The Mountain of the Cannibal God

The Mountain of the Cannibal God (Italian title: La montagna del dio cannibale) is a 1978 Italian horror film starring Ursula Andress and Stacy Keach, with English dialogue, that was filmed in Sri Lanka. The film was also widely released in the US in 1979 as Slave of the Cannibal God from New Line Cinema and released in the UK as Prisoner of the Cannibal God with a poster designed by Sam Peffer.[1] The film was banned in the UK until 2001 for its graphic violence and considered a "video nasty".

The Mountain of the Cannibal God
Italian theatrical release poster by Enzo Sciotti
Directed bySergio Martino
Produced byLuciano Martino
Written byCesare Frugoni
Sergio Martino
StarringUrsula Andress
Stacy Keach
Claudio Cassinelli
Antonio Marsina
Music byGuido & Maurizio De Angelis
CinematographyGiancarlo Ferrando
Edited byAugenio Alabiso
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
Running time
99 min.


Susan Stevenson (Ursula Andress) is trying to find her missing anthropologist husband, Henry, in the jungles of New Guinea. She and her brother, Arthur, enlist the services of Professor Edward Foster (Stacy Keach), who thinks her husband might have headed for the mountain Ra Ra Me, which is located just off the coast on the island of Roka.

The locals believe that the mountain is cursed, and the authorities will not allow expeditions there. So the searchers surreptitiously enter the jungle to commence the search. They eventually make it to the island, and after a few run-ins with some unfriendly anacondas, alligators and tarantulas, they meet another jungle explorer named Manolo (Claudio Cassinelli) who has been staying at a nearby mission camp, who agrees to join them in their expedition.

Matters become complicated when it becomes evident that they all have their own private reasons for coming to the island, none of which include finding Susan's missing husband. Susan and Arthur are secretly looking for uranium deposits, and Foster reveals that he has come there because he had been on the island a few years previously, was taken captive by a tribe of primitive cannibals, and has only returned to wipe them out if they still exist. Foster later dies when climbing up a waterfall.

Upon arriving at the mountain, Arthur is killed and Manolo and Susan are captured by the cannibals and taken to their camp. There they find the jungle natives worshipping the remains of Susan's husband. The natives can hear Arthur's Geiger counter ticking and believe it to be his heart still beating. Susan is subsequently spared, and the cannibals feast on other human and reptile flesh. She is stripped naked, tied up, and smeared with an orange cream by two native girls. At first it seems this was to be a session of honey torture, but instead Susan is turned into a living goddess. Manolo is tied up and tortured, while the others are eaten. One of the cannibals attempts to rape Susan while no one is looking, but is caught in the act and castrated as punishment. Manolo and Susan eventually escape, having endured their ordeals.



The film was shot on location in Sri Lanka.[2]


The Mountain of the Cannibal God was released in Italy on August 10, 1978.[3] The film was not seen in the US until 1980.[4]

Critical reception

The Monthly Film Bulletin called it a "spiced up dish of left overs" plot-wise but said the location filming gave it "authenticity".[5] Allmovie gave the film a negative review, writing, "a graphic and unpleasant film, with all the noxious trademarks intact: gratuitous violence, real-life atrocities committed against live animals and an uncomfortably imperialist attitude towards underprivileged peoples."[6] Andrew Smith from Popcorn Pictures awarded the film a score of 4/10, writing, "Mountain of the Cannibal God merely goes through the usual Italian cannibal exploitation film motions, only this time with the bonus of a famous cast. More professionally made but lacking the raw, nihilistic punch of some of its counterparts, it’s neither the best of this sub-genre, nor the worst either."[7] Anya Stanley from Daily Grindhouse called the film 'problematic", citing the film's depictions of animal cruelty, and "imperialist attitudes towards indigenous populations". However, Stanley commended the film's occasionally beautiful cinematography, and called it " one of the more cohesive cannibal films, that utilizes the flesh feast as more of a flourish than a crutch".[8]


  1. Branaghan, S. & Chibnall, S. (Ed.) (2006) British film posters: An illustrated history. London: British Film Institute, p. 132. ISBN 1844572218
  2. Elusively yours, ursula andress. (1978, Aug 27). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  3. Gaita, Paul. "Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)". AllMovie. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013.
  4. SCHREGER, C. (1980, Feb 16). Sho west: A little of this 'n' that. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. PRISONER OF THE CANNIBAL GOD "(la montagna del dio cannibale)". (1979, Monthly Film Bulletin, 46, 253. Retrieved from
  6. Paul Gaita. "Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)". Allmovie. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  7. Smith, Andrew. "Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978)". Popcorn Andrew Smith. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  8. Stanley, Anya. "[DOIN' THE NASTIES] MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD (1978) - Daily Grindhouse". Daily Anya Stanley. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
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