Indie game developer Fantastico Studio has announced that it intends to breathe new life into the 1980 horror icon Cannibal Holocaust. On April 8th 2020, the studio tweeted a trailer for a video game it plans to release this year to coincide with the 41st anniversary of the controversial film.
Their website says:
“Director Ruggero Deodato announces the fourth, highly awaited chapter of his cannibals cycle, with great news: the new episode will not be a movie, but a video game created in collaboration with Fantastico Studio.”
Film and video games have had a historically rocky relationship. Film adaptations of games have famously bombed, no matter how generous the studio investment or famous the names attached. Game adaptation of films, meanwhile, are often hit-and-miss, sacrificing the player’s autonomy within the game in favour of hitting the original film’s story beats.
It will be interesting to see how Fantastico Studio approach their instalment in the Cannibal Holocaust story, especially as the teaser reveals so little. It doesn’t show gameplay, or indeed any indication of how the story will be translated into the medium of “interactive horror graphic adventure”.
Having original director Ruggero Deodato involved likely bodes well for the game, along with their stated commitment to upholding themes intrinsic to the original film, including “natives lives, told in its rawness, and cannibalism, powerful metaphors that reveal the most disturbing and deep impulses in our society”.
Deodato has provided the script as well as direction for the game. The translation to the new medium and a contemporary audience will give players control of different characters, so they can piece together the journey that brought them to dark jungles of Borneo.
The 1980 film was named in 2006 by Entertainment Weekly as the sixth most controversial film of all time. Its graphic depictions of violence towards both people and animals place it squarely at the centre of ethical debates even today.
The game will be available from November 2020 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC and mobile.