For someone with a producer’s mindset, “no electricity, no running water, nothing” should be an instant thumbs down for a shooting location, but Eli Roth is up for a challenge. Roth recently talked about his plan to take a small crew to a secluded village along the Amazon to shoot his next movie, The Green Inferno. Of the 200 villagers, most have never seen a movie before – that is, until Roth treated them to a screening of Cannibal Holocaust.
Even though Cannibal Holocaust director Ruggero Deodato erroneously faced obscenity and murder charges for his work, Roth explained, “The villagers thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen.” It’s a good thing they’ve got a sense of humor when it comes to human beings munching on their own kind, because The Green Inferno about just that.
Courtesy of Bloody Disgusting, “The story follows a naive group of student activists from New York City who travel to the remote jungles of Peru, where they plan to stage a protest, but instead encounter a tribe of cannibals.”
Roth is thrilled about the opportunity to shoot in an area untouched by the film industry, noting, “It’s so far up the Amazon, no one has ever shot there. The last person anywhere near there was Werner Herzog for ‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God.’” With the local population so isolated and and the technology antiquated, none of the locals have ever been on camera before so they’re entirely relaxed and natural in front of the lens (in other words, they’re excellent extras). “I have a whole village full of kids that are funny as hell that will have cameras all over and not even think twice about it. They don’t get nervous, nothing.”
Besides the fact the crew will have to shuttle in some heavy-duty generators should they want to run lights and other equipment, the situation also brings up an issue of ethics. When Movieline referenced Goodbye Uncle Tom’s exploitation of the Haitian cast, Roth revealed plans to give the villagers a motorboat, medical supplies and school supplies, with the motorboat being something that they say “will literally change [their] lives.”
Roth is due to get behind the lens for The Green Inferno, his first feature length directorial venture since 2007’s Hostel: Part II on November 5th. According to a Worldview Entertainment release, joining him on set will be stars Lorenza Izzo and Ariel Levy of Aftershock, Daryl Sabara of Spy Kids, Kirby Bliss Blanton of Project X, Magda Apanowicz of Hellcats, actress/singer Sky Ferreria, and newcomer Aaron Burns – all relatively fresh faces.
The project will go out to buyers at the American Film Market beginning at the end of the month.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.