Gow The Killer

2394. GOW THE KILLER (1934-USA). “He destroyed his human victims…but saved their heads!” So describes the title figure in this absolutely spine-tingling exploration of savage cannibals and head hunters in the South Pacific. With the aid of a telephoto lens, a group of brave seamen and scientists set out to photograph the primitive tribes where few civilized people dare tread. They first encounter friendly natives in the Marquesas Islands and Samoa. In Fiji, the explorers meet a half-civilized group who build houses, trade bananas and cook up a generous feast of pigs and chickens in an underground fire hole. After a short visit with the Pygmies whose bodies are under four-feet tall, the expedition continues to the New Guinea Papuans whose cannibal ways have been tamed by missionaries. Then our intrepid explorers come upon true cannibalsÑhuman flesh eatersÑwho spend most of their time in the jungles of the New Hebrides. The camera captures their native feast, during which they dance with each other and with pigs until they are in a state of sheer frenzy. Finally, we meet the high chief of the head hunters, “Gow The Killer.” He and his great warriors re-enact the bloody raid which placed him in power. The victors bring back skulls for storage in their skull houses as part of a pagan religious ritual! This is a rare and stunning example of the exciting ethnographic films made by fearless explorers during the late 1920s and early 1930s. 61 minutes. Documentary