Director: Eli Roth
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy & Aaron Burns
Synopsis: A group of student activists travel to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.
Rating: 18 Duration: 100 minutes Release date: 22 February (UK)
Eli Roth, he of Cabin Fever and Hostel fame, is quite the fan of cannibal films from the 70’s and 80’s. Video nasties like Cannibal Holocaust and Emanuelle and The Last Cannibals are particular favourites of his, and it’s those films he attempts to recreate and pay homage to in The Green Inferno. Whether you enjoy The Green Inferno will largely depend on how strong your stomach is for this type of thing and whether or not you enjoy seeing people eaten alive.
The film starts at New York University, where freshman Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is looking for a way into the life of good looking activist Alejandro (Ariel Levy). During one of her classes she learns about the brutal genital mutilation that females are facing in some of the further reaches of the world. It’s a shocking realisation for Justine and empowers her to join the activist group led by the handsome Alejandro. After a brief moment of being excluded from the group, Justine soon finds herself on her way to the Amazon, group in tow, aiming to stop a logging company from destroying the forest.
After what is deemed a successful protest, the group soon find themselves in mortal danger when their plane crashes and a local tribe begin to attack them.
On a personal note, cannibal films and particularly the popular ones from the 70’s & 80’s are not a genre I have a very deep knowledge of. That’s not to say I’ve avoided them, rather they are something I’m not well versed in. Saying that, whilst The Green Inferno is incredibly gory, if you’ve seen a few horrors in your time and any Eli Roth film, you know what to expect. Bloodied bodies, limbs torn apart, eyes removed from sockets and the now familiar sight of someone being eaten alive can be seen on TV as well as mainstream horror films.
While The Green Inferno fills its quota for bloodshed, surely an interesting story or likeable characters have to accompany it? Otherwise it’s just gore for gores sake. Unfortunately, that’s all the film seems to have to offer. Once the film is set up and our group are being held captive in a bamboo cell, the film has little going for it. None of the captives are especially sympathetic, Alejandro is a grade A bastard and everyone else seems to have fallen from the stupid tree hitting each branch on the way down.
It’s hard to like The Green Inferno on face value, but there are some moments that do take away from the humdrum and blood splatter. It is, one presumes, unintentionally hilarious. Several scenes are really very funny, but it never seems intended and that is something you will either take or leave, but the great thing about bad horror films is that you can always laugh at them. Also, there’s a great deal of hard work that went into making of The Green Inferno. Shot entirely on location, the commitment to the cause is remarkable and full credit must go to Eli Roth for piecing it together.
Fans of story, character and genuine frights are not catered for here though. Instead, it is fans of all out carnage who will likely get the most joy. It has its moments, but as a whole The Green Inferno is little more than a throwback to past shockers and will only be of relevance to those who have a fondness for extreme levels of bloodshed.
A directors commentary is included on the DVD.