Eli Roth's 'Green Inferno' takes aim at 'slacktivism'

Eli Roth poses for a photo at the Intercontinental Hotel during the Toronto International Film...

Eli Roth poses for a photo at the Intercontinental Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 9, 2013. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency)

Mark Daniell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:07 PM ET

If you retweeted anything Kony 2012-related, congrats - you inspired Eli Roth's new cannibal movie, The Green Inferno.

Roth's latest addition to the 'torture porn' genre follows a group of environmentalist college kids who trade campus living for a weekend in the Peruvian jungle in order to try and save a tribe. The one hiccup? The people they are trying to save like to dine on flesh. Specifically the human kind.

"I did want to make a fun roller coaster ride," Roth says. "I felt that what is happening in culture is that there is this pervasive feeling of this form of activism that I call 'slacktivism,' which is the laziest form of getting involved in a cause.

"People see something on Twitter, they look at the hashtag, and retweet it and think that's enough. I really started to notice this around the Kony 2012 campaign."

Created by a charity, Invisible Children, Kony 2012 was designed to bring awareness to the fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. A YouTube video garnered 98-million views, with many more 'liking' the campaign on Facebook.

"Absolutely nothing got changed by Kony 2012," Roth continues. "Everyone suddenly caring about this warlord that the government knew about for years because it was on Facebook. And then a few weeks later the leader of Invisible Children was on the street masturbating in broad daylight. That was one big masturbatory exercise that led to absolutely nothing.

"So I wanted to make a movie where kids like that get their asses handed to them ... literally."

Co-written by Guillermo Amoedo, The Green Inferno follows a group of American students who attempt to stop a company from clear-cutting a patch of forest that is home to an ancient Peruvian tribe.

Unfortunately for the kids it turns out that the tribesmen see them as fodder for the buffet line. One by one, his cast of newcomers topped by the naively idealistic Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is dined on in gory fashion.

Having previously directed Cabin Fever, which debuted at TIFF in 2002, and the ultra-violent Hostel series, Roth says he liked using the cannibal metaphor to comment on a bigger societal problem.

He's even hard at work on the sequel - Beyond the Green Inferno.

"We knew there was more than one story here. It's a goldmine for endlessly creepy movies," he says.

Roth, freshly invigorated by his latest experience, is up for a variety of challenges. One thing he won't consider? Rebooting Hostel.

"That was a different part of my life that I'm well beyond," he says. "I love the Hostel films, but that's like asking me if I would go back to high school and redo freshman year."

mark.daniell@sunmedia.ca


Photos