As a horror movie fan when you hear ‘cannibal horror movie’ your mind will almost always drift to the Italian exploitation movies of the 1970’s. Movies like Cannibal Holocaust, The Man from the Deep River & The Mountain of the Cannibal God to name but a few. A controversial subject matter with many a director seeing it as chance to shock audiences rather than tell a coherent story.
I’m not a huge fan of many cannibal horror movies but I do consider Cannibal Holocaust an incredible piece of work, way ahead of its time, it is a piece of cinematic history. The Green Inferno is an unashamed throwback to the cannibal horrors of that era even taking its name from the film that is being shown within Cannibal Holocaust.
Justine, a young college freshman & daughter of a UN Attorney takes an interest in some of the social activism occurring at her campus. Attracted to the passion of leader, Alejandro, she agrees to go with the group to the Amazon rainforest. They plan to try & stop a logging company that is going to destroy villages of the ancient tribes that live there.
Adding a modern feel to the movie their aim is to get global recognition by using their phones to stream the events & hoping that the logging company will back down when faced with the potential embarrassment.
Everything is going ok until Justine has a gun put to her head by the logging company’s militia who are protecting the site. Alejandro reveals that she is the daughter of a UN Attorney to the militia who back down not willing to kill someone so important. Turns out she was just a pawn in his plan, he expected something to go wrong & she was ‘his get out of jail free’ card.
The group are ordered out of the country but as their plane is leaving the jungle it has a malfunction & crashes. In the resulting chaos several members of the group are killed before the rest come under attack by natives of the jungle.
Some are killed while others are knocked unconscious waking later at the tribe’s village. Turns out this tribe (the same one they had been trying to protect against the logging company) is a cannibal tribe as we see one member of the group brutally cut apart & eaten by the savages.
The survivors are locked in cages & treated like sideshow freaks. Fear runs rampant, tempers fray & alliances are made & destroyed. Will any of them manage to survive?
The very first thing I want to warn you about in the Green Inferno is that it is a very graphic & gory film. If you can’t stomach brutal death scenes then this isn’t a film for you. It’s incredibly realistic & hard to watch at times. The level of detail shown in the dismembering & cooking of one particular character is both fascinating & disturbing.
The second thing is that if you don’t like cannibal horror movies this is unlikely to change your mind. The word throwback is used a lot when talking about the Green Inferno & that’s because that is exactly what it is. Take the out flashier visuals, improved filming techniques & better acting & this could slot in perfectly alongside any of the 70’s cannibalistic horrors.
I have few complaints regarding the acting, mostly everyone does a great job in their roles & certain scenes will stick with you because of character reactions. The only one I really didn’t like was the village elder, I found her character to look & come across cartoony, it didn’t fit well with the darker theme of the movie.
The Green Inferno does have its dark moments & it purposely builds itself in a way so that when the death & brutality comes it is far more shocking as it’s happening to characters you’ve gotten to know. It also has lighter, more slapstick moments such as the explosive diarrhea scene, the ‘masturbating’ scene & the stoned villagers.
These are odd & they really didn’t work for me. They detached me from what I was seeing & reminded me that I was watching a movie, which is not good…
The final parts of the movie are so disappointing, predictable & with a shitty fake-out/jump scare.Dragging on for to long & implying the possibility of genital mutilation but chickening out at the last minute. For a film that showed off incredibly exciting gory moments early on, it really goes out of it’s way to avoid them in the final third.
The ending lets down what was mostly an enjoyable ride to an era of film that has long since passed.
The Green Inferno