“Queen of Earth” and “Listen Up Philip” writer/director Alex Ross Perry is generally known for a particular brand of movie: small scale, intimate and focused on relationships with a laser like intensity. He’s not the first person you’d expect to have any inclinations toward horror, but in a rather inspired move, The Talkhouse recruited the filmmaker to pen a piece about Eli Roth‘s “The Green Inferno,” and it’s pretty great.
The perceptive piece finds Perry recalling meeting Roth while working at fabled, since shuttered New York City video rental institution Kim’s Video shortly after the release of “Hostel” which the Perry says he “enjoyed…tremendously,” and discovering that Roth’s oeuvre tends to focus on “the unbridled embrace of death and dismemberment, total disregard for human life or decency and unflinching depiction of very real, practical horrors.” And while buddies like Quentin Tarantino have seen their filmography embrace multiple cinematic passions, Perry indicates that “Roth was happy to apply his focus strictly to shocking and revolting trash cinema.”
So what does that mean for “The Green Inferno”? According to Perry, it means Roth is doing what he knows best and delivering exactly what you’d expect from a director reared on extreme horror. Here’s some of Perry’s praise:
The Green Inferno is a disgusting, vile, morally dubious film wherein humans are reduced to animals awaiting slaughter. It is a film where, as is typical with Roth, the nicer and weaker characters are given the earliest and most revolting deaths. There is no mercy, no hope for survival and no humanity. I loved it. Roth is working in the tradition of Italian cannibal films, all set in remote jungle locations and featuring a group of white idiots being horrifically killed and eaten. The genre began in 1972 with Umberto Lenzi’s Man from Deep River and reached a pinnacle in 1980 with Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust. (Deodato had a cameo in Hostel: Part II as “The Italian Cannibal” and The Green Inferno is dedicated to him).
“It’s exciting, shocking and genuinely unpleasant,” Perry writes enthusiastically in his appraisal of Roth’s movie, and the entire thing is worth a read. I had almost zero interest in “The Green Inferno,” but after reading this I’m sort of encouraged to see how far the limits of my stomach will take me in attempting to sit down with the picture.