Eli Roth is resurrecting the notorious subgenre of Italian horror – the cannibal movie. Racist, sexist, cruel to animals, films such as Deep River Savages, Cannibal Ferox, The Mountain of the Cannibal God and Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust all earned a place in film history as incendiary and rather grotty works of the imagination.
Back in 2011, I interviewed Ruggero Deodato for Starburst magazine and saw the re-edited version of Cannibal Holocaust on the big screen. It’s an impressive and horrid piece of work, still. The Green Inferno – a direct nod to Deodato’s film – stars Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz, and Sky Ferreria. It tells the story of a group of students “flying down to Rio” (okay, somewhere in South America) and meeting a group of cannibals. I always felt it was only a matter of time before we saw this subgenre again…
Now you’d expect a spot of cultural sensitivity around the issue of tribal cannibalism and primitivism, given it’s now the 21st century, but Eli Roth can hide behind the post-modernist ‘it’s all ironic’ excuse and therefore get to have his human meat pie and eat it. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Roth ‘did a Tarantino’ and nicked Riz Ortolani’s majestic theme tune for Cannibal Holocaust, too.
The first official image from The Green Inferno – with its simultaneously muddy and bloody tone – recalls Deodato’s film. You may also remember that the Italian film-maker appeared in Hostel Part II … playing a cannibal. It’s all so meta!
Do we need to revisit the notorious era of exploitation cinema which served up gory kicks as well as loads of casual racism, sexism and silliness? No doubt Roth will give us all a bunch of characters he despises and then laugh like a maniac as they get sliced, peeled and munched.
Welcome To The Jungle, Jonathan Hensleigh’s little-seen found-footage flick, attempted to resurrect this type of film a few years ago – and failed. Will Roth score another big hit? Are you eager to feast upon its gory delights or think Roth is an overrated, over-confident trickster who has convinced everybody he’s a master of horror cinema?
Maybe Roth will rock up with The Green Inferno for FrightFest in August? You never know … let’s hope we get a trailer soon.