• Green Inferno, The



    Released by: Universal Studios
    Released on: January 5th, 2016.
    Director: Eli Roth
    Cast: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira
    Year: 2014
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    The Movie:

    Co-written and directed by Eli Roth in 2013, it took a while for The Green Inferno to get released but it did eventually play theaters, if in a limited release, in 2015 and now Universal brings this gory cannibal film to Blu-ray where it will likely find a bigger audience.

    The movie, which is set in the present day, opens in New York where a pretty young college student named Justine (Lorenza Izzo) and her roommate Kaycee (Sky Ferreira) are woken up by the sounds of the protestors gathered outside their dorm room window. They’re annoyed, but Justine is intrigued by their leader, the handsome Alejandro (Ariel Levy). Once he learns that her father works for the United Nations, he has one of his social justice warriors, Jonah (Aaron Burns), recruit her as one of their own. Why? So she can join them in their latest mission – to head into the jungles of Peru and chain themselves to the equipment being used by some faceless corporation to bulldoze a section of the Amazon. Alejandro’s concern isn’t only for the natural resources that will surely be destroyed, but also for the fate of the ancient tribe of natives that call this part of the Amazon home.

    Soon enough, she’s joined up with the group and they’re making their way up the Amazon River to their destination. When they get to the spot where they’re to launch their plan, however, Justine figures out why Alejandro really wanted her to join the group. On the way back, their plane crashes in the jungle and, in a somewhat ironic twist of fate, the survivors learn that the tribe they just did so much to try and protect has a taste for bizarre primitive rituals… and human flesh.

    Shot on location in New York City, Chile and yes, actually in Peru The Green Inferno is a pretty decent throwback to the cannibal films made popular in the eighties by Italian directors like Umberto Lenzi, Sergio Martino and Ruggero Deodato (to whom the film is dedicated). On that level, it works quite well. We get pretty much all we want from it in that regard – some serious gut munching, some flesh cooking, and impalement or too, some nasty rapey/twisted sex stuff and other assorted atrocities all inflicted on our city slicker fish out of water crew. The fact that most, though not all (sometimes obviously so) of the effects are done practically helps here to. The CGI that is used stands out and doesn’t work as well but when Roth and company do things the old fashioned way, yeah, this will take you back… and maybe make you a bit uneasy.

    And, for better or worse, enough of those characters are annoying enough that we don’t mind seeing them turned into humanary stew. Justine is sympathetic enough, Lorenza Izzo gets full marks for creating a likeably and sympathetic character. She’s a little too naïve for her own good in some ways, but Justine makes for a fine heroine and Izzo plays the part well. Aaron Burns is also likeable as Jonah. Justine is a bit out of his league but he can’t help but crush on her, and he’s… nice. There’s a lesbian couple that are part of the group as well, they’re fine. They seem to believe in what they’re doing and seem to be in it for the right reasons, but the rest of the group? Bastards, bitches and frat boys – which, on one hand, makes their eventual fates all the more enjoyable but on the other, makes them tough to feel for. There are a few moments of frat boy style humor in here that compound this – a tarantula vs. dick scene, a diarrhea sequence that is at first genuinely upsetting until the fart noises come into the mix and an ‘oh no they’ve got the munchies’ stoner gag bit – and that seem out of place when the rest of the movie is played fairly straight.

    Despite those flaws, however, The Green Inferno is pretty entertaining. It takes about a half an hour or so to really hit its stride but once it hits that stride you realize the first half hour actually winds up building to a good twist or two. Ultimately the film is fairly well paced, it ends nicely and it is often exciting, tense, and yeah… pretty gross.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The AVC encoded 2.35.1 widescreen 1080p high definition picture on this disc is excellent. Detail is strong, colors are reproduced really nicely. The color scheme in the movie, once we get to the jungle, really lends itself nicely to a good HD presentation, and that’s what we get here. The black levels are nice and deep throughout the presentation and there aren’t any problems with crush or compression. Generally the transfer excels in areas of both detail and texture. There are no issues at all with dirt, debris or visual detriments of any kind and the disc is well authored, showing no noise reduction or heavy edge enhancement. Outside of some slight shimmer here and there, the movie looks excellent in high definition.

    The main audio option on the disc is an English language track provided in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio with removable subtitles available in English, French and Spanish. The score is spread around perfectly with some nice pans thrown in for dramatic effect while bass response is consistent tight and strong. All in all, this is a nice, well directed mix that does a fine job with the movie. The screams of the sound effects that are used in the nastier scenes also have pretty strong presence here.

    Extras are limited to a few previews for unrelated Universal titles that play before the main menu loads and a commentary track. The track features Roth as well as Producer Nicolas Lopez and Stars Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton and Daryl Sabara. It’s a pretty busy track and occasionally the participants do talk over each other but it’s frequently pretty interesting, particularly when Roth talks about shooting the film on location in the actual jungle and some of the difficulties that posed for the cast and crew.

    The disc comes inside a standard Blu-ray case (that includes an insert with a download code for a Digital HD version of the movie) that in turn fits inside a cardboard slipcover.

    The Final Word:

    The Green Inferno isn’t as good as the eighties-era Italian gut munchers that it strives to emulate but it’s not a bad try. The frat boy humor that pops up in the story doesn’t help things and the movie is at its best when it’s playing things completely straight, but the gore scenes deliver. The fact that it’s actually shot in the jungle also helps – if it’s not a masterpiece it’s a pretty entertaining picture. Universal’s Blu-ray release is surprisingly light on extras but the quality of the presentation is strong.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!






























    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Humanary stew.