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The Green Inferno - Worldview Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Richard Taylor   
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
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Directed by: Eli Roth
Written by:
Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo
Produced by:
Eli Roth, Miguel Asensio, Amanda Bowers, Molly Conners, Nicolás López, Michael Romero, Christopher Woodrow
Cinematography by:
Antonio Quercia
Editing by:
Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
Manuel Riveiro
Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz, Sky Ferreira
USA, Chile
1 h 40 min

Studio: Worldview Entertainment, Dragonfly Entertainment, Sobras International Pictures
Distributor: BH Tilt

All hands on deck for Eli Roth's much anticipated throwback to the cannibal sub-genre films of the 70's and 80's. The Green Inferno was plagued with financial problems with the production company Worldview Entertainment and its September 2014 release was pushed to September 2015. Receiving mixed reviews from critics (as to be expected) I personally thought the movie delivered some great mean spirited gore and black humor (intentional or non I'm not sure!).

It takes a good 40 minutes before things kick in, where we have some character development of the lead named Justine (Lorena Izzo, director Eli Roth's wife). Justine plays a naive girl who witnesses a protest group led by "charismatic" Alejandro (Ariel Levy). She takes an interest in the group after she learns they plan a protest to save the rain forest. The audience also gets some insight into what awaits Justine in the rain forest, at the hands of the cannibal tribe, as female circumcision is on the menu.

As naive as Justine is, she tries to get some help from her United Nations lawyer Daddy, who predictably tells her his hands are tied on the matter. Defying dear old Dad, Justine decides to join her new protest chums on the trip to save the native tribes homes from big corporate baddies planning to bulldoze it and drill for oil.

The first 30 minutes of the film is a snooze fest but after the plane crashes, the pace does not slow down. I really liked Sky Ferreira's role as Justine's friend Kaycee and was sad to see her character underutilized in the movie. Once Justine and her fellow protesters go on their "mission," Ferreira's character is out of the picture and we are given a bunch of characters we hardly saw in the first half an hour. I almost thought Kaycee would go with Justine in a half-assed attempt to keep her safe, even though it was highly apparent Kaycee thought the protesters were a bunch of dumb asses.

The Green Inferno offers equal opportunity deaths for both the more kind-hearted characters and the despised -- the good news is the ones you loathe the most are usually disposed of first. Critics and social media review sites give The Green Inferno mixed reviews, but a general consensus from the fans of horror films have seemed to accept it and given it more credit, especially those who are fans of the earlier cannibal films (most notably Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust and Umberto Lenzi's Cannibal Ferox). If you remember the documentary filmed within Cannibal Holocaust, it was called The Green Inferno who Roth states as his heaviest influence, along with the works of Werner Herzog. I definitely could have used a masterful inspired musical score like that of Riz Ortolani but it’s not here and the overabundance of real animal torture and violence which made many of the earlier cannibal movies infamous is nowhere to be found (understandably as director Roth is an advocate for PETA and I personally would not want real animals but re-creations with today's special effects would have sufficed).

I have to give Roth credit for not shying away from the gore; the camera does not skip a frame of the carnage as limbs, eyeballs and viscera are abundant, once our cannibal tribe get their hands on the protesters. The best scene involves a poor bastard named Jonah (played by Aaron Mills) who gets put upon a sacrificial slab and literally gets dismembered from eyeballs and tongue to limbs. This scene ranks as one of the best dismemberments I've witnessed in a horror film in a while and the sounds Jonah makes while it’s happening makes it all the more effective. KNB really slaughtered it on this!

The Green Inferno was said not to contain much humor and it is quite restrained until the second half of the movie. Once the carnage ensues, we get lots of crazy black humor quirks which are Roth's trademark. The best line in the film "I can smell my friend cooking!" A notable mention must also be giving to marijuana culture always finding its way into a movie. When one of the protesters commits suicide the tribe prepare to cook her, but before they do, one of the protesters stuffs a bag of dope into the body in hopes of distracting the tribe and escaping while the green ganja smolders in the corpse!

The cannibal movie was long dead with zombies over saturating movies and growing tiresome from every angle, with only one other Amazonian cannibal movie being made in 2007 titled Welcome to the Jungle a.k.a. Cannibals (which I recommend you checking out, it was released through Dimension Extreme). Instead of severely panning The Green Inferno, I'm going to praise it for bringing back a sub-genre that was once long dead and for doing that Mr. Eli Roth, I say thank you!




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