The pinnacle of cannibal movies was reached in 1980 with the infamous release of Cannibal Holocaust. It is possibly the most notorious of the video nasties because of the brutality towards both humans & animals throughout. As nasty & unnecessary as the real animal deaths throughout the movie are it is something of a masterpiece which was way ahead of its time.
A lot of horror movies (I’m looking at you Blair Witch) owe a debt to Cannibal Holocaust…but this is not a review of that movie. Instead it is a review of Welcome To The Jungle (nothing to do with Guns N Roses, unfortunately).
Inspired/remade/ripped off take on Cannibal Holocaust’s story, we see 4 youngsters going off into the jungles of New Guinea in search of Michael Rockefeller who disappeared in 1961. They have reason to believe he is still alive living with some ancient tribe in the deepest part of the jungle & figure they can get a story out of it to sell for a million dollars.
The movie is completely shot with 2 handheld cameras which mean we should get:
• A realistic take on 4 people’s terror & panic.
But will actually more than likely end up with:
• Constant shaky cameras filmed mostly at night with the odd lack of focus.
The latter is 95% of the found-footage movie style these days & it drives me nuts. If I wanted to watch lots of darkness with the odd sounds of screams, panting & crying I would watch Hollow (2011). *Review coming soon & I am not happy*
Welcome to The Jungle’s style of found footage is better than most but descends into the worst kind by the end. Which is the opposite of how the movie actually pans out with the first hour being pretty boring shit & the last 20 or so putting a bit of a smile on my face.
You see the group of 4 are all pretty horrible people & as their journey continues the tension builds between the group. Most of it seems to be focused on which of the male figures came up with the plan to go find this Rockefeller, err, fella. After a few bad days of arguing the more obnoxious pair decides to go off without the other 2 taking 1 camera & most of the supplies on a raft.
As they float down-stream they realise they are being followed by natives of the jungle & when they reach a bank are promptly shot with arrows before being dragged off.
Back with the other couple we see their panicked reaction to having been left with little supplies so quickly take off after the first couple with the remaining camera. Eventually they find them & a whole load of trouble…in the last 20 mins of the movie.
Thankfully the last bits of the movie ramp up the gore & shock value with a little tribute to the infamous ‘girl on a spike’ scene from Cannibal Holocaust & a whole load of chewed remains. Sadly I spent most of the time peering at the screen to make out what I was seeing as most of the final good bits are played out in the dark! Considering the above tribute is played out in broad daylight I can’t understand why the rest had to be done in darkness. It is frustrating & pulled me out of the whole experience.
From the start of the movie it doesn’t matter if they live or die, they were always going to die it was just a matter of how. With only an age rating of 15 (UK) I was really surprised to see the level of gore on show. With no sex scenes or violence to animals (this is a good thing) it is a much tamer experience then the movie that inspired it. That does means it doesn’t stick in the memory at all…
A better movie then I thought it would be being based off such a unique & infamous video nasty. The updated story doesn’t make a whole load of sense & the characters are extremely unlikeable. Too much of the movie involves people talking & having a row with the final quarter really heating up. It’s almost too little, too late but thanks to some gory scenes I found myself watching intently to see what would happen next (also because of how dark it was).
Welcome To The Jungle
The Final Score - 5/10
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