‘The Green Inferno’ is ready to destroy your appetite

Lorenza Izzo in The Green Inferno (2013)

The Green Inferno (2015)

Directed by Eli Roth

When the MPAA (now the MPA) gave Eli Roth’s gore-porno “The Green Inferno” an R rating, it called the movie’s violence “aberrant”—meaning it strayed from the accepted societal norm. For a movie whose prime audience was a certain subsection of young men who love this kind of brutality, the MPAA’s unique wording may as well have been free advertising.

At first, Justine (Lorenza Izzo) found the liberal activist group on her college campus annoying, but eventually, they convinced her to go on an ambitious trip to the Amazon to prevent construction workers from cutting down trees near the home of an isolated native tribe. But when the students arrive, their white savior narrative is upended by the brutal men and women they once considered distressed victims.

Lorenza Izzo in The Green Inferno (2013)

“The Green Inferno” plays into the idea of native tribes as savages, but it also plays up the idea of supposedly “liberal” men and women thinking they’re doing the right thing by inserting themselves into foreign conflicts and thinking that they’re saving people by assimilating them into a culture they don’t belong to (and have probably never heard of). But I wouldn’t encourage you to read too much into Roth’s story—it’s little more than a set-up for the disgusting display of torture that makes up the movie’s second half. Greg Nicotero, the make-up effects artist known for his work on Romero’s zombie films and “The Walking Dead,” makes the gore very believable. If you can watch the whole movie without once looking away, you have a stronger stomach than I do. As tough as the scenes of gruesome carnage might be to stomach, the acting and dialogue may be even tougher to watch. It’s ugly. Really, “The Green Inferno” only has one thing going for it, and that’s its ability to ruin a first date. If that’s your goal, dive right in.


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