A group of ‘idealistic’ students (‘Don’t think, act!’) go to the Amazon to help safe the rainforest and thus protect the ancient tribes who live there. After their ‘succesful’ mission is completed their small plane crashes and the surviving members end up being captured by a cannabalistic tribe. ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ reads the tagline, indeed it doesn’t.
This is one of those typical horror films the fans will enjoy a lot. It has a lot of inside jokes tthey will have fun spotting. The film itself is an hommage to the Italian cannibal films of the late 1970s and early ’80s, a list of which is even included in the end credits of the film.
Its main inspiration is Ruggero Deodato’s ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ (1980) which even features a film-within-a-film entitled ‘The Green Inferno’. Please note that unlike the Deodato film and films such as ‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999) Roth’s film is not ‘a found footage horror film’.
The character that takes the lead of the activist student group is called Alejandro (after Jodorowsky?) and the female lead or heroine of the film is called Justine. Considering all the torture and perverted actions she has to undergo the link with Marquis de Sade, and perhaps even more so with the Jess Franco film, is certainly not a coincidence.
Roth fans wil certainly recognise Richard Burgi as Justine’s father the United Nations attorney who played one of the ‘victims’ in ‘Hostel: Part II’ (2007).
As most horror films do, ‘The Green Inferno’ has a lot of ‘serious’ themes it tackles, such as female genital mutilation, the destruction of the rainforest, the corruptibility of social activism and the extreme forms of egotistical behaviour when self-preservation is at stake. These themes are off course just an ironic excuse to have a fun gorefest with scooped out eyeballs, dismemberments and interesting ways of supplying cannabis to cannibals.