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Overall Rating

Awesome: 37.93%
Worth A Look51.72%
Average: 6.9%
Pretty Bad: 3.45%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 23 user ratings

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Emerald Forest, The
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by Brian McKay

"Skin flick or Statement film? You decide, but either way you win."
4 stars

I first saw this movie when I was a teenager. So what did I remember most about it? The titties. Yes, that's right. Titties. Lovely young exotic native girls with their perky ones out in every scene. It wasn't until I watched this again years later that I realized that this was actually a fairly interesting and well made film that tries to get an important message across about how man is destroying the environment - one that just so happens to have a lot of firm young titties in it.

Why is it that whenever a film has naked women who are aboriginal-looking, it's okay for them to be naked? I remember seeing the uncut version of Papillon on T.V. once. Anyone remember that whole big scene with Steve McQueen frolicking with the topless native girl? Sure, if the natives want to get nekkid, it's all good. But a white chick takes her top off, all of the sudden it's a big deal. Now we have to deal with ratings and censors and morals and community standards . . . but I digress.

Powers Boothe is Bill Markham, an architect who has brought his family to South America so that he can work on a huge hydroelectric project there - yes, he's a dam builder. When he takes his family out to the construction site for a dam picnic, his young son, Tommy, is abducted by stealth-mode aborigines known as the "invisible people" for their ability to blend into the landscape. They're not quite as concealed as the Predator, but poor old Bill still can't see them even though they are hiding all around him. Their intentions are not malicious, however, and they take Tommy away because they believe they are saving him from the destructive world of the white man.

Turns out, though, that this isn't such a bad deal for Tommy. He grows up in a jungle paradise, surrounded by nubile young native girls who are literally 98 percent naked throughout 98 percent of the film. Obviously, director John Boorman has no qualms about nudity in his films, since he had his own daughter being humped by a guy in a suit of armor five minutes into Excalibur. However, the nudity seems to be done more with the intent of authenticity rather than pure exploitation. If you've ever seen a documentary on aborigines, they usually do run around naked - although they usually don't look as good as these girls do, especially Tommy's girlfriend Kachiri (Dira Paes). All I can say is . . . God DAM!

Moving right along . . .

While Tommy grows up in an idyllic village life, his father continues to work on the project, because he gives a dam. But he never gives up hope finding his son. He forays into the jungle every chance he gets, armed with an M-16 to keep the natives in line and showing them a picture of little Tommy in the hopes that one of the tree-dwellers will point him in the right direction. Ten years after Tommy has disappeared, he finally finds him - only to realize that this is Tommy's home and family now, and to drag him back to "the world" would be tantamount to killing him. However, the "White Father" and his boomstick come in handy when Tommy's tribe is threatened by both another tribe of bloodthirsty aboriginals, and a brutal gang of thugs who want to exploit the young women of the village for fun and profit.

Just as he did with the British countryside in Excalibur, Boorman gives the deep jungles of South America an almost dreamlike, magical quality. There is plenty of nudity, and a fair ammount of violence, but the film always manages to keep its integrity without becoming a straight-up titty movie or action flick. The movie is "based on an actual event", although it becomes pretty obvious that Boorman took plenty of liberties with the actualities toward the end of the film. Still, it remains a visually and intellectually entertaining film, and manages to get its message across without being too hamfisted.

Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for The Emerald Forest:

Dances with Wolves - Okay, we all know Costner is a fucking hack. However, this is one of his few pretentiously long movies that I can still watch. An interesting portrait of a man going "Native" (even though I didn't buy Mary McDonnell being raised by the Sioux at all).

Empire of the Sun - Another tale of a boy torn from his civilized world and forced to adapt to barbaric conditions. Unfortunately for this boy, he has to grow up in a Japanese internment camp, not a village full of waterfalls and naked babes.

Damn, now that I think of it, all of these movies are hella long. You'll probably need the whole weekend to get through this trifecta. Good Luck!

Beautiful scenery, Beautiful naked girls, some gunplay, and an important message - sounds like all four of the film food groups are represented. Props to Boorman for another lavish-looking film. Props to Powers Boothe for being in it. And extra props to Dira Paes, a.k.a. "Kachiri" for representin' on behalf of all the gorgeous naked jungle village girls out there.

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originally posted: 09/03/02 18:01:17
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell a good film 4 stars
8/24/14 don larson TRULY GREAT INTERESTING FILM 4 stars
6/27/14 Robert Olsam It was Deliverance, John Boorman told a story about the British countryside, not Excalibur. 5 stars
5/27/11 xfather123 9tpYSv this is delisious! xfather123 3 stars
2/23/10 mimi the grinch I think director James Cameron should give a nod to this film and any others he wishes 5 stars
3/30/08 Eduardo Who's the native girl? 5 stars
12/24/07 mb Interesting, tribe did steal a child, religion falser than 24 cent quarter 4 stars
10/16/07 Bob the Builder Thatsa good a filma! 4 stars
7/22/07 Charles Fascinating but I wish Boorman had done more research on rituals, trance behaviour, and so 5 stars
4/10/07 David Pollastrini full of hot indian women! 5 stars
3/27/07 David Cohen As disturbing as a car accident, and just as hard to turn away from 4 stars
2/22/05 Captain Craig One of the best..lost in the ever likely to see 5 stars
10/19/04 John brilliant concept and well executed 4 stars
8/11/04 The Infamous Evil Spike A Fun Movie 5 stars
7/12/04 Troy Surewood Great Movie, Nice and Perky... 5 stars
9/23/03 Johnny Harrop Excellent - read Boorman's book "Money into Light" for a fascinating insight into the makin 5 stars
8/04/03 Jenny Stupid, Tripe, Obvious, but Pretty to look at 2 stars
5/05/03 John Rechtfertig Beautiful, exciting, effective 5 stars
4/22/03 Dave Lovegrove A "real" Adam and Eve fable , which jungle would you prefer? & I dream of Katchiri!! 5 stars
3/12/03 Hope Brown at first it seemed boring but as the movie went on I found it real interesting. 4 stars
1/20/03 Grunt Who cares about the message? Powers Boothe is in it! 4 stars
9/03/02 Charles Tatum Like all of Boorman's stuff- pretty but hokey 3 stars
4/22/01 sequoia good plot, good message, beautiful Kachiri..based on true story 4 stars
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  26-Jun-1985 (R)



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