Scream Factory has a great reputation for releasing cult favorites restored with often interesting behind the scenes scoop that the cast and crew have no problem dishing on several years later. When they initially started, the releases were far and in between, but now it feels like every week there’s a new release. While that’s exciting in many ways, it seems to get more difficult to get ahold of and find more cult favorites, especially with other labels like Arrow and Blue Underground (amongst many others) leaving their stamp on the collector’s market. To fulfill the gaps between the more anticipated titles, Scream Factory often delves into more recent releases that might already have a decent Blu-ray available. THE GREEN INFERNO is their latest head-scratching example as the film was released less than five years ago and already had an adequate home video release.
For those unfamiliar with Eli Roth’s ode to the cannibal sub-genre that populated the late 70s and early 80s, THE GREEN INFERNO introduces a darker side of humanity to American audiences. Our lead, Justine (Lorenza Izzo, Knock Knock), decides to travel with a social activist group in the Amazon jungle to raise awareness of what logging companies are doing to ancient, native tribes. In a nice modern touch, they utilize cell phones as their weapons to defend themselves as they threaten to live stream anything that might happen to them. Their plans seem initially successful until the plane crashes in the jungle on the way back.
It’s there in the jungle they were supposedly saving that the survivors are captured by a tribe, whose bodies are covered in red paint. They have their own rituals and use the Americans as their new subjects for cannibalism, sacrifices, and gruesome experiments on female virgins.
The inspirations are clear, specifically Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox, but those unfamiliar might see this as pure exploitation. The internet went awry when it was discovered the real tribe used as actors were introduced to film with a screening of Cannibal Holocaust to which Roth claims they viewed it as a comedy. I personally enjoyed the movie, but am also a huge fan of cannibal movies. Roth went old school and made his actors work in the jungle and used contrasted lighting by giving us gruesome, bloody sequences set against sunny and green backdrops. I often see complaints about some of the comedic bits thrown in and how it doesn’t fit, but I wonder if they’ve even seen the movies that inspired this one. The reason I love them is that they are so uneven and completely inappropriate with plenty of misogynistic themes. Whether you’re a fan of Roth or not, everyone can agree he can give two shits if you think he cares about being politically correct.
The real question here is if fans should double dip on this release, especially considering Scream Factory prices aren’t exactly cheap. My personal opinion is that unless you love the soundtrack (which is attached to this release), then stick with the original release. There’s no restoration which isn’t necessary, but there are some new interviews with Roth and some of the cast. These interviews are nothing new to fans as they legit repeat the same stories told on the commentary that’s attached to both releases. I really only recommend this release to those who were still waiting to purchase or if you happen to be a fan of the new artwork. THE GREEN INFERNO is now available to own on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.