» » Kwaheri: Vanishing Africa (1964)

Short summary

"Documentary" about an expedition through darkest Africa in search of a jungle medicine man who performs bizarre (and illegal) skull surgeries. Along the way there is much footage of various animals being butchered, natives with gross birth defects and primitive local rituals.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Thetalen
    Another one of the jungle series of mondo flicks, this one following an expedition deep into unknown and FORBIDDEN territory. Kwaheri is one of the better mondo flicks in my opinion because it has some very unique and interesting footage. The main point of the expedition is to find a witchdoctor who performs illegal skull surgeries and along the way we see footage of wildlife and native african life. This footage is quite extraordinary and quite impressive. The narration, on the other hand, is pure exploitation and thus needless. So view this for the unique footage contained in the film, and you'll get your fix for no holds barred jungle adventure. Not for the squeamish, but if you can bring yourself to watch it, Kwaheri is very worthwhile.
  • comment
    • Author: Stanober
    For fans of the first wave of "mondo" films this is actually pretty obscure and over the top stuff definitely worth seeing. For those not familiar with or interested in the genre, it seems like as good a place as any to start. Unlike some of the classic Italian-made "shocumentaries" of the early-to-mid sixties, this one was produced by Americans, and concentrates solely on Africa, specifically dealing with the vanishing of the old and bringing in of the new. That's the stated intention and theme anyway, but obviously it's a load of crap. While the narration dotes on endlessly about the "old ways", etc, etc., we all know the point is to show as much outrageous animal slaughter, weird native rituals and natural anomalies as possible. Like most films of this type that I've seen, this one comes off as a cross between staged nonsense ("Africa Blood and Guts") and real life strangeness ("Mondo Cane"), but tends to move quite slowly and is actually pretty racist in its condescending tone and exploitative feel. Highlights that set this above some of the others include some pretty messed up birth defects and tumors, milking of poisonous snakes for their venom and an open brain surgery operation that must be seen to be believed. As I mentioned, this is pretty over-the-top and outrageous, but it left me with a feeling of phoniness, This is the kind of movie that inspired the infamous "Cannibal Holocaust" and is worth seeing as a slice of film history if for no other reason.
  • comment
    • Author: Mr.Bean
    Mixes safari footage with exploitation/ shock footage (tame by today's standards) as most Mondos do, and emerges as one of the better jungle Mondos, as it contrasts life in larger African cities, with life in the bush, in Uganda, near the equator, in the filmmakers' (alleged) quest to locate a witch doctor who performs open-skull surgery on conscious patients.

    Putrid blood-and-gore ending brought to mind the old line about, "It's not the destination, it's the journey", and made me regret the witchdoctor had been found, and the film's dubbed narration grew tiresome, making this an above average, though still not a *good* Mondo.
  • Credited cast:
    Kwaheri Kwaheri - Himself
    Les Tremayne Les Tremayne - Narrator
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