The cannibal boom is a period in the history of exploitation film, lasting roughly from 1977 to 1981, where cannibal films were at the peak of their popularity in Grindhouse theaters and cinema. Though Umberto Lenzi started the cannibal genre with his film Man from Deep River in 1972, it was not until Ruggero Deodato released his film Last Cannibal World in 1977 that the concept of cannibal films began to catch on. Although five cannibal films were made in 1977 and 1978, none were released in 1979 (though Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust was in the works). In February 1980, Deodato released Cannibal Holocaust, which was the start of a chain of seven similar films to be made and released in the same year. The following year, however, in 1981, only two cannibal films were made (one of them was Cannibal Ferox, second in notoriety only to Cannibal Holocaust). Only four other cannibal films were made after 1981 until the fad's conclusion in 1988 with Antonio Climati's Natura Contro.

Films of the cannibal boomEdit

Film Director Year Also Known As
Ultimo mondo cannibale Ruggero Deodato 1977 Last Cannibal World
Emanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali Joe D'Amato 1977 Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals
La montagna del dio cannibale Sergio Martino 1978 Mountain of the Cannibal God
Papaya dei Caraibi Joe D'Amato 1978 Papaya, Love Goddess of the Cannibals
Primitif Sisworo Gautama Putra 1978 Primitives
Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato 1980 N/A
Mangiati vivi Umberto Lenzi 1980 Eaten Alive!
Zombi Holocaust Marino Girolami 1980 Zombie Holocaust
Mondo cannibale Jesus Franco 1980 Cannibals
Il cacciatore di uomini Jesus Franco 1980 The Man Hunter
Diyu wu Men Hark Tsui 1980 We're Going to Eat You
Orgasmo nero Joe D'Amato 1980 Black Orgasm
Cannibal Ferox Umberto Lenzi 1981 Make Them Die Slowly!
Terror Caníbal Alain Deruelle 1981 Cannibal Terror