Theatrical release poster
Ruggero Deodato at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Joshua Leonard played a fictionalized version of himself in the film.
A missing person poster showing Heather Donahue (left), Joshua Leonard (middle), and Michael C. Williams (right) as part of the film's marketing campaign tactic to portray its events as real

It is also cited as a precursor of found footage films such as The Blair Witch Project and The Last Broadcast.

- Ruggero Deodato

Although Cannibal Holocaust director Ruggero Deodato has acknowledged the similarities of The Blair Witch Project to his film, he criticized the publicity that it received for being an original production; advertisements for The Blair Witch Project also promoted the idea that the footage is genuine.

- The Blair Witch Project
Theatrical release poster

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Italian theatrical release poster

Cannibal Holocaust

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Italian theatrical release poster
Director Ruggero Deodato
Carl Gabriel Yorke and Francesca Ciardi
The film's impalement scene was one of several scenes examined by the courts to determine whether the violence depicted was staged or genuine.
Ruggero Deodato with Eli Roth on the set of Hostel: Part II (2007)

Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 Italian found footage cannibal horror film directed by Ruggero Deodato and written by Gianfranco Clerici.

The treatment of this footage, which is noted for its visual realism, innovated the found footage style of filmmaking that was later popularized in American cinema by The Blair Witch Project.