ByScott Wardell, writer at
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Scott Wardell

In the jungle, there's no shortage of things trying to kill you. While the list that Tom Hiddleston's James Conrad rattles off may have been exhaustive, killed by giant monsters was not among those mentioned. Luckily for audiences jonesing to see human juices on screen, wastes no time in offing countless soldiers to illustrate the deadly force of nature that is Kong's prehistoric home. However, one particularly shocking death stuck out for its visual similarity to a highly infamous '80s exploitation film.

Welcome To The Jungle

Early in their mission to rendezvous with the rest of the team, Mills, Cole, Bill Randa (John Goodman), Lt. Col. Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and their squad quietly trek through a bamboo forest on their way to find Chapman (Toby Kebbell) and the munitions he's gathered at his crash site. A nameless soldier tilts his head back to take a swig from his canteen, his face expressively in awe as he looks up. A moment later, his canteen falls to the ground with an audible thud. The squad turns around to see their teammate impaled through the mouth by what looks like a hefty bamboo shoot.

The horrified remaining members of the team look up to see what actually impaled him: a giant spider leg. The situation quickly escalates from bad to chaotic as the soldiers open fire on the arachnid, now fervently stopping its pointed appendages trying to stab them.

'Kong: Skull Island' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Kong: Skull Island' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

While the shot of the impaled man may have only lasted a brief second, the skewered soldier is a clever visual nod to another film detailing the horrors of uncharted jungles where man has no business exploring: Cannibal Holocaust.

Stick 'Em Up

No other film has quite the notorious reputation as Ruggero Deodato's 1980 Italian cannibal exploitation mockumentary. Between its depictions of real-life animal cruelty, sexual violence and a hype-frenzy marketing campaign, was banned in over 50 countries. Not to mention it showcased a brutally realistic image of tribal torture that would later become the film's single most iconic visual.

'Cannibal Holocaust' [Credit: United Artists Europa]
'Cannibal Holocaust' [Credit: United Artists Europa]

The young Ya̧nomamö girl impaled on a stick is now Cannibal Holocaust's unsettling calling card. The scene was so graphic that director Ruggero Deodato was summoned to court to confirm that no actors were mutilated, disemboweled, or otherwise pierced by a wooden spear.

Deodato explained that the girl simply sat on a bicycle seat attached to the pole's base, while holding a small pointed balsa wood piece in her mouth. The fake blood was then added. Deodato commented that the girl had an unusually calm temperament to be able to remain so still during the filming.

There Be Dragons Here

Kong: Skull Island was strongly self-awareness in its approach to making an entertaining, popcorn-munching monster movie. With countless Easter Eggs and nods to other films, the visual parallel to Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust was one that fans will quickly recognize. After all, there are some jungles that man just isn't meant to explore.


Did you catch the nod to 'Cannibal Holocaust' in 'Kong: Skull Island'?

(Sources: Grindhouse Cinema Database)


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