Plot: A group of college students sign up for an activist excursion to the Amazon rainforest, to stage a demonstration against the logging industries there, which have encroached on uncontacted tribal lands. The plan is to chain themselves to the heavy equipment, film the situation and live stream it to the internet, to show the world what is going on there. As it turns out, that was the easy part, but when the security force for the loggers arrives and brandishes powerful firearms, it looks as if the protest might take a not so peaceful turn. The students soon learn they were manipulated by the activists, but they survive and the protest is a success, with global exposure for their actions and much attention on the rainforest plight. Tensions run hot over the lack of full disclosure involved, but those differences have to be shelved when tragedy strikes and the group is forced into a battle for survival…
Entertainment Value: An over the top, often campy tribute to the notorious Italian cannibal movies, The Green Inferno is a fun ride, even if it isn’t able to capture the raw, frenetic atmosphere of the films that inspired it. The narrative is about what you’d expect, a host of unlikable characters put through a hellish experience, but it takes a while to ramp up and even then, can be on the slow side. As he did in Hostel, Eli Roth devotes the first half of the movie to light character development, so the last half is when we meet the cannibals. The first half is rather slow, but does what it needs to do, which is introduce the college kids and activists, then make sure we know what total douches they all are. The pace and the schlock kick into high gear once the group is stranded in the jungle, with a much more kinetic pace and focus on genre elements, not to mention outlandish humor at times. But the dread and visceral atmosphere of the cannibal flicks of yore aren’t here, so don’t expect that kind of gut punch content in this case. So The Green Inferno lacks the grit and nastiness of the old school cannibals, but it is a love letter to the genre and it is wild to see this kind of movie made with such slick, polished production values. I found it to be uneven, but seeing b movie schlock made with such a lavish approach was quite cool and I think The Green Inferno is a proper, campy tribute to the cannibal cinema of the past.
This one has a lot of almost naked people running around, but the sleaze quotient was much lower than expected. A scene of full frontal male nudity is seen, as well as some skin in a brief topless sequence. There’s some sexual rituals involved and a likely rape at one point, but these all happen off screen. There’s also an awkward and humorous masturbation scene. As for the bloodshed, we have a wild set piece with a guy’s arms, legs, and head being hacked off in spectacular fashion, but the gore never hits that level before or after. That scene is a wild one, but most of the deaths happen off screen or aren’t that graphic. Even so, there are some highlight, such as the fate of the pilots, eye trauma, blowgun wounds, arrow wounds, gunshot wounds, a nice tongue slicing scene, a throat slash, and of course, lots of meat preparation and cannibal feasts. So there is a good amount of violence on hand here, but outside of a few graphic sequences, the gore isn’t that wild. The dialogue is sometimes humorous and often delivered in wooden, awkward ways from the cast. A lot of pretentious talk from the college kids, some fun banter springs up, and of course, “I need a bathroom…” is a memorable moment. As for craziness, we have the awful CGI ants and jungle cat, which look beyond low rent, the explosive defecation, awkward masturbation, and wooden, stilted performances, plus the entire movie has a campy vibe woven in.
Overall Insanity: 5/10
The Disc: Scream Factory has re-released The Green Inferno on Blu-ray and while the same transfer is brought back from the earlier version, the movie looks good and leaves little room for complaints. The image is very sharp, with excellent detail and depth, while the colors are vibrant, which is crucial here. The lush greens pop off the screen, while the vivid bursts of other bright hues are well replicated, which bolsters the movie’s impressive visual design elements. New to this version are about an hour and a half of interviews with Eli Roth and several cast members, as well as the original soundtrack, included on a CD here. The rest of the extras are ported over and include cast & crew audio commentary track, a couple of promotional featurettes, tv spots, still photos, and the film’s trailer.