The green inferno

★1/2

If you’re a lover of gore porn, Eli Roth’s Green Inferno will satisfy your thirst for blood, guts and absurdity. The story begins as a group of eager college activists travel to Peru to stop the destruction of the rainforest and the native tribes who reside in them. Things quickly turn sour when the Native Tribe within the rainforest mistake the activists as their enemy. Soon, the tribe begins to brutally murder and ingest the students one by one. It is over the top and absurd—but if you’re a fan of horror with a strong stomach, you’ll fall in love. For the rest of you, you’re on your own.

Roth’s film plays homage to Cannibal Holocaust, an infamous film that has been banned in over 50 countries. Green Inferno is essentially a remake of this horror classic, but without the controversy. Back in 1980, the film was marketed as being lost documentary footage discovered in the Amazon rainforest. It is not real, but that didn’t stop people from believing it was real.

Because of the film’s intense graphic violence, several accused Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust of being a snuff film (a pornographic movie of an actual murder). It was investigated. Consequently, Deodato was arrested and charged with obscenity. However, the counts were dropped once investigators realized the murders depicted in the film were fake.

With this rich history in mind, it is no wonder that splat-pack (low budget horror with a lot of blood and a lot of violence) director Eli Roth decided to reinvent the Italian horror classic. He isn’t for the faint of heart: this is the director who wrote Hostel, for crying out loud.

The most iconic scene from Roth’s Green Inferno is the first brutal murder. Despite the gruesome plane crash in which the pilots are impaled by trees and vomit fills the airplane as a passenger becomes sick, this one tops the chart. When the plane crashes and the activists disembark, they are quickly blow-darted by the natives and carried to their village. The tribe puts all of the surviving activists (Justine, Lars, Amy, Samantha, Daniel, Alejandro) into a bamboo cage. However, Jonah is carried to a large rock by the tribe and is fed a broth.

Jonah is held down as the female elder gouges his eyes out and eats them. Jonah writhes in agony and screams. The elder continues by slicing off his tongue and consuming it in front of the village. Afterwards, the tribe brutally dismembers Jonah’s body by cutting off his legs, arms, and finally his head. The body parts are taken to a hut and prepared to cook.

The murder scenes in the film are difficult to watch. I jumped in my seat as the tribe dismembered Jonah’s body. The sounds of broken bone and the cutting of flesh is an intense experience. I can’t remember having this much fun in a theater in a long time. Roth continues to entertain, but I won’t spoil the rest of the gruesome murders. However, there are two scenes in particular that could be removed to turn Roth’s film into a masterpiece rather than a farce.

The first is a scene that attempts to provide comedic relief amidst all the horror. As the activists sit in their cage awaiting death, Samantha tells her peers that she feels extremely sick. She pushes herself into a corner and defecates on the ground. There are terrible sound effects playing—the fart noise the director included still haunts me. As she defecates, the tribe makes fun of Samantha and fan themselves because of the awful smell.

The second scene is equally as disgusting. It is no lie that the characters within the film are in a tough situation. Tensions are high. So what do they decide to do about it? Alejandro has it covered. He begins masturbating within the cage as his peers sit and strategize a way to escape. He claims the act of touching himself relieves tension and stress—despite the fact that there is a dead body within their cage. The group is furious by his actions, and I would be too.

By removing these two scenes which are unnecessary to the plot, Roth’s film would be a horror lover’s dream. But let’s be real. Roth enjoys taking situations overboard, even if it means providing awkward comedic relief by incorporating fart jokes and masturbation. Regardless, taking a trip to your local theater to watch the Green Inferno will do you good. Although the movie has been receiving lack-luster reviews, Roth knows how to entertain an audience by making them feel completely disgusted and uncomfortable.

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