Monday, October 05, 2015

The Green Inferno


This film wasn't even on my radar until a Facebook friend posted "Eli Roth, fuck you and your movie. The last thing the indigenous tribes of Peru need is to be portrayed like this." I did a little clicking around and was delighted to learn that "like this" meant "like savage cannibals". Count me in!

A group of college activists led by a charismatic older student named Alejandro fly to Peru to protest the deforestation of the rain forest, which is displacing and destroying the land of ancient tribes. Their plan is to raise awareness and public outrage with a live stream of the loggers in action. The film’s heroine Justine participates despite her roommate’s objections. Her father’s position as a United Nations attorney is expected to bring international attention to the cause.

Needless to say things go horribly, horribly wrong. One plane crash later and the surviving protesters are abducted and imprisoned by one of the tribes they were there to save. How ironic! Eli Roth has never been accused of subtlety so it should come as no surprise that the cannibalistic scenes are not for the squeamish. If I may borrow Mr. AC’s hilarious warning label:

I can understand why there was a bit of controversy surrounding this movie. One of the commenters on my friend’s Facebook post felt that Roth was irresponsible because his film might deter people from participating in social activism. This may be true, but it did not deter me from enjoying this shlocker. The character of Alejandro is initially presented as a passionate and fearless (and obnoxiously judgmental) protester but this image slowly unravels throughout the course of the events. There is an interesting twist and some debatable questions of morality raised at the end. But there's really no need for me to try and sell this to you. I’m sure you’ve already made up your mind about seeing this.


Johnny Sweatpants said...

From Wikipedia: "The film was criticized by Survival International, which campaigns for indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation, as reinforcing colonialism and respectively neocolonialism, as well as their stigmas against indigenous peoples, portraying them as uncivilized.[24] Roth dismissed this argument as unimportant for stopping exploitation: "The idea that a fictional movie about a fictional tribe could somehow hurt indigenous people when gas companies are tearing these villages apart on a daily basis is simply absurd. These companies don't need an excuse — they have one — the natural resources in the ground. They can window dress things however they like, but nobody will destroy a village because they didn't like a character in a movie, they'll do it because they want to get rich by draining what's under the village. The fear that somehow a movie would give them ammunition to destroy a tribe all sounds like misdirected anger and frustration that the corporations are the ones controlling the fates of these uncontacted tribes."

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Also I must mention that the name "The Green Inferno" comes from a film within the film Cannibal Holocaust.

Catfreeek said...

I need to see this!

Thanks for posting the biddy warning icon, I can't stop laughing.

AC said...

I am certain Mr AC will be delighted that you are using the "no biddies" symbol. Unlike the protagonist of a horror movie, I shall heed the warning and stay far away from this one, presumably in company with my sisters DCD and 7ofNine.

Octopunk said...

Nice review! I’ll probably see this but I’m not in a hurry. Captured By Cannibals is not too far off of Captured By Hillbillies in terms of subgenres I gravitate towards.

Oh Eli Roth, if it’s not Eastern Europe it’s Peru! Guess you gotta piss off somebody.

(Also, this sounds a lot like a South Park ep I saw once.)

Crystal Math said...

I'm glad I finished my popcorn before the first Peruvian cannibal feeding scene.

DKC said...

I had forgotten about that Biddy warning and it is cracking me UP! Yeah, no thanks.