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.
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 Felix Vasquez Jr.
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- FORGET “HOSTEL 2,” IT’S ALL ABOUT “CABIN FEVER 2!!”
- ELI ROTH AND BAYWATCH THE MOVIE
- CABIN FEVER
- IT’S GONNA BE A “HOSTEL” CHRISTMAS
- HOSTEL: PART II
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