If there was any filmmaker qualified enough to take the cannibal subgenre of horror film that was once popular decades ago, and bring it back into modern theaters, it is the one and only Eli Roth. It is hard to believe it has been eight years since we last saw a feature film directed by Roth, that being 2007’s Hostel: Part II. He certainly hasn’t been idle since then, having produced The Last Exorcism films, acting in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and directing the pilot for and serving as executive producer of Netflix’ original series, Hemlock Grove, along with a number of other projects. Now, his dark, twisted and gory imagination will once again grace the big screen on September 25th in The Green Inferno.
The plot of The Green Inferno is basically that of a group of students who travel to the Amazon with the good intentions of helping to save a native tribe. When their plane crashes and they are captured by said natives, the horror begins. The film was actually shot in 2012, in Peru and Chile, and was originally set to be released last year, but its controversial nature gave its production company and distributor second thoughts, but the film is now thankfully being given a release on over 1500 screens by Blumhouse Productions, Universal and High Top Releasing, and the Gore 4 couldn’t be happier.
As horror fans know, the cannibal subgenre had an infamous reign in the late 70s and early 80s, mostly emanating from Italy, with Ruggero Deodato’s 1977 Jungle Holocaust, Umberto Lenzi’s 1981 Cannibal Ferox, aka Make Them Die Slowly, and the most notorious of them all, 1980’s Cannibal Holocaust, again directed by Deodato. These films were all noteworthy for a number of reasons. First off, they were shocking in their realistic looking depiction of violence and cannibalism. In fact, after Cannibal Holocaust‘s release, Deodato was ultimately charged with not only obscenity, but murder, as it was believed his actors had actually been killed on camera. Second, and adding to the realism factor, these pictures were usually shot on location in the jungles and rainforests of South America, oftentimes using real natives among the cast. Thirdly, the documentary style of filmmaking, and the ‘found footage’ aspect used by some, were the forefathers to everything from The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, District 9 and countless others right up to today. Lastly, and most disturbing, was the actual killing of live animals on screen, something which undoubtedly won’t occur in Roth’s film, as he is known to be an animal rights activist. Instead, this film looks to have a pro-environmental message amidst all the blood and guts.
As for the blood & guts, Gore4natics needn’t worry that the lack of an unrated theatrical release might mean a watered-down film. We are talking Eli Roth here, and if his Hostel films weren’t enough evidence, the fact that all the Saw films and Evil Dead remake were able to splatter screens with an R rating should be all the proof you need that times are different from the days of the MPAA-slashed films of the 80s.
We’ll have an upcoming review of The Green Inferno once it’s unleashed on theater screens on September 25th. Until then, you can check out their official webpage, like their facebook page, and enjoy this trailer: