The Green Inferno Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Universal
  • Release Date: January 5, 2016
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 101 minutes


            Eli Roth as a filmmaker is like Quentin Tarantino without the intelligence or finesse. All that remains are references to grindhouse films of the 1970s and ‘80s, which are often too similar to the original to be enjoyed as little more than homage. With The Green Inferno, Roth tackled the disturbing sub-genre of horror involving native cannibals in the rainforests. The original films he has clearly been influenced by include Ruggero Deodato’s “Cannibal Trilogy,” the second of which was originally titled ‘The Green Inferno’ before switching to Cannibal Holocaust.


            Roth may have stolen the title, but there are many things about Cannibal Holocaust that he can never duplicate, and those are the things that make it so infamous. While Roth imitates and duplicates the scenes of cannibalism with disturbing enthusiasm, the main reason that Cannibal Holocaust remains so timelessly disturbing is due to the film’s animal deaths, all of which are real. Some of this is merely cultural difference, as the locals view the creatures as resources, but the way that the camera lingers and intrudes on this carnage is the epitome of exploitation. And to that end, I must give Roth some credit for being tasteless, shamelessly exploiting the very real issue of FGM for shock value and entertainment when the consumption of flesh grows dull. He wisely stays clear of animals, save a swarm of bad CGI ants, which serve as further reminder of Roth simply playing at the realism Deodato had mastered.


            Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is a naïve college freshman who joins an elitist group of activists on a trip to Peru in hopes of making a difference. They plan a dangerous protest in the jungle, live-streaming their efforts against the destruction of the rainforest, used as pawns by their arrogant leader, Alejandro (Ariel Levy). Before the group has time to celebrate their efforts, their small plane crashes deep in the jungle and they find themselves captives of a hidden cannibalistic tribe. There are differences in the surviving characters, some major and others simply nuanced, but that is essentially all there is for plot. This is a survival narrative that often feels more like torture porn, and it has a storyteller clearly amused by the depravity.  


            The narrative takes nearly 45-minutes to arrive in the camp of the cannibals, and then it spends the second half of the running time dispatching of the remaining characters in as many creative ways as possible. It would be too simple to have them all killed and eaten in the same manner, so Roth’s disturbed creativity becomes the central focus of the film between escape attempts. Roth backs himself into a corner in the screenplay, but as a filmmaker he is as bloodthirsty as the cannibals, and this seems to blind him. He succeeds on replicating the horrors of cannibalism, but doesn’t spend enough time on the story and characters to ensure we care about anything other than the realism in the gore.


            The Blu-ray release includes a photo gallery of the tumultuous location shoot, which is discussed in great detail amongst the cast and crew included on the feature commentary track. I’m surprised that there is not also a making-of featurette to go with this. The Blu-ray also comes with a Digital HD copy of the film. Despite the shortcomings of the film’s narrative, The Green Inferno has an authentic look brought by the real-life tribesmen used. Combine this with the cinematic scope of the locations and the high definition becomes a much-needed asset to the storytelling.


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

    Historical Significance:  5/10

    Special Features: 6/10

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