Recently I saw some flashing advertisements on horror sites such as Terrortube, for a cannibal film called “Welcome to the Jungle.” Normally I could resist such ads and not seek out such films, however, this time I noticed the name Jonathan Hensleigh attached to the project and thought it might be worth checking out. He in fact directed that last cool The Punisher movie as well as having been a writer or producer on lots of cool movies like Die Hard 3 and Armageddon.
Welcome to the Jungle was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh and is about four young people who travel into the New Guinea wilderness after hearing reports that an old bearded white man has been living amongst the native tribes. They figure it is Michael Rockefeller, the heir to the Rockefeller fortune who disappeared in 1961 and they decide to brave the areas history of cannibalism in order to seek out fortune.
This movie is filmed fake documentary style, in that you as the viewer are supposed to believe you are watching footage that was found, ala Blair Witch style. The Blair Witch fooled too many people for the same gimmick to ever really work again, and it was believable that those characters would go into the woods looking for spooky stuff. However, the characters in Welcome to the Jungle are 4 basic morons, two of which have the classic party animal persona, who go off into the jungle of a foreign country on a whim of figuring they might get rich off of an interview with Rockefeller. One of the characters is a bartender and one is a failing rock band singer, who proclaims she is way out of shape, and yet here they go off into the dangerous jungle, without any sort of guide, and start trekking hundreds of miles up mountains and over rivers. I’m sorry, but it takes a lot of exercise and routine to get in shape for such an adventure and not be too sore to move after the first some odd miles. Yet these four kids basically lolly-gag around the jungle, fit as fiddles, and stupid as can be.
The meat of the story consists of shaky amateur camerawork with two sets of boy/girl couples arguing with each other. The argument is over the fact that two of the four keep getting drunk all night and sleep in, and then for some reason act like four year olds hopping around the jungle making silly sounds and yelling that they are the gorilla squad; woot woot. Eventually the two groups split up and then near the end the cannibals arrive. Some guys with white stuff on their faces kidnap the two party animals and the other duo try to track them down and find themselves in danger.
There is one singular cool scene and that is a dead body posed in a gory fashion, of course that would only look cool to confessed gore hounds, or weirdos like me. Other than that this is a by the numbers 100% predictable and pointless trek into the jungle with not even one likeable character amongst the group of four.
Welcome to the Jungle, exit before you enter.