yeah. eh,it was okay. now the director is making another movie,and its supposed to be one of the scariest movies ever (Even excorcist is mentioned as competition,and you know..you just dont top excorcist.)
'I want to make a movie that's too scary for people to see. That's terrifying like 'The Exorcist' was. That's the goal. I don't know if I will achieve it but you should at least go for it.'
So says Eli Roth of 'Hostel', his forthcoming follow-up to the 2003 global horror hit 'Cabin Fever'.
Holed up in a huge studio on the outskirts of Prague, the writer-director spent most of April and May making the movie, and we spent some quality time on set to find out first-hand what depravity he has planned.
Perched in front of the director's monitor as he organises the first set-up of the day, Roth tells Time Out that the inspiration for 'Hostel' came, in part, from Quentin Tarantino and 'Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles.
Knowles chipped in first, when the pair were discussing horror some years back, and the subject of 'sick shit' on the internet cropped up; in particular certain sites that offered the opportunity to indulge in some extremely violent, serious and illegal acts in exchange for large sums of money.
Roth was intrigued by the notion, investigated further and before long the idea for 'Hostel' was born.
He showed what he had to Tarantino, and the man who killed Bill was immediately enthused by the concept, apparently saying: 'That's the fucking scariest, fucking sickest idea I've ever heard – you've got to do it!'
The pair threw about several ideas late last year, and in no time at all the project was in motion and Eli was plunging head-first into the world of hardcore horror.
'I just sat down and wrote the sickest, most violent thing I could,' he explains between set-ups. 'Within weeks it was ready to go – I wrote it to be set in Eastern Europe with Eastern European actors, two Americans [Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson] and one from Iceland [newcomer Eythor Gudjonsson]. I then flew to Prague, interviewed production people, met with a really good team of co-producers and here we are!'
Time Out visits the set on day 21 of a 38 day shoot, and although Roth assures me that the film does have some light moments (particularly in the first half), what TO witnesses has a seriously dark and sombre tone.
The bulk of today's action takes place in a small, sinister room that resembles a primitive, medieval dungeon. Perverse instruments of torture adorn the walls and in the middle sits a lone chair, which as the day goes on becomes a throne of terror on which one of the film's characters experiences insufferable and indescribable pain.
It's shocking stuff, a million miles away from the enjoyably light-hearted tone of 'Cabin Fever', and it's immediately clear that the graphic violence will cause quite a stir when the film is released later in the year. I ask Roth why he didn't play it safe and make 'Cabin Fever 2' instead of taking a chance with such relentlessly grim material.
'I made this movie because I want people to think about what the fuck we're doing – where society is going in terms of exploitation and pornography,' he explains.
But judging from the ultra-violence being shot today, won't he be the one accused of such exploitation?
'Everything in the movie is set up very carefully,' he quickly shoots back 'Anyone who criticises this movie for exploitation – I'll find a hundred reasons to shut down their argument as to why its there. It's no accident that these guys are American, that they are very sexist in their attitude towards women, and that the things that they feel about the girls in Eastern Europe is very much based in American fantasies and stereotypes. Everything comes back to bite them in the ass though; they definitely pay for it.'
And in the scenes being shot on this particular day, pay for it they do, and in kind.
Intense, horrific violence bursts forth upon the monitor at regular intervals, and although I can't go into exact details for fear of giving the plot away, it's fair to say that Roth inflicts human suffering of the most devestating kind on his characters.
Feeling a little queasy at the site of it all, I take a break and head to the KNB special effects trailer, where Howard Berger and Kevin Wasner are busy creating blood-drenched splatter and mess for the movie.
One look at their work confirms my suspicions – the parade of prosthetic arms, legs and torsos, punctured and maimed with increasingly horrific injuries, reinforces the fact that when the violence does kicks in, 'Hostel' will contain some of the most explicit and extreme scenes of carnage ever to appear in a mainstream film.
After the gruesome twosome have shown me around, Berger is kind enough to pass me a ball-gag puking device, the likes of which I thought never to see during my short time on this earth. 'We've done piss, blood and vomit so far' he explains, 'In fact, shit is the only bodily fluid we haven't done on 'Hostel' yet.’
Impressed with this fact, but deciding I no longer feel like joining the cast for dinner, I instead corner Eli to ask him just how he expects such material to get an R-rating.
'I just don't know', he confides, 'I think this movie can be made very well for an R, and I’ll have my 18 for England and my director's cut for DVD. But after seeing some of the stuff I've shot, it's pretty horrifying and I'm pretty nervous. Whatever – I'll go out and make the best film I can and fight that battle when it comes.'
We then discuss the movies that inspired 'Hostel', namely 'The Vanishing', 'Sympathy for Mr Vengeance', 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer', 'The Wicker Man' and 'Audition'; all films that shocked and stunned audiences worldwide on their initial release. Is this what Roth is aiming for?
'The way I think about it is you want to be the one that sets the bar that everyone imitates. I'm not saying I will, but that's what you go for. You want to be the one that re-writes the book; that makes all other horror directors go "I wish I'd made that!"
'And in the current horror landscape, I can tell you that there will not be another film that's as intense and sick as this one!'
With that, Roth is called back to the set to shoot the final, devastating, scene of the day, and I follow him to get my last glimpse at horror, 'Hostel'-style.
But even though this final shot is brief, it's one that will live long in the memory, involving a helpless victim, a flash of chainsaw, a rush of blood and… well, you’ll just have to buy a ticket and see for yourself when the film hits cinemas at the end of the year!
...I really want to know what the plot is.