Film Review: THE GREEN INFERNO (a.k.a. Cannibal Holocaust II) (1988)

THE GREEN INFERNO (a.k.a. Cannibal Holocaust II) ** Italy / Spain 1988 Dir: Antonio Climati. 90 mins

Reporter May Deseligny – she swings well with high society and has a yen for shrunken heads – gets her Airboat Adventure mates to steal a bright yellow plane for a mission in the Amazon to locate a missing anthropologist. Time-passing local customs (toad racing!) and a once-censored, fleeting bout of shooting blow darts at monkeys are among the diversions as they also become aware of 500 tonnes of undiscovered gold lost somewhere in the jungle. Ditching the graphic gore and extensive animal cruelty of its 1970’s predecessors, this offers some reheated sub-Deodato attempts at profundity (“Nature having been hunted…she becomes the huntress…”) but mostly unfolds as a breezy low budget adventure movie occasionally pepped up with vampire bat attacks, mild impalings and a thieving villager getting a poisonous snake fastened to his dick. Things look promising early on when one of the annoying protagonists is bothered by a piranha in his anal passage, but the script bogs down with a Basil Explainer character who gives us unwanted commentary on seemingly everything. The annoying Westerners do Tarzan impressions, get kidnapped, are mildly menaced by spiders and ants and provide join-the-dots explanations for the viewers at home. Too bad they survive and even get a “Where are they now?” end credits series of updates, rather than the hoped-for immolation, dismemberment, cock-lopping and vaginal intrusion that would have ensued had Deodato or Umberto Lenzi still been driving the boat.

Review by Steven West

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