good. If you've seen the movie enough times, you'll notice the HD upgrade immediately. Colours are bright without being oversaturated, and blacks are nice and deep. There is some print damage here and there, but it's very minimal, and there is plenty of detail-defining grain on display. Noise reduction, edge enhancement and compression artifacts are nowhere to be seen. Obviously, there are differences between the 'found footage' sequences and the rest of the movie, but that's quite intentional.
Audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, as well as DTS-HD Master Audio Mono. Both tracks are good, but the stereo remix really opens up the film's iconic score. There is considerable depth on display, with sound effects and dialogue nicely balanced. Given the film's age and budget, there are no problems with distortion, etc. It should also be noted that there are no subtitles or alternate language tracks on offer.
Disc 1 contains two cuts of the film, the first of which is a completely uncensored version, and then a second Animal Cruelty Free version that allows the viewer to opt out of the portions of the film containing actual animal slaughter. This is done via seamless branching and is the same transfer as the stronger cut of the movie. Although watching the film this way dilutes the impact, it's more than understandable why some viewers would prefer this version of the movie over the uncut version (this reviewer actually opted for the 'Animal Cruelty Free' version the second time around and can report that it is indeed quite seamless).
Then we have two audio commentaries, one with director Ruggero Deodato and star Robert Kerman and the other with actors Gabriel Yorke and Francesca Ciardi, moderated by Calum Waddell and Mike Baronas. Both of these tracks are very revealing and well worth your time.
Then we have The Last Road To Hell sequence (1:44). Presented in standard definition, here we see the two additional shots that were not in the final version of the movie as Professor Monroe sits inside an editing room reviewing some of the footage taken by the documentary crew.
Next up is a total of 5 trailers for Cannibal Holocaust that show how it was marketed for the very few countries it originally played in.
Disc 2 features the following cast and crew interview segments, most of which are quite lengthy:
Ruggero Deodato: Rumble In The Jungle. The director discusses his 'Rainforest Terror' trilogy of films, Last Cannibal World, Cannibal Holocaust and Cut And Run, as well as the production of Cannibal Holocaust itself and how the animal cruelty came about, the difficulties of the shoot, financing and the court battle of 'realism'. This interview is carried over from the previous special edition DVD release.
Robert Kerman Exposed. Also carried over is this chat with the film's lead actor who discusses his career, how he became involved with the production, the controversy and working in the jungle with Ruggero Deodato.
Alan Yates Uncovered. A talk with Gabriel Yorke who plays Alan Yates from the documentary crew depicted in the film.
Franceska Ciardi: Queen Of The Cannibals. A new interview with the actress who discusses her experiences playing the female lead. And she doesn't hold back.
Roberto Forges Davanzati: Blood on the Camera Lense. Another new interview, this time with the film's director of photography.
Salvo Basile Interview. A particularly interesting conversation with the actor who plays the cameraman in the film.
Riz Ortolani Interview. A chat with the man who composed the film's unforgettable score, also carried over from the previous SE-DVD.
Franceska Ciardi Q&A In Glasgow. A live-on-stage question and answer session with the actress.
Ruggero Deodato Panel: Cinema Wasteland Yorke and Deodato Reunion. Recorded at a 2009 Fangoria convention showing the actor and director who had been estranged since completing the film.
Plus the following photo galleries: Still Galleries, Productions Stills, Behind The Scenes, Promotional Gallery, VHS Gallery. NB: If you own the previous SD-DVD release by Grindhouse Releasing or Siren Visual, you may wish to hang on to it for the hour-long documentary, In The Jungle – The Making of Cannibal Holocaust, as it is unfortunately not carried over to this BD release.