Unless you do some research, it's hard to know the best place to start with any given sub-genre. If The Godfather is the first mob movie you see, you might expect all of them to be as great and continually be disappointed - just like you wouldn't want to start with a really bad one and assume that the genre was not for you (so, don't start with Godfather III, either). Ideally you'd see a solid example of whatever kind of movie it is, and as you dig deeper, find even better gems later - while hopefully not encountering too many of the bad ones.
And that's part of why I really enjoyed Eli Roth's The Green Inferno, both at Fantastic Fest and now again as it hits Blu-ray (and DVD) on January 5th, following the Digital HD release on December 22nd - it's a perfectly good example of the cannibal movie, the likes of which we haven't really seen in 30+ years. But more than that, I was happy that Roth was kind of providing a service with his movie. Younger audiences who maybe can count Cabin Fever or even Hostel as one of their first R horror movies when they were 12 or 13 probably have never gone back to watch things like Man From Deep River or Cannibal Holocaust, and thus have no idea what they're in for when they finally sit down with a new Roth film (it was his first feature in 6 years). But that's part of what's great about the movie - not only is it a good example of the sub-genre, but it's also seemingly designed to be an entry point for this obscure, very much "not for everyone" kind of horror film. The older ones often had prolonged torture scenes, rape, animal butchering... Green Inferno has none of that. Just good ol' fashioned people eating!
It's also got some levity, something most of those older films lacked entirely. I mean, yeah, it's dark and gory, but there's a release - Roth isn't out to punish the audience here. So while I'd stop short of saying it's a "fun" movie, it's certainly more palatable to the average horror fan's tastes and sensibilities than say Cannibal Ferox, and thus works great to dip your toes in and test the waters of this sub-genre. Die-hards who own all of those Deodato and Lenzi films on deluxe blu-rays from Blue Underground and the like will probably find it relatively tame, but I honestly think Roth was aiming to introduce people to this kind of movie, not top what came before. If you can stomach what's here, and want more, I could recommend some titles... or you can just watch the end credits, as Roth has helpfully supplied his own checklist, complete with the alternate titles and directors (nearly all of these movies had a half dozen titles and as many director pseudonyms).
If you're still on the fence and not sure you want to blind buy (or rent) the film, we have one of you covered. I have one (1) copy of the Blu-Ray (which comes with an HD download) to award one lucky reader! To enter, email [email protected] with the subject GREEN INFERNO, and in the body include your name, phone number, mailing address - and also answer this question: what is the weirdest food you've ever eaten? I don't mean the time you swallowed a Lego brick or a plastic piece of fruit, I mean an actual dish that was prepared (or at least, grown) and served to you. I know for me it was the "Halo Halo" dessert at Jollibee, a bowl of... stuff, where I could not define a single thing that I was eating. I'd rather eat a person than have that goddamn thing again.
A winner will be chosen on January 5th and the winner will be notified shortly thereafter. Good luck! (US residents only.)