Lot of negative banter online concerning Eli Roth’s Amazon cannibal feature The Green Inferno. I just don’t know what people want anymore. This movie was a breath of fresh air. Well, if you equate fresh air with teenage slacktivists being hacked and shredded to death then cooked an eaten then I guess you can inhale deeply. I have been a bit disappointed with Roth’s absence from the director’s chair in horror film making. He has been active producing and even acting, but I like his story telling style really. This is his first go as director since 2007’s Hostel II and I found to film to be both entertaining and gut wrenching. The film hung in limbo for a couple years before finally getting its US release, the same year Roth also released his thriller film Knock Knock with Keanu Reeves and real life wife Lorena Izzo, who also plays the lead character Justine in The Green Inferno. The film is an homage of sorts to the cannibal films of the 70’s and early 80’s that came out of Italy for the most part. I saw a few of them, including Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust whose working title, or something like that, was The Green Inferno. Not my cup of tea by any stretch. The natives looked displaced and sometimes in the films there seemed to be a mixing up of African South American cultures. The shocking aspect was considered the butchering of real animals, usually some sort of lizard or snake. The films have a cult following and much of the harsh criticism of Roth’s film comes form that community. Well, I will not doubt watch the Roth film again. There is plenty of info online of the trouble and turmoil he and the cast and crew went through to get an authentic look and feel to the film. You can look some of it up as it is pretty interesting and in particular there are a couple great interviews with Roth about the process of making the film. I could supply links but I hate doing that stuff. I found it and so can you curious one.
The cast of Peruvian Amazon Indians are genuine (though not head hunting cannibals or violent in any sense) and they give the film a look the Italian films never came close to. The violence and gore is intense and not for everybody, even horror fans. Not a movie for vegans I guess. But who the hell wants to watch a movie with a vegan anyway. The film does not try to supply any sort of deep social commentary on the evils befalling the rainforest and that is okay with me. It is there, but the take on that angle is filled with cynicism and jest as far as I am concerned. There is some sort of odd ball sequence in the closing credits that seems to be a set up for a sequel but it was a bit confusing to me and I really think it could have been left off. There was talk of a sequel that Roth would produce but those plans are frozen for the moment it seems. I do see a batch of knock off cannibals in the Amazon films coming out shortly. That may not be a great thing. But I can recommend this one for the most part. And I will say before closing that I am not a fan of fart or poop gags, but this film has a pretty good one. It does answer a question about what people who are trapped together in a cage or cell do when nature calls, and boy does it call in this scene. Good gory, farty fun.