I had a unique opportunity to see The Green Inferno, on Sunday, September 27, 2015, in New Jersey, at a time of the morning when many people were at various church services taking the symbolic body of Christ, while I and a few friends were in a theater alone, watching cannibals dine on the body of humans. A private showing afforded to me, extremely fun, and those horror fans with me still could not take the savagery of Eli Roth’s film, clearly showing that cannibal films separate many horror fans. This film, presents the first wide release and accepted cannibal theme movie in a very long time, and while the subject material affords a comfortable resting spot with direct-to-DVD release the scale of the brutality lies with this movie. The Green Inferno a film anticipated by fans nationwide and perhaps worldwide, and the good news for the most is the wait largely worth it, as the homage to this largely overlooked sub-genre resurfaced with passion and desire.
A simple enough plot, and yet it takes a toll on the viewer to launch the spiral into bloodlust gore delights, which is the case with these films, the slow burn must start with the striking of a match at some point. Lorenza Izzo (Holidays ) has a range of emotions she conveys through the movie has a lasting effect, from the facial expression to the strength of physical character by the end of the movie the transformation exquisite portrays Justine, a freshmen college student in New York joins a campus activist group led by vocal leader Alejandro (Ariel Levy (The Stranger )). Ariel delivers on all levels also, presents one facade and showing another, his actions swing violently and never resting easily though it seems as if he strives to mirror Giovanni Lombardo Radice’s style in Cannibal Ferox (1981). Their goal is to venture to the Amazon and shame the developers into retreating from the land belonging to the natives, and later the team learns that their defense chains and cell phones versus machine guns and a trained mercenary army. The team of students have a pathetic attitude as they move in the jungle as they seem more concerned with bug bites and scoring weed, and bit of romantic hook ups. It’s demonstrated perfectly when they arrive on foreign soil and the actions people riding without helmets, the righteous nobles ready to spill their hypocrisy to others. The students merely uninformed on worldly aspects, and believing in false ideologies, to gain a popularity of local celebrity status, for staging one brief intervention, will benefits the natives over the money driven corporations. One wonders if these students ever took a history class understanding the movement to achieve civil rights, took years of interventions, the position shows their gullible attitudes. The movie turns quickly with the plane crash, the slow motion of spillage of vomit, and the instant death, conveying their turmoil faster than anything they ever experienced. As they crash and stumble away experiencing various degrees of issues including seeing one of the pilots get introduced to nature in unique manner, the chaos ensues involving spears to necks and heads. Anyone can tell of the animosity to these students from the natives, the hint, what are they wearing, key indication.
Quickly in the village the nervous actions surround the students and each taking a moment to comprehend the issues, trembling with fear, unsure of what happens next though we viewers know the next step. Soon enough, what the horror fans desired occurs the brutal mutilation and destruction of one of the students, from tongue disposal to eye gouging and dismemberment and decapitation for extra measure, enjoy this spillage, the last of it, take it all in and salivate over the moments. The reason why, for the most part the last of it, the film quiets down, and delivers a silly moment of excessive stench provoking bowel explosion, a juvenile scene, yet it does effectively work to lighten the audience’s tense moments. As opposed to previous cannibal films, the level of tension never broke, it stayed negative, and constant, though in horror, many have a comedic moment that allows the viewer to reset and ready for the next scene and/or jump scare, however that never really occurs in this sub-genre. Kirby Bliss Blanton (Recovery ) as Amy, delivers a true and honest performance; her actions later in the film, express that everyone has a breaking point, and in some cases, everyone wishes to choose their path in life and death definitely note this when viewing the movie.
Aside from the constant lack of cannibalism, a slight overlooked aspect no subtitles of the natives, who seem to go through daily chores and motions, even if the subtitles were made up the understanding of them could have raised bar in the genre. Many welcome Eli’s return to the director’s chair, and remember fondly of his styles from Cabin Fever (2002) and Hostel (2005) and this tribute film to Cannibal Holocaust (1980) serves a notice he has not lost the skill to perform up to the task of presenting a classic horror movie. This movie was originally completed in 2013, but ended in dry-dock with the financial issues of the production company Worldview Entertainment and others passing on the project but the proud success of Blumhouse Productions who set the film with a release date. Upon this a backlash started from Amazon Watch support groups, but none the activists were able to turn the tide to have the movie remove from theaters, they did not for the efforts that the parents in 1984 had to demand the removal of Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984). A misplaced CGI shot of digital ants attacking never lives of the hype of a killed, and rather lingers in boredom for the fans, the options to do more exist. In addition, there’s a slight downside of the classic and infamous scene from Cannibal Holocaust involving the rectal insertion of a log to the homage scene a bit commonplace the moment to push forward and break the boundaries present itself in grandiose style all lost.
In horror, many sub-genres exist and some reign more supreme than others holding the market hostage, the slashers of the eighties and small rebirth in the mid to late 1990s with Scream (1996) and the mad doctors always surfacing with the creatures to attack the human race. But of course the zombies taking over in all manners large to small screens and even the exploitation markets of grindhouse and torture-porn thrive and least noted the reboots versus remakes. The lessor known sub-genre cannibal films, finding themselves lost in the jungle, only to have a brief footnote with the Wrong Turn movies, their domination in the 1970s cast away , and now the ravaging elements comes out the shadows devouring their enemies. Often the phrase used in the horror genre, not intended for all audiences, cannot ring truer here, this movie provides a clear indication of the line in horror that divides genre fans, though not to the extreme of Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox, nevertheless the film generates disgust from the basic horror fans.
Needless to say, the practical effects appear wonderful and the gore presents vividly, making many to cover their eyes and others shout out in delight, the demand is high for more of this entertainment, and the gross out value now can only increase. One wonders if the sub-genre is ready for an NC-17 cannibal film, likely not, as it still seems to be the third rail of commercial suicide, however with The Green Inferno, while not perfect to the those cannibal delights of the past, it does provide a wondrous new place for excessiveness gut-munching and more disturbing filmmaking.
This review was originally published in October 2015 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website and accumulated a view count of 1,874.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- Fear will consume you
- Fear will eat you alive
- Give the gift of flesh this Christmas.
- Cooking Soon.
- Prayers won’t save you this time.
- Justice will be served.
- Can you handle it?
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10