Eli Roth meets an Amazonian tribe that’s never seen a movie, proceeds to show them ‘Cannibal Holocaust’
I’m reading Movieline this morning when I came across this story about filmmaker/actor Eli Roth’s new movie. He’s shooting a cannibalistic horror called “Green Inferno” and needed extras, so he recruited about 200 members of an Amazonian tribe… By showing them their first movie… By showing them the controversial 1980 film “Cannibal Holocaust.”
The result? The tribe loved the movie and thought it was a comedy.
For The Green Inferno, the tale of “naive do-gooders” who run into cannibals when their plane crashes in the jungle (co-written by Roth with Aftershock scribe Guillermo Amoedo), Roth is taking a page out of the Werner Herzog playbook by venturing deep into the Amazon for what he excitedly refers to as “as adventure.”
“The location that we found is truly spectacular,” he said. “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.”
The village is so remote, in fact, that Roth says locals had never seen a film before. “We said, ‘Can we shoot here?’ and talked to them, and our producers said ‘We have to explain to them what a movie is. They’ve never seen a television,’” Roth recalled. “So we brought a generator and set up a television. I thought they were going to show them E.T. or The Wizard of Oz, but they showed them Cannibal Holocaust to see how much they could handle.”
“Cannibal Holocaust” is the movie I consider to have kicked-off the found footage subgenre. It’s a pretty good and interesting movie in its own right, but it’s also one of the most controversial due to the then-viral marketing surrounding the project, and because of its violent and gory nature, as it shows real animal deaths on screen.
At least the tribespeople had a good time watching their first movie, because that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?