'Hostel II' director Eli Roth's parents are very proud

Eli_lHere’s how I never imagined I’d begin a post about Hostel: Part II (opening June 8): director Eli Roth makes people feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And yet, it’s true. Before I meet Roth (pictured), who was at Comic Con to do a Q&A panel about the sequel to 2005’s torture-and-gore-fest Hostel, I have a lovely talk with his parents. They were on the set of both Hostel films, as well as 2002’s Cabin Fever, and seem not only unscathed but so proud you’d think their son saved kittens for a living. “They’ve been indulging my horror-director dreams since I was eight years old,” says Roth. “They let me get sawed in half with a chainsaw at my bar mitzvah.” Awww. But a supportive family unit hasn’t stopped Roth from making some very screwed-up cinema. EW sat down with Roth and Hostel: Part II stars Heather Matarazzo (The L Word), who is one of the film’s unfortunate American students, and Roger Bart (Desperate Housewives), who plays a sadistic businessman, to talk blood, guts and what Hostel has in common with Borat.

addCredit(“Eli Roth: Mark Mainz/Getty Images”)

How much of making Hostel: Part II was about making a film moregruesome than the first one? I mean, how much bloodier can things get?

Eli Roth: You definitely want to one-up yourself, but you also don’twant it to become all about that. It’s really easy to make it superbloody and violent and gory. I wanted to build on the strengths of thefirst [Hostel] and take it to another level. My favorite sequels areAliens and Road Warrior and The Empire Strikes Back — sequels where youcame out and you went, “Oh my God, that was so much better than thefirst movie.” That was the goal.

Roger and Heather, did you have any… concerns about doing this movie?

Heather Matarazzo: If a horror movie is on [TV], I look at the corner ofscreen or cover my eyes for half the film. But I was not freaked out atall. I was really excited. It was one of the warmest, safestenvironments I have ever worked in. 

[You see? Warm and fuzzy!]

Roger Bart: It was Eli’s passion that made me to want to take a chanceand participate in this. I’ve never really been attracted to gore andblood, but Eli manages to have both elements: the suspense mixed withwhat is probably an inappropriate amount of blood and guts. I had noidea it was going to be as much fun as it was [making this film]. And,as Heather said, strangely safe, considering we were investigating verydangerous places in our personalities as human beings. But I have hadpeople say to me, “I want to go to Europe, but I have to go before Isee the movie.” We ruined tourism.

Roth: I have had people say they’d never go to Europe [after seeingHostel], but I don’t think they’d go anyway. I think those are peoplewho generally don’t leave their hometowns. And it was banned in theUkraine because the Hostel Association lobbied the government to notshow it. They were worried people wouldn’t go backpacking. But it’slike Borat and Kazakhstan — their tourism increased 30 percent! In Borat, thejoke is on the Americans. And that’s what it is in the Hostel movies:the people in Slovakia are just letting it happen. It’s symbolic ofwhat happens in these formerly Communist countries. The dollar iscoming in, and the worst parts of humanity come out as a result of it.The Americans are the worst ones of all. The people in Slovakia arejust like, “Yeah, you can use that factory. That’s there. Sure.”

Eli, what’s up next for you?

Roth: I went from Hostel: Part I to Part II without a break, so I thinkI’m going to sleep for about a month or two and then I’ll go right intoCell, the Stephen King adaptation [about a deadly virus transmittedthrough mobile phones]. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, whowrote The People vs. Larry Flynt and Ed Wood, are writing it now.So as soon as I get the script, I’ll jump in.

And in the meantime, we can watch a your very badass Grindhouse trailer.

Roth: I’m actually in Grindhouse — Quentin [Tarantino] put me in it, and apparently Imade a lot of the cut. And I already have offers to make a feature outof the Grindhouse trailer! We shot for two days and just wentcompletely nuts: blood, guts, and no continuity.

Matarazzo: Woo-hoo!

Roth: It was complete silliness and mayhem. It was like film school. Wejust got a camera and tried to cram in as much blood, gore, and nudityas we could.

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
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  • julia

    Don’t know how I feel about a film version of Cell – Stephen King books rarely translate well to the big screen.. Well, I guess as long as the guys from Wings are available, it should be a decent flick.. (is there any Stephen King movie one or both of them are NOT in?!)

  • furry_tom

    I had one big beef with Hostel. At the end when Paxton is escaping in the car and he happens across/ runs down all the people who tricked him into going there. It was way too convenient. Please, no deus ex machina in the sequel. Also, if Rick Hoffman’s part (the American Client) had been played by Tim Allen doing a self-parody, it would have been hilarious.

  • Ep Sato

    I wasn’t a mega fan of Hostel, but did feel it was important as a movie to see. Given that a host of immitators will be flooding the silver screen over the next few years, it’s always key to see one of the first.
    I liked the scene with the kids beating up all the villains. Those are some tough kids!

  • t3hdow

    I’m not sure if I want to see another Hostel, but I’ll give it a try. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought it felt a little too ‘safe’, considering the edgy premise. It was disappointing, since the trailer of Hostel creeped me out to the point of not wanting to see it in theaters. Although the Saw films had interesting ways of killing people, I thought a bunch of torture happy sadists would make that series look like Sesame Street in comparison. Alas, there was only like 10 minutes of actual torture and it turned out to be a semi-porn flick/semi-escape thriller instead of the creepy horror film I thought it would be.

  • Phil

    My only complaint about HOSTEL is a direct speech to irresponsible parents. You KNEW what kinda film HOSTEL was, or if not directly how much violence would be in it, you had at least an idea. I’ll tell ya this much. IF I GO SEE HOSTEL II OPENING NIGHT AGAIN THIS YEAR & THERE ARE PARENTS WITH CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 10 I’M GOIN TO GO GET THE MANAGER OF THE THEATER AND HAVE U REMOVED! I mean I know how hard it is to find a decent babysitter on Friday nights but REALLY, bringing small children to see a movie, where the SCARIEST element of it, IS THAT IT LITERALLY COULD HAPPEN, is just plain HORRIBLE parenting. NO movie is worht seeing that badly opening weekend, with your small brood of children with you. Sorry if this sounds outrageous, but I was more horrified by this act than HOSTEL itself! I was sittin there cringing with the gratutious T&A in the Red Light District & then the torture scenes, but not at the movie, I was cringing watching the kids eagerly watch! HORRIFYING!

  • Ep Sato

    I’d be curious what the consensus is on that issue. I was taken to a lot of innapropriate child fare as a kid and turned out relatively okay, and would argue that even scary movies boosted my creativity. But then again, the Shining and Aliens weren’t near as nasty as Hostel or Saw. Out of curiosity, were my parents the only radicals or are there any parents in our viewing audience here who take their underage kids to see r rated and scary movies?

  • Andres

    Is that Sylar or Eli Roth?

  • furry_tom

    I run a daycare center out of my house for pre-school children. When they’re bad, I sit them in a chair and make them watch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. When they’re good, I let them watch the original and far superior Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

  • Joel

    Phil – I completely agree. I remember back in 2003, I went to see the Texas Chainsaw Remake (the one with Jessica Biel) with my best friend from college. About halfway through the movie I heard someone crying in the theater and looked behind me. There was a 7 or 8 year old girl two rows back with her Dad (I assume). I was so angry. My buddy and I both said something to him afterward. He of course told us to f$%& off, but I was glad to have made a point. Unbelievable.

  • Abby

    Phil, I see your point, but unless a movie is rated NC17 the parents have a right to bring small children. It may be sad, but that’s just the way it is.

  • t3hdow

    Phil, I’m not sure if you missed that Popwatch topic that focused on irresponsible parents bringing little kids to R-rated films, but many of us agree with your complaint. It isn’t difficult for me to wait on movies to be released on DVD, but the fact that so many parents aren’t willing to do that with their kids is a pretty sad testamant to our country.

  • Sam

    I though Stephen King’s “Misery” was a pretty good adaptation from book to screen, and as much as I was dissappointed with Roth’s creativity in the first Hostel, I can give it another go.

  • Phil

    T3hdow, I did recall seeing that particular PopWatch topic, but I didn’t chime in because I was awaiting a PopWatch topic concerning the sequel before mentioning it. I mean I’ll be honest, my parents let me watch every Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Halloween movie released when I was younger (I’m 28) but usually on video in our own home. And part of the thinking behind that was to conquer our fears of the boogeymen in those movies, BUT here’s my big complaint…THERE ARE NO BOOGEYMEN in HOSTEL. They’re authentic REAL people with sick & twisted imaginations and complexes. Kids do NOT need to know there are insane individuals like that, that exist in our world, when the children watching the film probably never even heard of the continent, let alone the country the movie takes place in YET! I’m sorry, but there are studies as to why the younger generations are so dis-affected & disrespectful to their elders & I can’t help but thinking stuff like this is part of the problem

  • Phil

    I should clarify also when I say “disrespectful to edlers” I not only mean unruly & disobidient, but I also feel careless choices such as taking such young children to such a grotesque R rated film as HOSTEL stems from the fact that most young parents these days want to be the children’s FRIEND first and ACTUAL PARENT second. Anyways, I just seriously hope my comments read here by some parents will cause at least ONE to rethink their logic before taking such young kids to a theater whether it be on opening weekend or not, to such violent films as HOSTEL II, GRINDHOUSE or THE HILL HAVE EYES 2. Yes, these movies are NOT rated NC-17, but parents should think twice, maybe 3 or 4 times before bringing any kids under the age of 10 to see these kinda films with them.

  • dan

    hostel 1 and 2 are the sickest movies in the world they are piontless and i don’t know how eli roth can make a film like this i know he says its fake and all and he wants every one to see his movies but honestly this movie should be restricted it’s no different than seeing someone killed i real life for the fact that it feels so real. but eli you may laugh at me but i will prey for you.

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