Marijuana Policy Project
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Movie Review: Eli Roth's 'The Green Inferno'

Lorenza Izzo surrounded by red-faced Indians in "The Green Inferno."

Cannibals and cannabis, what a concept! Thank Eli Roth for bringing these two subjects together in his extremely violent jungle thriller, The Green Inferno. When students arrive to help a tribe, they find that they've bitten off more than they can chew.

It's no secret that companies have been bulldozing land in the Amazon River basin in Peru and Bolivia in an alarming rate, clear-cutting trees, dislodging animals and encroaching on indigenous tribes. Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about the plan that involves dressing up in worker outfits with helmets and chaining themselves to trees to draw attention to what's going on.

But after the action their plane crashes right in the middle of the tribe's territory. Since they're still wearing the work outfits, the tribe takes them for the enemy. They're caged and pretty soon one of them, the largest, is prepared for dinner. Yes, these Indians are headhunters and cannibals.

The marijuana angle comes into play when Lars (Daryl Sabara) is killed with a blow dart. Just the day before, upon their arrival, he hit up the group leader for weed, who complied with a bag. The surviving students decide to stuff the bag down his throat before he's placed in the oven. The result is the tribe getting stoned on the smoke, which allows Justine to escape. (FYI: She's caught.) 

This is pretty much a gore-fest, with gratuitous scenes of mute tribespeople gnawing on human flesh and bones. They don't speak any English and use rudimentary tools. With their skins dyed red and adorned with hoops in their ears and stakes through their nose, they look the lost tribe.

In a thankless role, Izzo rises to the occasion, giving viewers a real rooting interest. Despite what she sees and experiences, Justine keeps the tribe's bizarre rituals to herself in the order to prevent their eradication.

The Green Inferno is in theaters now.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.