Here's another addition to the "prehistoric" cycle of the early '80s, cave man films inspired by the success of QUEST FOR FIRE. This obscure Italian movie was made under the direction of one of Italy's weirdest auteurs - Alberto Cavallone, who also gave us the infamous BLUE MOVIE. Although once you've watched it you'll realise why it's a deservedly obscure movie, MASTER OF THE WORLD does have a few things in its favour - if you can get over the limitations of the plot less grunting, that is, and the boredom that sets in early on. It's one of the goriest, nastiest prehistoric movies you'll see, with some really excruciating on-screen decapitations (usually achieved by a blunt weapon just to make it more painful) you'll ever see, graphic scenes of cannibalism and severed heads having the brains torn out and eaten, all staged with realism and relish from the gore-hungry cast. Yes, this contains some of the most gruelling cannibal footage you're likely to see outside of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST!
You may be wondering why a film so nasty is relatively undiscovered amongst fans of "video nasty" style horror. The answer is simple - poor distribution. As far as I know, this was only ever available in a cut form in the US; however it was released back in the '80s in an uncut, letterboxed version in Greece which is becoming increasingly hard to track down these days. The film is a mess and often drags between the action stages, with poor actors wandering around and grunting being no substitute for a real story with dialogue. MASTER OF THE WORLD was actually filmed in the Canary Islands, which means that the scenery is often breathtakingly beautiful and convincingly lush and prehistoric in nature - this isn't one of those films where you see roads in the background - and the backdrop helps to add to the realism of the production.
Cavallone stages the action with relish and never shies away from the brutality and violence of the time, instead showing people being beaten to death with rocks and sticks, even women and children - nobody is safe here. Again this adds to the realism. None of the actors are familiar and I'm sure none went on to much else in their careers, but it's difficult to judge anyone too harshly seeing as they don't speak or act much really - just getting on with it instead. What I did find incredible were the scenes of actors battling dogs and large bears - there are no unconvincing stuntmen here, no protection, the bears are the real deal and not just phoney fakes - the actors just launch themselves on the animals and usually get mauled or beaten around. Dangerous stuff, and unexpected even from those crazy Italians! Cavallone finishes it all off with the triple-whammy of bloodshed. However, aside from a few moments of interest this is an arty and undistinguished bore.
Review by Leofwine_draca from the Internet Movie Database.