"I'm making things that I'm afraid of." -- Eli Roth
Writer-director Eli Roth showed up to NYComicCon amped up and ready to get down to business. In person, he's a man on a mission; his mile-a-minute speech is filled with passion, energy and everything you'd expect from a young filmmaker who's worked his ass off to get to where he is now. Roth started shooting short films when he was a kid, attended film school at N.Y.U and worked almost every behind-the-scenes production job there is until, finally, he put together enough dough to make the low-budged horror flick Cabin Fever. Eventually picked up by Lionsgate (during a bidding war at the Toronto Film Fest), Cabin Fever went on to be their most successful film of 2003. And that's when Quentin Tarantino took notice.
Roth doesn't consider himself a straight horror director. After all, he began his career in animation (directing South Park-like stuff) before switching gears and helping to revive a genre by introducing a balls-to-the-wall style that's often hard to stomach. Unlike most filmmakers, Roth considers his film a failure if people don't walk out halfway through -- if they aren't outraged, if they don't write a bunch of nasty letters -- then he didn't do his job. Hostel: Part II is no exception; Roth fully expects moviegoers to have massive issues with this film; mainly because its three lead characters are all women. A bunch of us sat down with Eli prior to his panel discussion, where he talked everything from Hostel: Part III to auditioning for Quentin Tarantino's half of Grindhouse, Death Proof. Check it out ...
On directing the trailerThanksgiving for Grindhouse: "'Quentin comes to me, and he's like (switches to Tarantino accent): "Okay man, we're gonna do this f**kin' thing, and it's gonna be really f**kin' cool, right. It's gonna be f**kin Grindhouse, and we're gonna have f**kin' fake trailers. And you gotta do one, right.' So there was this slasher movie that my friend Jeff and I had been dreaming about. Growing up in Massachusetts, Thanksgiving is the biggest f**king deal; it's all you hear about. There's two full-time working Pilgrim plantations that you go to. So, every year there's a new slasher movie for every different holiday -- My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Silent Night, Deadly Night -- I'm like, how could they not have done Thanksgiving yet? I mean, what are they gonna start doing Passover Massacre? So when Quentin asked what I was going to do, I told him Thanksgiving -- it was my 1981 slasher movie. I've been dying to do it for years. So I went from Hostel II -- we kind of recycled a bunch of stuff we had from that set (like a decapitated head -- and threw it all into this trailer. It was fun. I had a great time doing it."