The Green Inferno /Cannibal Holocaust II - The Green Inferno( Blu Ray) [88 Films - 2019]Appearing in the dying embers of the Italian genre boom, The Green Inferno /Cannibal Holocaust II sold its self as a return to the classic Cannibal films of the late 70’s/ early 80’s. But in reality, its best described as an eventful, often cheesy, and campy Jungle adventure action picture- with very fleeting gore & cannibal elements. For a long time, the movie has been out-of-print, so here on 88 Films is a multi region Blu Ray pressing of the film.
The Green Inferno/Cannibal Holocaust II appeared in 1988 and was a fifth & final film directed by Antonio Climati- who before this had a very heavy involvement with various Mondo films like 1960’s Mondo Cane & Women Of the world, as cinematographer. Going onto directing 1970’s Savage Man Savage Beast & This Violent World. And at times though-out the film, you can certainly see the influence of Mondo Cinema- as we get voiced over footage of monkey hunts, large snake baiting, and moody jungle rituals.
The film's plot starts off in a fairly standard Cannibal movie manner- with a group of people deciding to go to the jungle to look for a missing professor. Fairly soon in great cheesy & unbelievable manner, the two macho men heroes of the film roll up in their monster truck- then steal a plane from the middle of a city street, before riding it along a seemingly car-less motorway. Then before we know it the group of five are off to the jungle- we have a bespeckled animal expert, a spunky female report, and the two frankly clichéd 80’s action men.
When the group touched down in Colombia you’d think/ imagine they’d kick into cannibal action soon, but really it never does- save for very fleeting suggestions later on. What you do get is an eventful, at times well-shot jungle romp- which see the group getting involved in Toad racing, & Monkey hunters. Butch & beardy white hunters who are trapping giant snakes, a native tribe where all the menfolk have been killed, and child/ head smugglers. We get some neat action scenes with the group's seaplane, lots of animal saving- from month-to-month monkey revival- to-leopards saved from hunters pits, going onto general 80’s jungle-bound action & adventure. We get well shot footage of the jungle which is topped off with all manner of cheesy ’80s soundtracking- this moves from twee ethnic ambience, synthetic smooth jazz, and easy listening synth scaping.
Along the way we do get fleeting, and I mean fleeting use of effects- early on we see ahead shirking set-up, later on, jungle impalements, and some fairly brutal arrow action- but there is none of the genres standard gut or limb munching, or tortuous gore, or thankful animal cruelty. As a cheese bound jungle romp I enjoyed, but if you’re going into this expecting old school Italian cannibal action/ sleaze- you’ll be very disappointed.
For this new reissue, we get a 2k remastering of the film from original camera negative- this looks good, bright & balanced- with the more jungle landscape coming off really well- and at times one is reminded of Herzog’s jungle-based films. You get the option for either English dubbed or Italian versions of the film. Extras wise you get two things- first is Scenes From Banned Alive: The Rise and Fall of Italian Cannibal Movies- a half-an-hour featurette bringing together subtitled interviews with directors three of classic Cannibal films- we have Ruggero Deodato, Umberto Lenzi and Sergio Martino. This is worthy & interesting with each director giving interesting titbits behind their classic cannibal pictures- through the ‘Rise & Fall’ part of the doc's title is rather misleading- as this isn’t discussed. Next, we get stand-alone Italian opening & closing credits- all topped off with a remastered trailer, reversible sleeve- and ltd slip.
I think if I’d seen The Green Inferno/Cannibal Holocaust II back when I first discovered gory Italian genre films I would have been very disappointed- but in recent years I’ve really come to enjoy campier & cheesy euro genre fare- so as a result I rather enjoyed the film. So really it’s down to what you want/expect out of the film- if you open for 1980’s B movie adventure romp, you’ll get a kick of what we have- but if you're going into this expecting blood, gore & jungle-bound torture you’ll be sorely disappointed. Anyway, it’s great to see 88 Films uncovering cheesy euro genre fare like this.Roger Batty