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Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of - Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (Blu [Full Moon Features - 2020]

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death was written and directed by J.F. Lawton under the nom de plume J.D. Athens. Lawton is better known for his work as a screenwriter than his directorial work, having written scripts for both Under Siege films for Steven Seagal as well as the gigantic smash hit Pretty Woman starring Hollywood royalty Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. So, we can at least expect this to be a sharply scripted cheapo b-movie. Cannibal Women... stars Gene Simmons other half, Shannon Tweed in a role where she manages to keep her clothes on for a change, alongside Tweed are John Carpenter's favorite Adrienne Barbeau, and talk show legend Bill Maher in his first screen role. Here in the UK the film was originally released as Piranha Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, this was probably down to the BBFC taking issue with the word cannibal, anyway I’m digressing, so let’s get on with the review.

Anthropologist and feminist Dr. Margo Hunt (Tweed) is hired by the US government to head into the Avocado jungle of Southern California to infiltrate the Piranha Women, a feminist tribe who are allegedly responsible for several deaths in the region and who are jeopardizing the US’s main source for avocados. Margo’s job is to try and persuade the ladies to move to condos in Mailbu, thereby making it safe for men to venture into the Avocado jungle again. Yes, this really is the plot! Margo heads into the jungle assisted by her air-headed student Bunny (Karen M. Waldron aka Karen Mistal) and her ex, the chauvinistic explorer Jim (Bill Maher).  The whole thing feels like a parody of Indiana Jones, Bunny even brings along her Indiana Jones lunchbox.

Cannibal Women ... is not just a classic “so bad it’s good” movie, it is also a pretty funny satire, poking fun at the relationships between men and women, ridiculing both extreme forms of feminism and chauvinism and while the film is pretty cheaply made it works because the script is tight and everyone involved seems to be on the same page. Our three main characters are all great, Tweed and Maher’s on-screen relationship is a joy to behold, they have a great rapport as warring exes, and Karen Mistal is great as an airheaded bimbo, Bunny. There is also a great cameo from Adrienne Barbeau as Dr. Kurtz, the anthropologist went rogue who leads the Piranha women.

Cannibal Women.... has been digitally remastered for this new Blu-ray release from Full Moon Features and the print is very good, it is crisp and clean with sharp image quality and good natural colors. Sadly the disc lacks any bonus material, choosing instead to include a trailer reel of other Full Moon titles. I can’t help but feel a few interviews or features about the film’s genesis and a commentary from the director or the stars would have made for a really interesting package. This issue aside, the film is a lot of fun and the presentation of the main feature is very good, I just feel it could have been even better.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Darren Charles
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