ELI ROTH: THE DEEP VOID

ELI ROTH: THE DEEP VOID

Thanks for the inspiration, Lillian.

I remember my first time seeing “Cabin Fever”.

It was 2003. I remember that year being a particularly awful one, and I was anxious to see it in hopes it would provide fleeting entertainment. I didn’t know who Eli Roth was then, and personally I didn’t care, all I knew was that I wanted to see what looked like one of the best horror movies ever made.

I was better off not caring about Roth, because now that I’m fully aware of him, I find it’s hard to watch horror movies knowing that fans consider him the horror auteur of the new Millennium.

The day I went to see “Cabin Fever”, I had a choice between it or “Underworld”. Upon viewing both, I should have spent that ten dollars on lunch. While “Underworld” ended up being just a forgettable sub-par light weight fantasy effort, I remember regretting watching “Cabin Fever”.

“Cabin Fever” holds a precedent.

It’s the only film I’ve paid for I nearly walked out of, it’s the only film I’ve been to that had three people in the theater, it’s the only film I’ve been to that actually inspired me to demand my money back, it’s the only film I’ve ever seen in theaters I was completely wrong about, it’s the only film that had me nearly break down in tears, and it’s the only film I’ve ever seen that made me re-consider the horror genre. Never have there ever been a longer ninety minutes.

In a review for “Cabin Fever” I passionately declared: “Eli Roth should never be let behind a camera again”, and sadly that hasn’t become a popular opinion. Sadly, he’s gained a fan base, and shockingly, he’s considered a genius by his fans, which is a contradiction on his fans’ intelligence, ironically. I’ve found the fan base is mostly filled with folks who love gore and nothing more.

His worst opposition is basically just people whom admit he’s terrible or unoriginal yet still find entertainment value in his films. I, however, find nothing about him that’s redeeming. He could best be described as a suck up, and a brown noser to the discerning eye, and he’s basically done nothing but pulled a Kidd Rock.

Kidd Rock is a musician who wants desperately to be considered a big gun. So much so he hangs around hall of famers and rock stars just to leech off their clout, and that’s what Eli Roth has accomplished. He’s a man with a great team of publicists, and a hell of an agent. Meanwhile he surrounds himself around people like Quentin Tarantino, Takashe Miike, and Stephen King, and he’s considered a top gun in the horror business.

And his fans buy it. They buy it because the man gives them what’s missing in horror: gore, and only gore. I even gave “Hostel” a fair shake and desperately attempted to find entertainment value in it. Sadly, while it wasn’t as utterly unwatchable as the brainless “Cabin Fever”, it surely was a weak attempt from Roth to mimic Takashe Miike.

Roth has done nothing but mimic directors since his debut. He’s mimicked Tarantino by mimicking his favorite films, and he’s mimicked Tarantino’s style and vainly has attempted to mimick his writing style. In “Hostel” he mimicked Miike, and fans ate it up. Roth likes to pretend he’s a different mold of director, but really he’s just as shameless as Brett Ratner.

He claims he never likes to put “Directed by” in ads because he feels the credit should not be distributed in favor of him, yet he’s not above plastering “QUENTIN TARANTINO PRESENTS” in large yellow lettering on the twenty posters produced for “Hostel” to fool fans into thinking Tarantino directed it, and he never collaborates. Which is an immense mistake, either way.

Roth doesn’t like to collaborate in writing, though, with his baffling demand in Hollywood, he seems to be flexible in that principle. The result of his sole writing efforts were his first two films, two shameless pastiches of his favorite films which he doled out to theaters without batting a brow, and he continues taking sole credit for their success. One flubber he’s made that he never talks about was a “Cabin Fever” sequel script which was rejected by Lions Gate because they considered it awful, and was pushed out of his own franchise. Roth continues to play it off for fans, but it was quite an embarrasment reflective on his own “skill”.

Beyond that his films have no story, horrible writing, and terrible acting, yet his fans bite the big piece of bait he throws out to them every time, and even in the hot water he found himself in lately, he’s bound to be considered a master, even with shit like “Hostel”. One theme in particular to Roth’s writing is his ability to convey his complete and passionate homophobia.

In “Hostel”, characters refer to one another as fags, and call each other gay, they egg each other on in sexual activities with other women as a test of their sexuality, yet are not above committing homo-erotic pranks on one another, and the only truly gay character in the film ends up being a psychotic murderer who commits a harsh act of sadism on one of the characters halfway through. Even though he denies such speculation, the inherent homophobia shows through in “Cabin Fever” and on “Hostel”, and reflects upon his fans.

And yet, he keeps digging his hole further with comments such as:

“What I’m making is what I see. The way young people talk is, if something is stupid they say it’s gay. That’s just a word that people use. If you think that people don’t use that word, than you’re totally out of touch with youth culture.”

Who allowed Roth to take this interview, anyway? If Roth is sure that he’s so in touch with culture, perhaps he doesn’t subscribe to the same culture as others do. Beyond gaming, trailer trash, beer drinking, MTV viewing teenagers, who actually calls each other “gay”? Sad fact with this interview is that Roth really has no idea, yet he continues to hang the stupidity sign proudly:

“Hey, quit being a fag!” or “Oh, that’s so gay!” They’re not saying it in any kind of homophobic or sexual context, that’s just how they talk. That’s a word people use. So like am I not allowed to put that in movies?”

Roth, himself, feels the need to become a martyr, and actually defends the need to include homosexual names within his films and seems intent on continuing to do so with his future films, because he can, and he feels doing so will act as further proof to his fans that he’s a rebel. And, who can stop him?

Regardless, of the fact when you make these words alright to say, especially with a culture that sponges up every word possible, you begin a new trend of homophobic youth culture, the one that Roth seems to be so in tact with. Of course, watching MTV really doesn’t qualify you as a scholar on youth culture.

But then this is the man who allowed his film to be advertised as one of the goriest films ever made, when it was a lie. He allowed the public to think Tarantino directed “Hostel”, and it was a lie. He’s been allowed to think that cutting and pasting your favorite scenes from other sources in every film you direct is okay, and that’s sad. Why give someone so creatively inept more of an excuse to be creatively inept? He’s considered by many to be “The Future of Horror”, and if he’s the future, I may want to consider a whole new genre to follow.

Roth wants to be Miike, he’s dying to be Tarantino, he longs to be Carpenter, but really he’s just a creatively impotent frat boy without an artistic bone in his body, and sadly he’ll be successful, because he’s in that zone with Joel Schumacher, Michael Bay, and Brett Ratner in which he’s terrible in every effort, but he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, because he has a great team, and relies on his brainless fans to sop up whatever he feeds them, while ass kissing reporters praise him mercilessly.

Hey Tarantino,

If you and Roth really are friends, and it’s not all just a gimmick, perhaps you may want to advise him that when he speaks, words come out of it, and they don’t always make sense. Perhaps he’d best have someone feed his lines to him in a radio next time, or have a representative. Because if you can’t say something smart, you may not want to say anything at all.

What strange new world with such people in it.




Posted on June 27, 2006 in Blogs by
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16 Comments on "ELI ROTH: THE DEEP VOID"

  1. Zachary Jacobs on Tue, 27th Jun 2006 1:28 am 

    Dude, you are so right about Eli Roth. He is such an egotistical idiot who hangs around more talented film makers to make himself look like a good director. If he is the future of horror, then i’m safe to say i’m a little frightened.


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  2. Trevor Gentry-Birnbaum on Tue, 27th Jun 2006 3:07 am 

    This was a joy to read. As a person who feels wronged by both Cabin Fever and Underworld, I can relate. I didn’t know all of that stuff about Eli Roth, though – so now I have even more to complain with.


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  3. Maurauder on Tue, 27th Jun 2006 4:39 am 

    You were spot on about Cabin Fever, what a waste of celluloid! Hostel was hyped to be something it was not. I really would like to know who convinced Roth that he needed to waste the first hour character building on people who were never leaving the shallow end of the pool. Once you understand that all they are interested in is drugs and girls, brother it is time to move on.
    As far as the new millinium’s horror auteur…my vote goes to Alexandre Aja or Adam Green.


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  4. Lillian Patterson on Tue, 27th Jun 2006 5:51 am 

    “I wanted to see what looked like one of the best horror movies ever made.”

    What trailer did YOU see? I saw the previews for Cabin Fever, with that camera angle flying across the ground, and thought, “Evil Dead returns…”

    “That’s a word people use. So like am I not allowed to put that in movies?”

    Like, I’ve like heard people use a certain word that refers to black people and begins with the letter “n” and like, I actually hear it a lot, but like, most people don’t use it in movies because they like don’t want to like offend people. And like, you used that word in Cabin Fever, too. Like.

    Eli, I think you have a right to use whatever words you want in your movies. But people have the right to complain about it, too. That’s the price you pay for living in a free country, buck up and move on.


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  5. Lord Cthulhu on Wed, 28th Jun 2006 7:59 pm 

    Interestingly enough though is that you seem to hold Tarantino in a certain esteem, while he has made such a name being the ultimate of hacks. Whether it be Peckinpah, Fulci, or even Toshiya Fujita; QT aims to take each of these forms and repackage them for the new age. Unseen or too long forgotten; people are too easily duped into thinking that he is a genious of cinema, whne really he is just a very attentive student. He has paid attention to the films he has seen, and with this knowledge created new exciting stories to showcase within them. QT does take a bit of slack for this, but not as much as Roth does.

    I agree that the sophmoric content of Roth’s movies does grate a bit, and that he has yet to show us that he can do anything but pander to the crowd. He has no subtext or sense of subtlety, but I cannot condemn him. I sense a real enthusiasm for the genre. He needs to grow up, and the constant accolades that he garners is not going to make him do so any time soon.

    QT is truly infatuated with the kid, and one has to also topple the tower that is AICN to bring down the house of Roth. Knowles has a hand in Hostel, and as much sway as AICN holds over the mindless masses of movie goers these days, it will be a long time before genre fans ask for more adult fare from the kid in the candy store.

    I am Roth neutral. I did not dislike either Hostel or Cabin Fever. I will see Hostel II. I think the kid is alright, but with some polishing to be done. With a King adaptation on the horizon, I can only hope he comes of age soon.

    And maybe improve on a sad story by a falling star author.


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  6. Chris Allen Gaubatz on Wed, 28th Jun 2006 8:51 pm 

    I like Roth’s fresh approach to the genre. So many producer’s and director’s are taking the easy way out with remakes- at least Roth is pumping fresh blood into the industry (pun intended). His movies aren’t exactly bumping any classics out of my top ten, but at least they are original (while still paying homage to the great ones like ‘Evil Dead’). For a movie (Cabin Fever) that gets such a bad review here, I wonder how it ended up with over $70 million in DVD sales?


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  7. Felix Vasquez Jr. on Thu, 29th Jun 2006 8:38 am 

    Really? You just tried to used DVD sales as an argument to Roth’s favor? Are you serious?

    Did you know The Fog remake was a big seller? Did you When a Stranger Calls sold well? Did you know Bloodrayne sold well? So, those are excellent films based on your argument, right?

    Seriously, think of something better than “Cabin Fever sold well”, because that has just as much weight as “it did well at the box office”.

    Meanwhile, all he’s done is ripped people off in his last two films. Cabin Fever was an amalgam of films he likes, while Hostel was a complete kiss up to Takashe Miike. He did nothing but imitate him.

    So, when you can argue Roth’s quality without using DVD sales, come back to me.


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  8. Felix Vasquez Jr. on Thu, 29th Jun 2006 8:51 am 

    Interestingly enough though is that you seem to hold Tarantino in a certain esteem, while he has made such a name being the ultimate of hacks.

    Actually I don’t hold Tarantino in any esteem. I’m not even a fan of his. But when a college boy does nothing but imitate the man who made it okay for filmmakers to imitate their favorite films, you draw the line.

    Whether it be Peckinpah, Fulci, or even Toshiya Fujita; QT aims to take each of these forms and repackage them for the new age.

    Apparently. Or he calls them “paying homage”, while Roth, his whipping boy, really does the same thing.
    “In Cell I want to imitate Dawn of the Dead uncy Tarantino!”
    “No, no Eli–remember, it’s “paying homage”, we don’t use the word imitate.”

    Unseen or too long forgotten; people are too easily duped into thinking that he is a genious of cinema, whne really he is just a very attentive student.

    Put this on record, I have never called Tarantino a genius. He’s just alright. The fact that horror fans with low standards call Roth a genius is a testament to the brains horror fans have.

    He has paid attention to the films he has seen, and with this knowledge created new exciting stories to showcase within them. QT does take a bit of slack for this, but not as much as Roth does.

    I remember saying upon being unimpressed with the “Kill Bill” teaser trailer: “Why does Tarantino keep pasting these references together? Just do an original movie for once!”

    I agree that the sophmoric content of Roth’s movies does grate a bit, and that he has yet to show us that he can do anything but pander to the crowd.

    He panders to the homophobic, fratboy, thirteen year old, gore fetish horror crowd. That’s all. And it’s working well. He’s a genius when it comes to hitting the demo. They get to say he’s the man for featuring sex jokes and brainless sex, while we call him genius for including gore, gore, gore.

    He has no subtext or sense of subtlety, but I cannot condemn him.

    I’ll do that for the both of us. Beyond what you said, he has no skill, no talent, no originality, no niche, no individual flair, I can go on.

    I sense a real enthusiasm for the genre. He needs to grow up, and the constant accolades that he garners is not going to make him do so any time soon.

    He DOES seem to love the genre, but he doesn’t seem to want to carve his own style into the genre. He instead says “I’ll show my love for horror by imitating everyone!” instead of saying “I’ll show how much I love horror by changing it” and he hasn’t.

    QT is truly infatuated with the kid, and one has to also topple the tower that is AICN to bring down the house of Roth. Knowles has a hand in Hostel, and as much sway as AICN holds over the mindless masses of movie goers these days, it will be a long time before genre fans ask for more adult fare from the kid in the candy store.

    I don’t go to AICN for that reason. They and many other movie review websites I will not name simply aim for the mindless movie goers, they don’t aspire for quality. I can only hope one day that the horror audience realizes the emperor has no clothes.

    I am Roth neutral. I did not dislike either Hostel or Cabin Fever.

    I despised Cabin Fever, and was not a fan of Hostel, even though I do admit HOstel was watchable.

    I will see Hostel II.

    I may. But it will be a cold day in hell before I see a sequel that sounds pretty much like a duplicate of the first. “With girls this time!” Ooh Roth you’re a genius! Totally unexpected twist!

    I think the kid is alright, but with some polishing to be done.

    I think he’s an untalented hack, and far from an artist, and even if he creates five films I end up loving, and wins an Oscar and is having his butt cleaned by George Romero, I’ll still consider him a hack.

    With a King adaptation on the horizon, I can only hope he comes of age soon. And maybe improve on a sad story by a falling star author.

    Birds of a feather. Tarantino who can’t muster up another film, hangs around a creatively impotent chimp with a camera, who is adapting a book from an author who hasn’t struck a home run in years. Birds of a feather.


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  9. Lord Cthulhu on Sat, 1st Jul 2006 7:40 pm 

    at least we agree that that KING is dead.


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  10. Felix Vasquez Jr. on Sat, 1st Jul 2006 10:38 pm 

    Yes, sir. Not as good as he once was.


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  11. Tom Miller on Sat, 5th Aug 2006 6:56 pm 

    Thank you so much for calling attention to the way some film makers pander to anti-gay bigotry.

    The word gay is used as an insult, because one of its meanings is homosexual male.

    Yes, young people use the word as an insult, and that’s nothing new. I’m 44, and when I was in junior high school, calling someone a fag or gay was a very common insult.

    Much of the time, the insult had nothing to do with whether the person was really gay, and it frequently had no sexual context. That was thirty years ago, so nothing much has changed.

    People are just playing cute when they act as if these attitudes have nothing to do with bigotry towards gay people. It pisses me off that heterosexuals are so accepting of this crap, and let it pass without comment, or else act as if it’s overly sensitive to be angry about that sort of thing.

    Thank you for speaking out. Too few people do.


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  12. j-p michell on Wed, 16th Aug 2006 6:04 pm 

    roth may not be a genius of cinema, but at least he is somewhat competent. For a bunch of so-called horror fans, you guys sure are whiney about what you see. cabin fever was not a masterwork; but neither was it ‘the worst movie ever’. get a grip.


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  13. theironist on Wed, 23rd Aug 2006 4:00 am 

    How dare you say such things to Eli Roth!!!!!!!!
    Just kidding… well I care about what you said but everyone is entitled for his or her opinions, but I was hurt with that Eli Roth is my new role model he kinda or mostly gave me inspiration for my college cause I’m already a senior and since then I can’t think of what or who I want to be, but who cares, I’m done with my talking but then again Eli Roth rocks….!!!!!!!!!!!


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  14. Amanda Cranmer on Fri, 27th Oct 2006 11:18 pm 

    This article is ridiculous. It is not only insulting to Eli Roth, but insulting to the youth of america.

    Beyond gaming, trailer trash, beer drinking, MTV viewing teenagers, who actually calls each other “gay”?

    I fall into none of the above categories and I have used the word “gay” before. I believe it is you not Roth that needs to get in touch with youth’s culture.

    You speak of how Roth runs his mouth without thinking; take a look at this article. It’s the biggest display of speaking without thinking/gathering evidence I have ever read.


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  15. Kevin Kunzmann on Tue, 20th Feb 2007 10:18 pm 

    This article is a masterpiece. I had to walk out of Hostel simply because the acting was worse than any porn I have ever seen.


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  16. Film Threat Blogs » Blog Archive » Premiere Per View… on Tue, 29th May 2007 1:04 am 

    [...] Closing Note: In honor of the opening of “Hostel II,” here’s an oldie, but a goodie. Read and continue the bashing. Bookmark to:      [...]


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