If you enjoy your horror films with a side of socio-political subtext and aren't squeamish about displays of extreme gore, I would highly recommend Eli Roth's upcoming cannibal flick “The Green Inferno.” It's sick and twisted, but it's got more on its mind than cheap shocks. Also, Stephen King loved it.
Whatever your taste, Roth can always be counted on for smart and honest observations, and during today's Reddit AMA the modern horror master didn't disappoint. See below for all the highlights from the online chat.
1. He agrees with Quentin Tarantino about “It Follows.”
@Burke211: What did you think of It Follows?
@EliRoth[S]: Awesome but I agree with what Quentin said. I wished it followed its own logic. He should call it “It Follows (but not its own rules during the pool and movie theater scenes). Love the director though. I'm just nipicking it now in retrospect, I loved it.
2. He loathes Joe Wright's 2007 Best Picture nominee “Atonement” — or at least its famous tracking shot.
@GodSaveTheKings: What is the most disgusting movie you've ever seen?
@EliRoth[S]: Atonement. That Steadicam shot. Jesus. Made me want to throw up it was so self important. Rarely am I more impressed by the assistant directing than the directing.
3. He nearly died filming the big climax in Quentin Tarantino's “Inglourious Basterds.”
@Kingdonk0: How many takes did you have to do before you got the perfect crazed/happy look on your face when you were shooting Hitler?
@EliRoth[S]: One. I was almost burned to death during that scene. It was horrific. The theater was supposed to be 500 degrees and the fire was gonna stay 15 feet away but they never tested it with the seats and flags and soon it was 2,000 degrees. The swastika melting and dropping was not planned. Another 15 seconds and wew ould have been toast.
4. Missionaries showed up at the real Peruvian village where they shot “The Green Inferno” and tried to interrupt production.
@r_antrobusR: Hey Eli, do you have any crazy stories you can tell us from the set of The Green Inferno?
@EliRoth[S]: I tried to answer this but it diddn't post so I will try again. The first day of shooting in the village was the big arrival scene. All the kids were tied up in canoes and we had hundreds of villagers painted and ready to kill. And we have heads on sticks and dead bodies all over. And as I yell action two boats full of Missionaries showed up. They were certain that Satan had come to the village and freaked out. Then the villagers said “It's not Satan, Eli Roth is here making a horror film.” They were so angry I had beaten them they started disrupting the filming by playing music. The village told them to come back when we were done. It was surreal. I of course tried to film it all but the villagers told me I had to back down, that it was a serious situation so we barely have footage of it.
5. Shooting “The Green Inferno” was an challenging — some might say death-defying — experience.
@thelukeofhorror: What was the most challenging scene you've ever had to film?
@EliRoth[S]: Inferno was so hard only because we were in this remote village in the amazon. It was 5 hours of travel every day, going in land rovers and then up the river 90 minutes. The day we threw Lorenza Izzo in the river was hard because we found a location that was washed away when we went back to film it. So we found a rock she could cling to but it almost pulled her under and she almost drowned. that sort of thing happened a lot. It was actually really scary.
6. He actually loves working with the MPAA.
@Oddball12: Did you have to appeal the rating of The Green Inferno by the MPAA at all? Did it original get an NC-17? (Did you pull a Scorsese and add extra scenes of extreme violence just to cut them out of the movie to appease the MPAA in hopes of an R rating?)
@EliRoth[S]: I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to work with the MPAA. Nobody sees it from where I'm sitting but all around the world they hack horror movies to pieces, only in the US do they really try to protect the integrity of the film and work with you. We had many long discussions about The Green Inferno but ultimately I was very happy with where we wound up. There's no director's cut, this is it. Everywhere else in the worldit's a government censorship board and they never protect violent movies because they want to be re-elected. In the US we have the MPAA which is a self-policing body and they're all movie lovers and understand what my audience wants to see. Their job is to help make a movie acceptable for theaters but also to warn parents about what's in it. We may disagree at times but we always have a reasonable discussion about it, not even an appeal. We just get on the phone and talk it out – no one else in the world does that. EVerywhere else they just cut it and say take it or don't release it.
7. His killer shark movie “Meg” may cost at least $100 million to produce.
@haunthorror: Hi Eli big fan of yours. I was wondering if you can shed some light on Meg, and Lake Mead?
– When is production scheduled to start on Meg, and is the rumors of over a 100 million dollar budget true?
– When can we expect a trailer for Lake Mead? Will this be released theatrically or go the VOD/Limited release route?
Thanks for making some great horror movies, and best of luck with the release of The Green Inferno. Will be seeing it on Friday.
@EliRoth[S]: Lake Mead – still in post, we're excited to show distributors. Meg – yes, it's a monster budget movie and I could not be more excited to spend all that money on a giant shark eating people like Ms. Pac Man.
8. He has an idea for a fourth “Hostel” movie.
@Lucarxo: Have you ever thought of making another Hostel and making it gorier?
@EliRoth[S]: Actually yes. Have an idea. Wouldn't direct it but would continue it.
9. He may agree with Tarantino on “It Follows,” but it's still one of his favorite current horror films. Smart man.
@moonlight_ricotta: Do you currently have a favorite horror movie?
@EliRoth[S]: It Follows and Babadook.
You can check out the full AMA here.