Sunday, September 27, 2015


THE GREEN INFERNO is director Eli Roth's love letter to cannibal exploitation horror films. This Italian horror sub-genre became popular in the late seventies and early eighties. The genre never quite caught on like the Spaghetti Westerns or Zombie films did. That's why you don't see a ton of them, unlike your typical DAWN OF THE DEAD rip off or umpteenth Django western.

Stuck in limbo for almost two years it was unclear if moviegoers were going to see THE GREEN INFERNO at the theater, or at all for that matter? Months if not weeks before the film was to hit theaters the studio releasing the picture hit a financial snag and couldn't/wouldn't show the movie. Given the opportunity I always try to watch a film on the big screen. Especially one that I want to see! Thanks to movie producer Jason Blum (the current David O. Selznick of horror) audiences now were able to see the cannibal horror adventure on a mainstream level.

Will a theatrical release help THE GREEN INFERNO in terms of box office? Probably not. I don't see a cannibal resurgence happening anytime soon. It's just cool that a film like this is getting a major release.

Much like Roth's two previous films, THE GREEN INFERNO has a group of college aged kids finding themselves in a heap of trouble. This time around it's a college activist group heading to the jungles of Peru to stop the deforestation of the Amazon. From the start you get the feeling that something isn't quite right. These students are quick to blindly follow activist Alejandro. At first our films lead Justine (played by the beautiful Lorenza Izzo) isn't buying into the cause, but cannot get over how hot she thinks Alejandro is. So she joins the group despite her skepticism.

When they arrive their plan is to chain themselves to trees and broadcast it live over the internet. The protest is a success but the college kids are immediately taken back to the plane and asked to leave. With no time to change they are back on the plane still wearing construction worker uniforms. The victory is cut short when the plane crashes into the jungle.

After one of the most intense plane crashes in cinema history, the survivors are captured by a indigenous tribe. But instead of being welcomed as guests to the village, the group becomes dinner. The plane crash was intense but this is when the film becomes no holds barred.

Up to this point the movie is pretty bad. Flat looking cinematography (thanks to digital) and clunky dialogue plague the first half of THE GREEN INFERNO. The stiff acting and bad dialogue might be on purpose due to the film being a exploitation movie? But once we get to the jungle everything looks beautiful and performances are great. The fist victim of cannibalism is the most gruesome scene in the film. I mean this guy gets it the worse. I won't go into to detail, but we're talkin' 5 piece barbecue chicken dinner. Everything after is pretty standard (not a bad thing), but that first kill belongs in the horror hall of fame.

While waiting for their fate the rest of the group learn that Alejandro hasn't been completely honest with them. The protest was all a ruse so that another construction team could come in and clean house. So now that it has been revealed that he's a asshole, the group plan to escape without him. They get caught again and now Justine is victim to an ancient ritual. But thanks to a young boy from the tribe she escapes. But will the green inferno of the Amazon engulf her? While THE GREEN INFERNO is one of the most brutal films you'll see this year, it's got some dark humor to relieve the tension. This is where Eli Roth reminds the audience that what you are seeing isn't real. And that you can have fun while being scared or grossed out. In other words THE GREEN INFERNO isn't just complete total nihilism.

The fact that the film isn't a full on exercise of nihilism depravity is a good thing. The horror review gurus that criticize THE GREEN INFERNO for not going all the way are wrong. The only things missing from Roth's film are rape, genital mutilation, and animal killings. Who wants to see those things? The themes are implied well enough that we don't need to see it. Less is more anyways.

So I should mention the political sub text of the film. Eli Roth hates the idea of social justice warriors. And I don't blame him. Making change in the world isn't about how many “likes” your Facebook page gets, or how many times you've been re-tweeted. If you're on social media then you know what I am talking about. It's gotten so bad these past couple of years that I always consider deleting my Facebook account.

The thing that surprised me the most about THE GREEN INFERNO was how Eli Roth didn't go full on homage. Instead, we feel the spirit of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and CANNIBAL FEROX.

If you're a fan of horror and have never seen a cannibal movie, then I recommend THE GREEN INFERNO. And if you see the film and love it, and by love it I mean it's now your favorite horror movie, then and only then do I recommend you see CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

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