The Green Inferno
The Green Inferno (2013)
Well, where do I even begin... Everyone seems to think this is a gore fest or some sort of masterpiece, I will not sit here and blow smoke up a fanboy directors ass.
Eli Roth the acclaimed director/writer/producer/actor of Cabin Fever (2002) and Hostel (2005) has created a seemingly half-hearted attempt at the Jungle Adventure genre, or more suitably the Italian Cannibal genre.
Roth's The Green Inferno had a long run with festival screenings since 2013 because of distribution problems and has been in limbo for nearly three years… But it has finally hit cinemas this year 2015 to only 1,000 screens in the US and will be getting a hasty DVD/Blu-ray release.
It is hard to slate a director such as Eli Roth, because he has only really directed three films, one of those a sequel to his second feature Hostel, and I loved both Cabin Fever and Hostel, not because they are classic genre films or masterpieces but because I could see an honest filmmaker with passion.
His recent producing efforts have been very interesting with The Last Exorcism (2010) which was nothing amazing but interesting none the less, and the more recent The Sacrament (2013) which is an amazing move from director Ti West.
Why The Green Inferno sucks.
My main gripe with The Green Inferno is that Eli Roth is a fanboy of the exploitation cinema boom of the 70s and 80s, he grew up watching splatter films at the cinema and at home on VHS.
He has praised these films and with his fame, he has even tried collaborating with the directors of these classic films.
However Roth has just made a bad movie, I think directors forget that these old exploitation movies were being made with some self-awareness to what they were, The Green Inferno is just muddled with conflicting moods and conflicting emotions, at times it shines as a to be taken serious movie but then jumps about into slapstick and gross-out humor, The Green Inferno is the mongrel in a litter of pups forever wondering what it actually is and never fully realizing its identity.
Exploitation needs to be consistent which is why we like them, such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez with Grindhouse (2007) or Jason Eisener's Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)
Alas, The Green Inferno is no classic and becomes as wretched as Kirby Bliss Blanton's anal evacuation 40mins into the film.
Roth seems to treat this film and the genre as a joke, and it is a shame because there is real potential in the story and in this genre as a whole.
Okay well, the gore is BAD, nothing creative or original in the gore department, people please watch a Ruggero Deodato or a Sergio Martino or Umberto Lenzi cannibal film they pushed the boundaries on gore, and the violence. Brutality was a staple of the cannibal genre, and they showed it all never cutting away ever, even going so far as to have actual animal slaughter in the film, though I am glad he did not show that.
It is so frustrating because there is never a pinnacle gore moment in the entire film, and everything we do see is clichéd with no real shock value. I know Eli knows this!!!
The acting by all actors was bad, I guess mostly down to the script. However I liked that, it kind of made the film feel authentic with the badly dubbed Italian films of the past, so I give Eli points for that, the bad acting did work well for the film. Ariel Levy did do a very good Giovanni Lombardo Radice style performance, but Lorenza Izzo is no Lorraine De Selle.
The idea for the story was an amazing concept, I loved the story and the social commentary of this film, Eli got that right. However he executed it poorly the first 40mins or so are the best bits about this film, as soon as the cannibals show up the film goes way down hill and becomes uninteresting, which is not what you want from a cannibal genre film, this should be the highlight of the movie.
The cannibals were over the top and stylised to the point of ridiculous. I did not believe this was a real tribe, for all I knew these were deleted test footage of dress rehearsals for Mel Gibson's Apocalypto (2006).
His cannibals were bad... one-dimensional... They needed to be fleshed out more, have actual development so we understand their life, dressing them up in pretty colours does not give them character.
"Just because you are a character, doesn’t mean you have character" Pulp Fiction (1994)
Deodato's cannibals have life and we understand them as people and we hardly see them in both Last Cannibal World (1977) and Cannibal Holocaust (1980)... Hell, even Lenzi's were better than these and they were just Mexicans stripped naked and caked in mud.
Way, way, way too many homage's to the other original movies, not a bad thing, but when you are just using them to propel your story forward because you have no original ideas that is just sad and lazy filming.
Even stealing another movie ending, Lenzi's ending; an almost line for line... shame on you Eli.
When Quentin Tarantino does this it's cool because he actually rewrites the scenes, we can see the homage and respect his creativity because he did not just lift segments out of other people's films to fill his run-time.
Masturbation humour, diarrhoea humour, and cannibals with the munchies, shocking… This is the sort of humour that one would find watching an animated cartoon show, in fact, I know that the cannibals eating the marijuana-filled body and getting high is a joke from Futurama (TV series 1999-2013) where Lrrr eats a hippie and gets high high high...
Enough said this is not American Pie band camp this is supposed to be an Italian Cannibal movie, the comedy is dumb and unfunny because again like the gore the jokes are unoriginal or outright stolen.
Overall this was a jumbled mess of maybe studio input or a lack of respect to a much loved and forgotten genre by Eli Roth.
The most annoying thing about this is we know Eli Roth is a fan of these classic genre movies, so my question is why disrespect the genre?
I give The Green Inferno 1 star out of 5 turds it is not even worthy of stars. It gets that 1 turd because the story was goodish.
Would have been a solid 5 if there had been some creative gore, and less obvious humour this is no masterpiece this is a joke... a bad joke...
Watch Eli Roth's The Green Inferno and make up your own mind, I believe fans of the genre will be utterly disappointed but a more modern audience might find some wow factor.
My personal opinion go see the original films which he rips off so emotionlessly, these being the classics Last Cannibal World (1977), The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978), Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and Cannibal Ferox (1981).
Eli show it in the future, be true to the genre, don't play with us, what's with holding back, the genre is called exploitation for a reason... Eli just in case you didn't know Lars von Trier got there first... you all know what I mean.