It’s bold praise when Quentin Tarantino refers to you as “the future of horror,” and now with his newest production “Hemlock Grove” which is currently airing on Netflix, Eli Roth makes the case for the Hollywood equivalent to the rap-game come-up. Since going from zero to sixty with his breakout hit “Cabin Fever,” Roth has been nearly unstoppable as a multi hyphenate Hollywood presence, changing hats and jumping chairs as producer, director, actor, comedian and personality. Here’s a few interesting little tidbits about the talented Mr. Roth:
Roth’s forthcoming gorefest, “The Green Inferno,” which follows a group of do-gooder’s as they travel into the Amazon and dine with some local cannibals, was actually shot in an extremely remote part of the Amazon with actual indigenous peoples. After obtaining permits from the local government, Roth and his crew traveled deep into the Amazon in a Herzog-esque move, using actual tribesman from a nearly isolated Amazonian village as actors and extras in the film. As it happened, none of the villagers had ever seen a movie or a movie camera until Roth came to town, and as an introduction to movie magic, Roth played Ruggero Deodato’s classic horror/shlockfest “Cannibal Holocaust” for them. They all thought it was a comedy. What’s more, Roth built his entire production around those who would be willing to get Yellow Fever vaccination’s and who would be willing to work in life-threatening conditions, surrounded by poisonous frogs, tarantulas, and snakes that could kill on contact or bite. After production wrapped, the majority of the crew had to be de-loused and de-parasited.
Roth has never lost money on a movie. According to BoxOfficeMojo, the combined production budget of Roth’s first two films is a little over $6 million dollars and the total gross from each at the box office in total comes to over $100 million, and with combined DVD and rental sales, over $200 million. Pretty damn good if you ask me.
Speaking of Quentin Tarantino: the director is so enamored of Roth, he has become (over the years) Roth’s mentor and frequent collaborator. After claiming that Roth’s first film “Cabin Fever” as one of his favorite films of all time, the two became friendly, eventually leading to Tarantino producing Roth’s second feature, “Hostel.” From then on, they’ve been nearly inseparable when it comes to collaboration. After producing “Hostel,” Tarantino brought Roth into the “Grindhouse” project he was developing with director Robert Rodriguez, commissioning Roth to direct a trailer for a fake film called “Thanksgiving.” Next, Tarantino cast Roth in his 2009 WWII-flick “Inglorious Basterds,” again having Roth work all the more on that project, directing the segment of the film entitled “Nation’s Pride.” Even more recently, while working together on “The Man with the Iron Fist,” Tarantino egged Roth into following up on their “Grindhouse” collaboration with a “Thanksgiving” feature, which is now underway with a proposed release date sometime in 2014. Interestingly, around the time that Tarantino came on board to produce “Hostel,” he converted Roth into a longform writer. Before working with Tarantino, Roth wrote in typical treatment/script style, but after looking at all the various drafts and versions of Tarantino’s work, he picked up the habit of writing every single one of his scripts since then in longform narrative to better explore every aspect of his process.