Maori cannibalism features in Temuera Morrison's latest movie and a senior academic says it is highly likely to attract complaints.
Homegrown horror Fresh Meat was shot in Wellington, and has a Kiwi cast and crew.
A professional film industry website said the plot pivoted around a dysfunctional gang of criminals who take a middle-class Maori family hostage.
The criminals belatedly discover the Maori family are cannibals.
A publicity poster shows a human hand garnished with lemon and herbs.
Nevertheless, Gibson Group chief executive Victoria Spackman refused to confirm whether cannibalism featured in the film.
Gibson Group said the film's publicity campaign was set to start next month.
AUT University's Paul Moon expected the theme of cannibalism would attract controversy. "It was a comparatively recent practice, so there may be a bit of rawness about that."
Moon said a few "so-called academics" among Maori would object.
"The problem is there are those self-appointed arbiters of what the public should and shouldn't see or read. They are the ones who'll be upset at this portrayal." Spackman said Fresh Meat would appeal to those who enjoyed comedy-horrors such as Shaun of the Dead.
"We're aiming for young men and we're pretty sure we've hit that nail," she said.
Fresh Meat is in post-production in Wellington.