'Cut and Run' is Ruggero Deodato's unofficial follow-up to his infamous 'Cannibal Holocaust. Despite Deodato's not wanting to make the sequel, and who can blame him, that would be a tough movie to match and with all the shit he got in after its release, including the possibility of life imprisonment, the film shares much of the same themes including the rainforest location, journalists and of course, cannibals.
According to the documentary from the disc, the plot is a weird mismatch of a variety of different ideas, all apparently overridden when Deodato pushed his influence from behind the camera. In the end it comes off as a merger between action and gore, much in the same vein as Lenzi's 'Contamination' did, but with a much more consistent feel to it than that movie.When a camera/ news presenter duo recover a photograph off the body of a slain drug pusher they identify one of the people in it to be the missing son of a wealthy business man. Tracking down the source of the photograph takes the team into the 'green inferno' of Columbia (actually filmed in Venezuela) where they get tangled up in a drug war between US runners and a cannibal tribe led by the mysterious and ruthless Colonel Horne. What ensues is a fairly slow moving plot inter-dispersed with some pretty trademark gore and gun-totting action.
Now I must first begin with saying that this version is considered to be the 'Hard' version i.e. the complete version, as opposed to the heavily censored 'soft' version initially distributed within the US, so all the gore is intact, as is the story. The plot itself seems a little overdone and at times the dialogue and location switching nature of the movie does disrupt the pace a little offering very little in the way of entertainment during extended non-violent periods. In an interview with Deodato he keeps insisting that this was not designed to be a low budget movie, perhaps his way of justifying the greater emphasis on the plot, rather than the gore which seems like an addition rather than a focus of the movie. In his interview he also states that the actors are all 'real' actors although in all honesty you would struggle to recognise any of them, as aside from Eriq La Salle (ER) and cult favourite Michael Berryman (Hills have Eyes) the rest seemingly struggle with any scene which required any sort of emotional response.
Whilst the aspects of the above are merely passable, what adds the real shine to the movie is the direct input of Deodato himself; the locations, and the gore effects are all top notch. I am actually quite a fan of the man, not all his movies, but his ethos. He basically enforces his will and pushes for his vision no matter what the cost. The locations in the movie are stunning, and therefore naturally the most awkward places to film in, but really do give you the same feeling of 'being there' that you might have got from 'Cannibal Holocaust'. The gore too is awesome, nowhere near as mental as 'Cannibal Holocaust' but its different. There is plenty of explosive gunshot wounds, stabbings, impalements, decapitations and of course the infamous 'ripped in half' scene. The effects are all amazingly gruesome, especially those which involve objects being stabbed into the knees and the suchlike. The only complaint is that they tend to come in clumps, minimising the impact of them, and as I said above, leaving a lot of plot to trawl through in-between the good stuff.
A special mention must also go to the score which is provided by Simonetti, a departing member of prog rock band 'Goblin'. His tribal themed electronic score suits the movie well, and is certainly memorable, although it definitely sounds proper dated 80s when viewed today!
'Cut and Run' is another example of how interference from other parties can hamper a movie. Gore movies do sell, his own 'Cannibal Holocaust' is proof of this, grossing $2 million in 10days before it was seized and banned and god knows how much since, but trying to make them compete with more mainstream movies is just plain silly, and doing so seems to make them watered down in terms of violence, and bloated with bad plot, effectively alienating all audiences.
Overall 'Cut and Run' is not so much a bad film, but a missed opportunity. It is still more than worth the watch as the gore contained within is brilliant, but the overly padded story and pretty shit acting does kill the pace a little. Naturally, ensure you watch the uncut version, oh, and check out the tribe people within, some of which actually belong to actual cannibal tribes! Apparently Deodato gets on with them really well!