• The Green Inferno (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: April 23rd, 2019.
    Director: Eli Roth
    Cast: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira
    Year: 2014
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    The Green Inferno – Movie Review:

    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 shortly after Universal brought it to Blu-ray. Now, Shout! Factory gives the film a proper special edition release.

    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.

    The Green Inferno – Blu-ray Review:

    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.

    Shout! Factory carries over the commentary track from the older Universal release. 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.

    From there, we move onto the new featurettes, starting with Into The Green Inferno which is an interview with co-writer/producer/director Eli Roth that runs just over fifty-minutes. He opens by telling an amusing story about when some missionaries visited the set and then goes on to talk about his own thoughts on the cannibal movies that clearly inspired The Green Inferno. He then talks about where he got the ideas for the film from, a part that Diablo Cody played in inspiring him, how and why he cast certain actors in specific parts, what it was like shooting on location, the difficulties involved in shooting in a jungle, working with the natives that are featured in the film and what it was like directing them, the use of color in the film and loads more. Roth likes to talk and that makes this interview pretty interesting.

    Uncivilized Behavior: Method Acting In The Green Inferno interviews actors Lorenza Izzo, Daryl Sabara and Kirby Bliss Blanton that runs thirty-five-minutes. There’s lots of talk here about what it was like on set, trying to act in an actual jungle setting and dealing with the natives. They also talk about how the script evolved during the shoot, what Roth was like as a director, how they all got along on set and became friends, difficulties with the weather and how shooting this movie was so different than anything else they’d done simply because it really was shot out in the middle of a remote jungle.

    Shout Factory also includes fifty-six-minutes of never-before-seen behind the scenes footage all shot on the set during the shoot. Roth pops up periodically and explains some of the difficulties that they experience on set from the weather, rain and mud slides and we get a chance to see him directing the American cast members as well as the natives. We also see some of the gorier set pieces and some of the make-up effects being applied.

    Also included on the disc is the original sixteen-minute The Making Of The Green Inferno publicity featurette that includes some interesting behind the scenes footage as well as some talking head style interviews with Roth and the main crew members. There are some shorter bits here too – the one-minute Lorenza Izzo On Working In The Amazon; a minute-and-a-half bit with Roth, Izzo and Burns talking about shooting in the Amazon; a second minute-and-a-half piece with Roth, Apanowicz, Izzo and Sabara talking about the remote locations

    Rounding out the extras on the disc are the film’s two original theatrical trailers, a few TV spots and a selection of still galleries that showcase storyboards and makeup tests, behind the scenes photos, village construction, publicity and movie stills. Menus and chapter selection are also included.

    The disc comes inside a standard Blu-ray case that also includes the film’s soundtrack on CD and an insert containing the track listing – this is a really nice touch, particularly if you’re a soundtrack fan. This in turn fits inside a cardboard slipcover. Shout! Factory also includes some reversible cover art for this release.

    The Green Inferno – 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. Shout! Factory has done a nice job bringing this one back to Blu-ray on a disc loaded with extras.

    Click on the images below for full sized The Green Inferno screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. moviegeek86's Avatar
      moviegeek86 -
      I really enjoyed it for the most part. A fun little homage with a solid cast and some effective gore. I was surprised Roth didn't do a castration scene. The only thing that I was iffy on was that dumb nightmare scene at the end.
    1. Maureen Champ's Avatar
      Maureen Champ -
      Yeah, it's entertaining, gives some respect for cult classics but there's one thing. In Roth's picture there are dumbasses, which you don't give a s or care, while in Deodato's there are bastards, those acts were warning for humanity, made viewers to think about.