"South Park" wasn't alone in taking a bite out of those social justice warriors last year. Only Eli Roth took that literally.
“The Green Inferno,” available on Blu-ray Jan. 5, topped that show’s SJW savagery with the real thing. The tale of do-gooder students rallying for an indigenous tribe turned into the director’s latest torture porn parade.
That’s a shame since the director’s “Inferno” teems with sly social commentary – for a while. Once the natives get restless, the movie ends up having very little to say.
Roth’s real-life bride Lorenza Izzo plays Justine, a college student jetting off to protect a Peruvian tribe. Developers are planning to march right through the tribe’s home to set up a natural gas shop. There’s no one to protect a population untouched by the western world.
Enter the SJWs led by Alejandro (Ariel Levy, not nearly as charismatic as the role suggests). He vows to make the tribe’s defense a social media meme.
“Shoot it, then tweet it!” he commands.
Armed with smart phones and a heady sense of self worth, the group scores an initial victory against The Man. They barely have time to celebrate. Their plane crash lands in the jungle, but that’s not the worst news.
They’re quickly set upon by the tribe they’re trying to protect. Only the villagers aren’t exactly grateful. They’re just … hungry.
DID YOU KNOW: Eli Roth penned the script for his breakthrough film, ‘Cabin Fever,’ while working as a production assistant on Howard Stern’s ‘Private Parts’ biography.
Roth’s “Inferno” was famously delayed before hitting theaters late last year. It’s shockingly timely all the same. His depiction of the smug students is dead on, scoring point after point in the film’s giddy setup.
“That’s my next tattoo,” one student cries while touring Peru. They’re so busy taking selfies they forgot to consider both their actions and the possible consequences.
Only Roth, who co-wrote the screenplay with Guillermo Amoedo, piles on his SJW loathing. One notable character becomes such a caricature he stops being interesting.
The wry laughs evaporate once the killings commence. This should be Roth’s sweet spot, a bloody exercise in white guilt pushed beyond reason. Beyond some gross out FX there’s precious little tension the rest of the way. We’re left with sequences strictly for gore hounds and characters who simply don’t resonate.
Roth assembles some chilling visuals beyond the standard-issue gore. The look of horror on the students’ faces is priceless. The director, working on a larger canvas than his past genre romps, captures both the isolation and sense of foreboding that accompanies the student trip.
“Inferno’s” final moments don’t gel with the film’s broader themes. Is Roth backpedaling at the last minute, fearful of the reaction from the Hollywood cocktail circuit? He still deserves credit for attacking a topic too few writers dare to examine.
“The Green Inferno” caught some heat from critics wearing their own SJW crowns for the tribe’s “insensitive” portrayal. Roth contends he simply made an homage to grindhouse cannibal films of the past. Suffice to say when SJW sentiments overpower the horror genre we’ve truly lost the culture.
The film’s Blu-ray edition comes with a feature commentary track with with Roth, producer Nicolás López, and “Green Inferno” stars Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, and Daryl Sabara.