The Green Inferno

Is there a case to be made for making an Indigenous cannibal movie today? Probably not, but tell that to Eli Roth, whose The Green Inferno is a modern day tribute to one of the ugliest and least redeemable subgenres in the horror pantheon, the Italian cannibal movie.

Roth infuses Green Inferno with scenes of extreme brutality and there are several bone fide frights to be had, that’s for certain. However without the critical distance + time required to “enjoy” for lack of a better phrase, its Italian forebears, it’s difficult to remain critically dispassionate about this kind of genre revisit. There will always be that nagging “why?”

Regardless of what you think about their nasty depictions of First Peoples, there’s no excuse for those sicko Italian films that often depicted (and frequently encouraged/facilitated) extreme animal cruelty, such as the gutted gator in The Man From the Deep River or the real (and very fresh) turtle repast in Cannibal Holocaust.

Thankfully, Roth dispenses with such icky excesses to focus on a bunch of woke New Yorkers keen on saving a lost Peruvian tribe, whose traditional lands are about to become condos — rather than the usual cadre of (occasionally) trained anthropologists who offer howler pronouncements like “The natives…are cruel, superstitious and unwilling to accept any form of civilization” (see, Dr. Butcher MD). Making community organizers rather than interloping academics the vics here is a dynamite conceit, and if Roth were twice as talented a filmmaker/writer, the idea and efficacy of do-gooder foreign interventions would’ve been more adroitly addressed.

Lorenza Izzo is great as the lead, the daughter of a square-jawed US diplomat. And he is powerless to assist despite his stature and connections (an idea that’s barely developed here to warrant this being called true social satire) and Ariel Levy is fun as the messianic activist, Alejandro.

Once the activists have their boots on the ground (their journey is quite harrowing) they find that provoking the ire of trained militia men by chaining themselves to bulldozers and trees, and the lack of decent bathrooms, are the least of their problems

Soon the erstwhile saviors find out they’re on the menu (talk about an international incident) when they come face to face with the natives.

*** (out of 5)

Human Cattle

“We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people” is a phrase attributed to General George Patton, but what about cattle of the upright, bipedal variety?

Human Cattle is the brainchild/co-creation of Rabiddog Films and our pals, The Butcher Shop FX Studio (for an interesting listen, check out our interview with Carlos Henriques, The Butcher Shop’s practical effects creator).

According to Human Cattle’s synopsis, “The Amazon is a beautiful place to visit but you wouldn’t want to die there,” which assumes the conclusion that there’s a place that exists you’d actually want to die (maybe in bed…at 100?)

And further, “Three sexy teenagers take a fun-filled trip out to the Amazon for an exciting getaway filled with seductive pleasures and forbidden desires. Failing to hear the canoe tour guide’s warnings…”

Human Cattle stars Zane Watson, an IFBB bodybuilder whose motto is, “My body is not a work of art. My body reflects the art of work,” statements which are at least half-true were they applied to the authors of the Really Awful Movies site (we’ll let you guess which statement).

This one also co-stars Mitch Markowitz as well. Markowtiz is the brainchild of Hilarious House of Frightenstein, a plucky Canadian Vincent Price-starrer which became an unlikely, long-running smash Canadian TV show.

Human Cattle has got bazookas and a little person with a shotgun. If that’s not an appetizer enticement for the main, we don’t know what is.