Eli Roth

“The Only Way Out… Is Down”

I had the great privilege of interviewing the superb director Harrison Smith on his newest film Death House. Before I get into that, let me tell you a little bit about the film.

Death House poster.There is a Fed-Max subterranean government prison that holds humanities worst criminals known as the Death House. It serves as a medical, psychological, and parapsychological research center aimed at eradicating evil. Two federal agents are granted a tour of the center. While on the tour, the unthinkable happens. There is a power outage that releases all of the prisoners, and the agents must fight their way through all of the horror and violence to try to survive. They soon discover that they are being herded down to the lowest depths of the facility. In those depths are a group of supernatural evil beings known as The Five Evils and they may be the agents’ only chance at salvation.

Cody Longo in Death House.

Cody Longo in Death House.

The movie sounds and looks amazing but before I go on I just wanted to say that the media and many articles have labeled the movie, “The Horror Movie genre of The Expendables“. I have to disagree with that. If it were The Expendables we would have a movie with Freddy vs Jason vs Michael vs et. al. Which, to some, may sound interesting but it would lack any substance. The stars in this movie are so much more than their individual roles that they have portrayed, they are true actors who excel at their craft. Let me tell you some of them:

  • Adrienne Barbeau: Escape From N.Y., Creepshow, Swamp Thing, The Fog
  • Kane Hodder: Jason Voorhees in some of the Friday the 13th films and Victor Crowley from The Hatchet films
  • Dee Wallace: The Howling, Cujo, The Frighteners
  • Michael Berryman: The Hills Have Eyes, The Devils Rejects
  • Barbara Crampton: Re-Animator, From Beyond, You’re Next
  • Sid Haig: The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Kill Bill
  • Tony Todd: Candyman, Hatchet, Final Destination
  • Bill Moseley: The Devils Rejects, Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Vernon Wells: The Road Warrior, Weird Science
  • Lindsay Hartley: Nightmare Nurse
  • Cody Longo: Piranha 3D, Nashville
  • Cortney Palm: The Dark Tapes
  • Felissa Rose: Sleepaway Camp
  • Vincent Ward: The Walking Dead

Whew, that is a LOT of talent in one film!

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA.

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA. The place had a built-in horror film setting, full of dark history and eerie vibes. It really acts as a functioning character in the film.

IMDb provided a great quote:

This is a solid horror piece, dark, nasty and gore-soaked; not satire or tongue in cheek.

And like Harrison told me, he was writing in a local bar when the ad for Jurassic World came on and it hit him that this movie was “Assault on Precinct 13 meets Jurassic World without the dinosaurs”. So… great actors along with an exciting script and skilled direction. Then throw in stupefying makeup and effects by the Roy Knyrim (Sinister 2) and SOTA FX, and a soundtrack by John Avarese that sets the perfect ambiance. We will finally get what we paid for at the box office!

Death House - Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Death House – Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Harrison was why the horror genre?
Harrison Smith: My first film, The Fields, was based on what really happened to me when I lived and grew up with my grandparents on their farm. The farm came under attack for a short period of time by an unseen presence. We never understood what caused it and we never understood what ended it, so I had personal experience. But also my grandmother and I used to watch horror movies and the old horror TV show Dr. Shock who hosted Saturday morning shows like Scream-In, Horror Theater, and Mad Theater. The movies were captivating. I loved finding out there was a sequel to Frankenstein and that he didn’t die in the burning windmill. There were more like Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man that continued on the story of Lon Chaney. Like when they killed Lon Chaney in the original Wolfman I was like, “Why? He was a nice man, he didn’t want to be The Wolf Man“. I loved it. They were like Saturday morning soap operas. I loved them as a kid, but that time is gone. That is why I like Tom Holland’s Fright Night. I was watching in the summer of ’85 and knew it was a Valentine to an era that was quickly fading and disappearing. At that time, the threat was coming from cable television and the home video revolution, so Peter Vincent was this aging icon of an era long gone trying to stay relevant. Tom Holland got it, and Fright Night works on many levels. So horror movies, for me, were a real escape from the actually really scary shit that happened to me.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

HoTS: Then I asked him about the abundance of horror movies and shows seem to be throwing back to the ’80s. Movies like It Follows and The House of the Devil and shows like Stranger Things all reflect that age in horror, and Death House has many actors from that era. Why do you think it is a niche we all still enjoy?

Dee Wallace in Death House.

Dee Wallace in Death House.

HS: Director and actor Eli Roth said that the have-sex-and-die concept behind many of the ’80s slasher films was not as relevant today because millennials look at it and don’t get it. There was a study reported by the L.A. Times in an article by Melissa Batchelor Warnke saying that the millennial generation is the least sexually active, so that concept does not translate well. But at the time when Friday the 13th came around, it was a perfect storm of both liberal and conservative values. We had a very conservative administration with Reagan and yet, at the same time, we were known as the party generation. It was a weird flux of things coming together. So Friday the 13th had fun and parties with lots of boobs and tons of gore but with a moral lesson. See what happens when you fuck in the woods? Jason was like a walking STD. So the ’80s made us nostalgic for the ’50s, and now we look back to the ’80s. We are nostalgic for when we grew up. That is why, when making Death House, we always remembered that we were handling peoples memories and that is very important. The new generation gets to fall in love with it like we did. And with regards to the actors in Death House, they were all smart enough to choose great directors and projects that were just starting out, and their careers flourished from those collaborations so they are all still relevant today.

Death House - Kane Hodder arriving on set.

Kane Hodder arriving on the Death House set pictured with Harrison (dressed as an extra for the ward scene). The guy over his shoulder is producer Rick Finkelstein.

HoTS: I did some research on Holmesburg Prison, where you decided to film the movie. Some extremely monstrous things went on there. Any ghosts try to break into acting for the film?

HS: No, I did not experience anything myself. There were a few reports of the cameras acting wonky, but it was really cold there which probably contributed to that. The place itself was perfect for the mood though. There is a great book called Acres of Skin: Human Experiments At Holmesberg Prison 1998 by Allen Hornblum that tells all about the medical experiments and tortures that went on inside the prison. It really lent itself to what we were shooting. I remember when they gave us a tour and brought us into the warden’s office where he had his throat slit. Nothing paranormal happened but everyone was in tune with what had happened there. Dee Wallace said that it was sometimes overwhelming knowing that you were walking by cells where so much abject misery and torture had taken place. It is a building built on misery.

Harrison also wanted to make sure and give a shout out to the administration and the City of Philadelphia and especially the Philadelphia Police Department, who were more than gracious and just all-around wonderful people.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

HoTS: My next question for Harrison was, as a director, what directors influence his work?

HS: Growing up, John Carpenter: Halloween, The Thing, They Live and Tommy Lee Wallace: IT, Halloween III, Fright Night II were major influences on me because they were accessible to me. I used to read Fangoria Magazine all the time and got a subscription to it. I used to read and devour the interviews and not just because of the pictures and oh! there making a sequel to Halloween and I want to see the blood and gore. They did an interview with John Carpenter and he talked about how he made movies and about finding a good crew and sticking with them. And I noticed for the first decade of John’s career he used a lot of the same people in front and behind the camera and that really made an impact on me because Carpenter was very much the founder of the guerilla film movement — that you get a camera, you go out there, and you shoot. That’s what you do, and that really inspired me as a filmmaker. I had a Super 8 silent Kodak camera, and I was learning. I was learning from those interviews in Fangoria and got a really strong base of knowledge. So if you look at my catalog of work so far, you will see many of the same faces. And if you read the credits, you will see a lot of the same names return time and time again. I bring them back because it is like putting the band back together, so to speak, which works for me because it becomes like production shorthand. I would also say Tom Holland of Fright Night and Psycho II fame was another influence because Psycho II made a big impact on me because of the script. I think it is one of the greatest sequels ever made and is very underrated. I wanted to hate it, but 30 minutes into the film I just fell in love with it. When it was over I walked out, called my family to let them know I would be late and went in to see it again. My film Camp Dread is a tip of the hat to Tom Holland. It was more like Psycho II than Friday the 13th.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

HoTS: What is the theme for Death House?

HS: The whole pretext of Death House is evil is evil and good is good, but do they need each other? Because when you try to eradicate evil you are, at most, canceling out good as well. There is no need for good if there’s no need for evil. Bill Mosely has a great line in the film, “True evil is nothingness”. That is true hell. If we were to remove the Holocaust from history we would need a litmus test. Dee Wallace’s and Barbara Crampton’s characters think what they are doing is good. Look at the Nazis during the Holocaust. They didn’t think what they were doing was evil. Dee is like Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as a social horror film was a snake pit. Louise Fletcher played it so well because there are real nurses like that. That is the banality of evil. How a modicum of power gives rise to abuse of said power. Are The Five Evils in Death House really evil compared to Dee’s character or Nurse Ratched? They aren’t Cenobites they are regular people like you run into in everyday life. How many times in your own life might you have come into contact with real killers? The Five Evils are normal looking people.

Death House - The Five Evils

Death House – The Five Evils: Vincent Ward, Vernon Wells, Bill Moseley, Lindsay Hartley, Michael Berryman.

The original script for Death House was penned by the incredible Gunnar Hansen, who is best known for playing the mentally-impaired cannibal Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Gunnar left us on November 7th, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. His agent, Michael Eisenstadt, brought producers Rick Finkelstein and Steven Chase of Entertainment Factory to the screening of Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard to meet Harrison. Another writer had taken a stab at rewriting the script, but it turned into Texas Chainsaw meets Friday the 13th meets Saw, but that was not what Gunnar wanted. He did not want torture porn but a high concept horror film. Gunnar liked what Harrison did with it, so Harrison finished writing and then directed it. The actors were all there for their friend Gunnar and with Harrison collaborating with Gunnar before his death, I like to think of this as a love letter to an amazing man and actor that we lost too soon.

Gunnar Hansen, 4 March 4, 1947 – 7 November 2015

I was extremely honored to speak with Harrison Smith and pick his brain. To read more on Death House, I have included some links that come straight from the horse’s mouth. Harrison Smith’s Road To Death House articles.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to see this film. It has already won the audience choice award along with best feature film from the Central Florida Film Festival (CENFLO). MPAA said it was gritty, claustrophobic and a hell of a lot of fun. Harrison said it is like a roller coaster ride through a funhouse, and Kane Hodder said it was his favorite film he has worked on. So horror fans get ready for the ride of your life!

I have also included a link to a petition if you want Death House to come to a Regal Cinema near you. It is going to major theaters but I would like to see it in all of them.

So, from myself and the family at House of Tortured Souls, thank you again to the great Harrison Smith and everyone involved with Death House! And just remember readers… “Hell isn’t a word…it’s a sentence.”

Death House - Harrison, Yan Birch and Lauren Compton after filming in LA.

Harrison, Yan Birch, and Lauren Compton after filming Death House in LA.

INTERVIEW: Death House (2018) Director Harrison Smith

INTERVIEW: Death House (2018) Director Harrison Smith

“The Only Way Out… Is Down”

I had the great privilege of interviewing the superb director Harrison Smith on his newest film Death House. Before I get into that, let me tell you a little bit about the film.

Death House poster.There is a Fed-Max subterranean government prison that holds humanities worst criminals known as the Death House. It serves as a medical, psychological, and parapsychological research center aimed at eradicating evil. Two federal agents are granted a tour of the center. While on the tour, the unthinkable happens. There is a power outage that releases all of the prisoners, and the agents must fight their way through all of the horror and violence to try to survive. They soon discover that they are being herded down to the lowest depths of the facility. In those depths are a group of supernatural evil beings known as The Five Evils and they may be the agents’ only chance at salvation.

Cody Longo in Death House.

Cody Longo in Death House.

The movie sounds and looks amazing but before I go on I just wanted to say that the media and many articles have labeled the movie, “The Horror Movie genre of The Expendables“. I have to disagree with that. If it were The Expendables we would have a movie with Freddy vs Jason vs Michael vs et. al. Which, to some, may sound interesting but it would lack any substance. The stars in this movie are so much more than their individual roles that they have portrayed, they are true actors who excel at their craft. Let me tell you some of them:

  • Adrienne Barbeau: Escape From N.Y., Creepshow, Swamp Thing, The Fog
  • Kane Hodder: Jason Voorhees in some of the Friday the 13th films and Victor Crowley from The Hatchet films
  • Dee Wallace: The Howling, Cujo, The Frighteners
  • Michael Berryman: The Hills Have Eyes, The Devils Rejects
  • Barbara Crampton: Re-Animator, From Beyond, You’re Next
  • Sid Haig: The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Kill Bill
  • Tony Todd: Candyman, Hatchet, Final Destination
  • Bill Moseley: The Devils Rejects, Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Vernon Wells: The Road Warrior, Weird Science
  • Lindsay Hartley: Nightmare Nurse
  • Cody Longo: Piranha 3D, Nashville
  • Cortney Palm: The Dark Tapes
  • Felissa Rose: Sleepaway Camp
  • Vincent Ward: The Walking Dead

Whew, that is a LOT of talent in one film!

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA.

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA. The place had a built-in horror film setting, full of dark history and eerie vibes. It really acts as a functioning character in the film.

IMDb provided a great quote:

This is a solid horror piece, dark, nasty and gore-soaked; not satire or tongue in cheek.

And like Harrison told me, he was writing in a local bar when the ad for Jurassic World came on and it hit him that this movie was “Assault on Precinct 13 meets Jurassic World without the dinosaurs”. So… great actors along with an exciting script and skilled direction. Then throw in stupefying makeup and effects by the Roy Knyrim (Sinister 2) and SOTA FX, and a soundtrack by John Avarese that sets the perfect ambiance. We will finally get what we paid for at the box office!

Death House - Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Death House – Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Harrison was why the horror genre?
Harrison Smith: My first film, The Fields, was based on what really happened to me when I lived and grew up with my grandparents on their farm. The farm came under attack for a short period of time by an unseen presence. We never understood what caused it and we never understood what ended it, so I had personal experience. But also my grandmother and I used to watch horror movies and the old horror TV show Dr. Shock who hosted Saturday morning shows like Scream-In, Horror Theater, and Mad Theater. The movies were captivating. I loved finding out there was a sequel to Frankenstein and that he didn’t die in the burning windmill. There were more like Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man that continued on the story of Lon Chaney. Like when they killed Lon Chaney in the original Wolfman I was like, “Why? He was a nice man, he didn’t want to be The Wolf Man“. I loved it. They were like Saturday morning soap operas. I loved them as a kid, but that time is gone. That is why I like Tom Holland’s Fright Night. I was watching in the summer of ’85 and knew it was a Valentine to an era that was quickly fading and disappearing. At that time, the threat was coming from cable television and the home video revolution, so Peter Vincent was this aging icon of an era long gone trying to stay relevant. Tom Holland got it, and Fright Night works on many levels. So horror movies, for me, were a real escape from the actually really scary shit that happened to me.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

HoTS: Then I asked him about the abundance of horror movies and shows seem to be throwing back to the ’80s. Movies like It Follows and The House of the Devil and shows like Stranger Things all reflect that age in horror, and Death House has many actors from that era. Why do you think it is a niche we all still enjoy?

Dee Wallace in Death House.

Dee Wallace in Death House.

HS: Director and actor Eli Roth said that the have-sex-and-die concept behind many of the ’80s slasher films was not as relevant today because millennials look at it and don’t get it. There was a study reported by the L.A. Times in an article by Melissa Batchelor Warnke saying that the millennial generation is the least sexually active, so that concept does not translate well. But at the time when Friday the 13th came around, it was a perfect storm of both liberal and conservative values. We had a very conservative administration with Reagan and yet, at the same time, we were known as the party generation. It was a weird flux of things coming together. So Friday the 13th had fun and parties with lots of boobs and tons of gore but with a moral lesson. See what happens when you fuck in the woods? Jason was like a walking STD. So the ’80s made us nostalgic for the ’50s, and now we look back to the ’80s. We are nostalgic for when we grew up. That is why, when making Death House, we always remembered that we were handling peoples memories and that is very important. The new generation gets to fall in love with it like we did. And with regards to the actors in Death House, they were all smart enough to choose great directors and projects that were just starting out, and their careers flourished from those collaborations so they are all still relevant today.

Death House - Kane Hodder arriving on set.

Kane Hodder arriving on the Death House set pictured with Harrison (dressed as an extra for the ward scene). The guy over his shoulder is producer Rick Finkelstein.

HoTS: I did some research on Holmesburg Prison, where you decided to film the movie. Some extremely monstrous things went on there. Any ghosts try to break into acting for the film?

HS: No, I did not experience anything myself. There were a few reports of the cameras acting wonky, but it was really cold there which probably contributed to that. The place itself was perfect for the mood though. There is a great book called Acres of Skin: Human Experiments At Holmesberg Prison 1998 by Allen Hornblum that tells all about the medical experiments and tortures that went on inside the prison. It really lent itself to what we were shooting. I remember when they gave us a tour and brought us into the warden’s office where he had his throat slit. Nothing paranormal happened but everyone was in tune with what had happened there. Dee Wallace said that it was sometimes overwhelming knowing that you were walking by cells where so much abject misery and torture had taken place. It is a building built on misery.

Harrison also wanted to make sure and give a shout out to the administration and the City of Philadelphia and especially the Philadelphia Police Department, who were more than gracious and just all-around wonderful people.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

HoTS: My next question for Harrison was, as a director, what directors influence his work?

HS: Growing up, John Carpenter: Halloween, The Thing, They Live and Tommy Lee Wallace: IT, Halloween III, Fright Night II were major influences on me because they were accessible to me. I used to read Fangoria Magazine all the time and got a subscription to it. I used to read and devour the interviews and not just because of the pictures and oh! there making a sequel to Halloween and I want to see the blood and gore. They did an interview with John Carpenter and he talked about how he made movies and about finding a good crew and sticking with them. And I noticed for the first decade of John’s career he used a lot of the same people in front and behind the camera and that really made an impact on me because Carpenter was very much the founder of the guerilla film movement — that you get a camera, you go out there, and you shoot. That’s what you do, and that really inspired me as a filmmaker. I had a Super 8 silent Kodak camera, and I was learning. I was learning from those interviews in Fangoria and got a really strong base of knowledge. So if you look at my catalog of work so far, you will see many of the same faces. And if you read the credits, you will see a lot of the same names return time and time again. I bring them back because it is like putting the band back together, so to speak, which works for me because it becomes like production shorthand. I would also say Tom Holland of Fright Night and Psycho II fame was another influence because Psycho II made a big impact on me because of the script. I think it is one of the greatest sequels ever made and is very underrated. I wanted to hate it, but 30 minutes into the film I just fell in love with it. When it was over I walked out, called my family to let them know I would be late and went in to see it again. My film Camp Dread is a tip of the hat to Tom Holland. It was more like Psycho II than Friday the 13th.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

HoTS: What is the theme for Death House?

HS: The whole pretext of Death House is evil is evil and good is good, but do they need each other? Because when you try to eradicate evil you are, at most, canceling out good as well. There is no need for good if there’s no need for evil. Bill Mosely has a great line in the film, “True evil is nothingness”. That is true hell. If we were to remove the Holocaust from history we would need a litmus test. Dee Wallace’s and Barbara Crampton’s characters think what they are doing is good. Look at the Nazis during the Holocaust. They didn’t think what they were doing was evil. Dee is like Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as a social horror film was a snake pit. Louise Fletcher played it so well because there are real nurses like that. That is the banality of evil. How a modicum of power gives rise to abuse of said power. Are The Five Evils in Death House really evil compared to Dee’s character or Nurse Ratched? They aren’t Cenobites they are regular people like you run into in everyday life. How many times in your own life might you have come into contact with real killers? The Five Evils are normal looking people.

Death House - The Five Evils

Death House – The Five Evils: Vincent Ward, Vernon Wells, Bill Moseley, Lindsay Hartley, Michael Berryman.

The original script for Death House was penned by the incredible Gunnar Hansen, who is best known for playing the mentally-impaired cannibal Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Gunnar left us on November 7th, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. His agent, Michael Eisenstadt, brought producers Rick Finkelstein and Steven Chase of Entertainment Factory to the screening of Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard to meet Harrison. Another writer had taken a stab at rewriting the script, but it turned into Texas Chainsaw meets Friday the 13th meets Saw, but that was not what Gunnar wanted. He did not want torture porn but a high concept horror film. Gunnar liked what Harrison did with it, so Harrison finished writing and then directed it. The actors were all there for their friend Gunnar and with Harrison collaborating with Gunnar before his death, I like to think of this as a love letter to an amazing man and actor that we lost too soon.

Gunnar Hansen, 4 March 4, 1947 – 7 November 2015

I was extremely honored to speak with Harrison Smith and pick his brain. To read more on Death House, I have included some links that come straight from the horse’s mouth. Harrison Smith’s Road To Death House articles.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to see this film. It has already won the audience choice award along with best feature film from the Central Florida Film Festival (CENFLO). MPAA said it was gritty, claustrophobic and a hell of a lot of fun. Harrison said it is like a roller coaster ride through a funhouse, and Kane Hodder said it was his favorite film he has worked on. So horror fans get ready for the ride of your life!

I have also included a link to a petition if you want Death House to come to a Regal Cinema near you. It is going to major theaters but I would like to see it in all of them.

So, from myself and the family at House of Tortured Souls, thank you again to the great Harrison Smith and everyone involved with Death House! And just remember readers… “Hell isn’t a word…it’s a sentence.”

Death House - Harrison, Yan Birch and Lauren Compton after filming in LA.

Harrison, Yan Birch, and Lauren Compton after filming Death House in LA.




Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, PARANORMAL, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Eli Roth’s Death Wish (2017)

COMING SOON: Eli Roth’s Death Wish (2017)

Director: Eli Roth; Writers: Joe Carnahan (screenplay), Brian Garfield (novel), Dean Georgaris (screenplay), Eli Roth (screenplay) ; Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue ; Rating: No info; Run Time: No info; Genre: Action/Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.
Eli Roth / Image: Jeff Vespa courtesy WireImageHorror director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, The Green Inferno) has announced he has directed a remake of the 1974 revenge classic Death Wish. The film boasts a stellar casting including action star Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Looper) in the lead, character actor Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Jurassic World), and 80s mainstay Elizabeth Shue (Cocktail, Leaving Las Vegas) just to name a few. So far the film is slated to be released November 22nd of this year and will be released by MGM/Annapurna Pictures.
Charles Bronson - Death Wish / Fair use doctrine.As you might recall, the original 1974 film starred screen icon Charles Bronson playing a mild-mannered father pushed to his limits and out for revenge. Based on the 1972 novel by Brian Garfield, the film was a mega hit and spawned other successful sequels. I am very curious to see how Mr. Roth will tackle this subject but I think its safe to say it will be wall to wall blood and guts. The remake has been a long time coming, having been in development since the early 2000s. Originally, Taken star Liam Neeson was to star with Smokin' Aces director Joe Carnahan at the helm. Only time will tell if the wait and hype will be worth it.
Eli Roth / Image: Jeff Vespa courtesy WireImage
Posted by Mike Vaughn in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
SPOTLIGHT: Eli Roth – The Busiest Man in Hollywood

SPOTLIGHT: Eli Roth – The Busiest Man in Hollywood

By Tammie Parker

Do you remember when Eli Roth appeared as The Stoner in his own movie Cabin Fever? OH? You didn't realize that was him? Yeah, insane, huh? And to go from this scrawny, Shaggy looking fellow in this bonfire scene from Cabin Fever...

...to this muscular giant with the appropriate title the Bear Jew in Inglorious Basterds...

...is quite the transformation!

Eli has his hands in so much at the moment, I don't know how he has time to sneeze!

Last year alone he produced:

  • Knock Knock
  • The Man with the Iron Fists 2
  • This Forgotten Day in Fright
  • Chainsaw
  • 33 episodes of Hemlock Grove
  • 15 episodes of #15SecondScare
  • 11 episodes of 1 Minute Horror
  • 8 episodes of South of Hell
  • 15 episodes of Real Scares

In addition, The Green Inferno was also (finally!) released.

Already this year he remade one of his first movies Cabin Fever, and just last month the USA was gifted with Clown.

Currently Eli is working on a big film with none other than Jim Carrey. This movie, Aleister Arcane, is based on the horror novel written by Steve Niles (which comic book geeks and horror fans alike know his work!). The story has an interesting twist, Aleister Green (a retired newsman) returns to his home town and hosts a TV horror show titled Aleister Arcane. The township doesn't like it, and puts an end to the show. Aleister soon passes after the end of his show. But he's not finished with this town.

Just recently Eli took a break from filming to play with sharks during Shark Week:

I fell in love with Eli Roth's mind when I watched Hostel and Hostel II.

Eli Roth - HostelEli Roth - Hostel

Eli Roth - Hostel 2I caught interest in Hostelwhen I saw his name and remembered him from Cabin Fever. I thought to myself "OH, this well be interesting!" Boy, was I in for a shock. Aside from pushing the limit with the level and intensity of the gore, the story itself was frighteningly plausible. It freaked me the frack out! I started thinking how possible this could be. I honestly enjoyed Hostel II even more than the first. GIRL POWER!

Eli Roth - Gorgeous
On top of everything else, he certainly is easy on the eyes!

Thanks, Eli Roth! We can’t wait for your next film.

Posted by Tammie Parker in HORROR HEROES, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 1 comment
HISTORY OF HORROR: JUNE

HISTORY OF HORROR: JUNE

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in June.

June 1 - 7

June - Phantasm

 

06/01/1979
Phantasm released theatrically

June - Poltergeist (original)

 

 

06/04/1982
Poltergeist released theatrically

June - Robert Englund

 

06/06/1949
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street actor) born

June - The Omen (remake)

 

06/06/2006
The Omen (remake) released theatrically

June 8 - 14

June - Hostel 2

 

06/08/2007
Eli Roth's Hostel Part II released
theatrically

June - Damien: Omen II

 

06/09/1978
Damien: Omen II
released theatrically

June - Poltergeist III

 

 

06/10/1988
Poltergeist III released theatrically

 

June - Tales from the Crypt (original)

06/10/1989
Tales from the Crypt premiers on TV

June - Rosemary's Baby

 

06/12/1968
Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby released theatrically

June - Jason Voorhees

 

06/13/1946
Fictional mass
murderer
Jason Voorhees is born

June 15 - 21

June - Herschell Gordon Lewis

 

06/15/1929
Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast, The Wizard of Gore) actor, filmmaker, and Godfather of Gore born

June - Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

 

06/15/1948
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein released theatrically

June - Gremlins 2: The New Batch

 

06/15/1990
Gremlins 2: The New Batch released theatrically

 

June - Psycho

06/16/1960
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho released theatrically

June - Jaws 2

 

06/16/1978
Jaws 2 released theatrically

June - Lucio Fulci

 

06/17/1927
Lucio Fulci
(The Beyond,
City of the Living Dead
writer, director) born

June - The Exorcist II: The Heretic

 

06/17/1977
Exorcist II: The Heretic released
theatrically

June - Willard

 

06/18/1971
Willard released
theatrically

June - Haute Tension

 

06/18/2003
Haute Tension
released theatrically in France

June - Daria Nicolodi

 

06/19/1950
Daria Nicolodi (Dario Argento's Opera actress) born

 

June - The Twilight Zone06/19/1964
The Twilight Zone original TV series ends its run

June - Jaws

 

06/20/1975
Jaws released theatrically

June - Frenzy

 

06/21/1972
Frenzy released
theatrically

June - Lifeforce

 

06/21/1985
Lifeforce released theatrically

June 22 - 28

June - Bruce Campbell

06/22/1958
Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Army of Darkness actor) born

June - Elvira's Haunted Hills

 

06/23/2001
Elvira's Haunted Hills released
theatrically

June - Land of the Dead

 

06/24/2005
George A. Romero's Land of the Dead released theatrically

June - The Omen (original)

 

06/25/1976
The Omen released theatrically

June - The Thing

 

06/25/1982
John Carpenter's The Thing released theatrically

 

June - Peter Lorre06/26/1904
Peter Lorre (The Comedy of Terrors
actor) born

June - Dark Shadows

 

06/27/1966
Dark Shadows premiers on TV

June - Blade the Series

 

06/28/2006
Blade: The Series premiers on TV

June 29 - 30

June - The War of the Worlds (remake)

 

06/29/2005
War of the Worlds released theatrically

June - Vincent D'Onofrio

 

 

06/30/1959
Vincent D'Onofrio (The Cell actor) born

 

Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Knock Knock (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Knock Knock (2015)

By Amy Mead 

Knock Knock poste

KNOCK KNOCK

Story by Anthony Overman and Michael Ronald Ross 

Screenplay by Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo

Directed by Eli Roth

Starring Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas and an appearance by Colleen Camp

Due to work, DJ turned architect Evan is forced to stay behind at home while his wife and two children go on a short beach vacation without him. After saying goodbye to his family, he settles in for a long night of work.  Just as he decides to take a break, there is a knock on the door and he finds two scantily clad and beautiful young women, Genesis and Bel, standing in the pouring rain and soaking wet.

The girls apologize for the intrusion and explain that they are lost. They were headed for a party but due to a dead phone battery they no longer have the address. Being a nice guy, Evan lets them in and offers to call a car for them.

After discovering that there will be a 45 minute wait, the girls quickly make themselves right at home while Evan dries their wet clothes and makes them tea. They begin to regale him with tales of lovers in every city they fly to in their jobs as stewardesses and before long, it becomes obvious that they are subtly coming on to Evan.

The car arrives for the girls and he discovers them in the bathroom, naked, in a bubble bath and waiting for him. He tries to resist at first but a night of extramarital bliss unfolds despite his weak protests.

The next day Evan wakes up and finds the girls in the kitchen, making a huge mess, eating like pigs and basically acting like assholes. He politely asks them to leave and they seem completely unconcerned the he wants them gone and they carry on with their antics, going as far as defacing his wife's original art pieces. He threatens to call the police and they respond by calling him a pedophile and informing him that they are minors and they will have him charged with statutory rape. Craziness ensues and it takes him actually calling 911 to report a break in before the girls finally agree to leave.

But later that night, they come back, knock Evan unconscious and tie him to the bed. It seems these girls are playing a viscous game and it becomes clear that they have done this to others before. What started out as a genuinely kind act on Evan's part leads to a dangerous and terrifying  game that he may not survive...

Knock Knock is a fun mix of borderline softcore porn, laced with a touch of home invasion thriller and a splash of horror/comedy thrown in for good measure. If you've seen the 1977 exploitation flick Death Game (the original film that Knock Knock is based on) then you pretty much already know how this is going to play out.

The performances by the limited cast are better than in most of the previous Roth films and fans of his work will recognize a few familiar faces from his previous films, such as Roth's real-life wife, Lorenza Izzo (Aftershock, The Green Inferno, The Stranger) Aaron Burns (The Green Inferno, The Stranger) and Ignacia Allamand (Aftershock, The Green Inferno). For the most part, the acting is much better by these three than in the past Roth films. As for Keanu Reeves, it's hard to tell if his performance is so stilted and wooden was what Roth was shooting for or if it's just typical Reeves fashion. whatever it is, it works well enough for the film, especially when the laughable "free pizza" scene goes down. The real scene stealers, however, are Izzo and de Armas who were delightful in their femme fatale roles, even if you are inclined to beat the living shit out of them through most of the movie. These girls are crazy and clearly just do not give a fuck. 

Although the premise is unbelievable (how the hell are these two doing this repeatedly and never getting reported by the men they torment or caught by authorities?!) and often comedic, the ending is a bit anticlimactic and the social commentary on infidelity, pedophilia, and our growing social media obsession is heavy, watching what these two women do to make this poor guy suffer, does have some entertainment value and is not completely unrewarding. By the time these girls finally leave, Evan has basically been raped, tortured, his home is in virtual ruin and his marriage is almost guaranteed to be all but destroyed. 

If you are looking for a film that doesn't take itself too seriously, I recommend Knock Knock. Just go into it expecting it to pay off like the exploitation thriller that inspired it. 

Posted by Amy Mead in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Stranger (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Stranger (2014)

By Nick Durham

the-stranger-lorenza-izzo

**Be warned before you start reading that spoilers are ahead.
Don't say I didn't warn you.**

The first thing I noticed about The Stranger, besides the fact that Eli Roth's name is plastered all over the cover art and titles (he served as a producer), is that it manages to be a unique take on the vampire genre. Well, unique in the way that many films that have Eli Roth's name attached to them (Aftershock, Clown) are, yet end up never quite reaching that promise that they show at first glance, and end up being nothing much to write home about. The Stranger sadly manages to keep up that trend of promise and eventual disappointment.

The story of The Stranger revolves around a mysterious man (Cristobal Tapia Montt, who possesses quite an epic beard) searching for his wife (Eli Roth's main squeeze and The Green Inferno star Lorenza Izzo) in a small town, only to manage to piss off everyone he comes in contact with, including a super dirty cop and his criminal son, as well as a young man who he may have more in common with than he thought. That's pretty much the whole gist of the film: dude comes to town, shit happens, blood flows, bodies pile up, predictable ending. All that is The Stranger in a nutshell.

Now the one thing that The Stranger does have going for it is how it treats the tried and true spirit of vampirism. Instead of the typical blood-thirsty and seductive creatures that want to live forever on the blood of their victims, vampirism is treated as more of a virus that the titular lead character wants to completely eradicate off the face of the Earth along with everyone who suffers from it, including himself. That's a relatively welcome change of pace I have to admit. That being said though, our lead character is unsympathetic and just plain dull, along with the rest of the entire cast. Things move at a snail's pace and the overall affair is just plain boring. There are a few shock moments here and there, and they are welcome, but it doesn't change the fact that the film as a whole is pretty much a bore from beginning to end.

So yeah, The Stranger continues that trend of Eli Roth-produced movies that fail to really deliver. It isn't necessarily awful or anything, and it isn't without its positives, but it isn't nearly anything special or even all that interesting. Check it out if you need some assistance falling asleep.

Rating: 2/5

Posted by Nick Durham in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON(?): Beyond the Green Inferno

COMING SOON(?): Beyond the Green Inferno

By Dixielord

Eli Roth and Lorenza Izzo from the Green Inferno

Roth takes us Beyond the Green Inferno.

It looks like Eli Roth will be heading back to the Amazon. His recent love song for the cannibal epic, The Green Inferno has apparently done well enough to reignite a planned sequel. It looks like a plot and script are already in place for Beyond the Green Inferno with the same creative team as the original.

Eli Roth has stated that he is just waiting for the rainy season to stop before returning to the jungle with an “adventurous camera crew”. Roth will hand over the directing reins of the sequel to Nicholas Lopez (Aftershock) who was one of the writers of the original. Roth will still be attached as a writer/producer of Beyond the Green Inferno.

Eli promises this film will be darker than the original and go deeper into the Amazon Jungle. His goal is to explore the universe of The Green Inferno more and has compared the relationship of Beyond the Green Inferno to its predecessor as akin to the relationship between Aliensand The Green Inferno.

Other than that Roth is keeping mum on the plot, and no cast as been announced yet. It's still early in pre production, and The Green Inferno is still in theaters, so a lot could change, and indeed it might not even happen. The sequel was put on hold during the financial problem with The Green Inferno's original distributor Worldview Entertainment, but seems to be alive again. But Eli Roth is riding high right now and he's a man who has a history of getting it done. He has managed to bring bloody, R-rated horror back into the theater again and again, and I'm willing to bet we will be seeing Beyond the Green Inferno in a couple years.

I wont lie or sugar coat it, I wasn't a huge fan of The Green Inferno. As I stated in my review maybe my exceptions were too high, or maybe I'm a bit jaded on cannibal horror. Still I am willing to give Eli another chance. I love the cannibal sub genre. I love it's potential to break taboos and really disturb the audience, and I'm glad someone is working in that genre again. I will be in line opening day for Beyond the Green Inferno.

*PS Just a reminder, I started writing this before finding out the sequel, Beyond the Green Inferno was put on hold a couple years ago. It does look like the sequel is back on track, but there is never any guarantee a film will make it to release until its on the screen.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

The Green Inferno:
A Satisfying Feast or Just a Case of Indigestion?

By Dixielord

Lorenza Izzo in Eli Roth's The Green Inferno

Lorenza Izzo of The Green Inferno

Oh Eli, I really was pulling for you on this one. I ignored the bad reviews and kept my hope up. I even managed to build up a sense of dread in the last week or so before it opened. Did I really want to see this? Would it be to much for my fragile soul? Sadly my soul is still intact. Well that part of my soul not devoured by A Serbian Film.

The Green Inferno is the long awaited film by Eli Roth, meant to be a spiritual successor to the cannibal exploitation films of the 70s and 80s, especially Cannibal Holocaust. In it a group of “Social Justice Warriors” head out to the Amazon to rescue a tribe of innocent savages, from the bulldozers of evil civilization. Justine, played by the stunning Lorenza Izzo is eager but extremely naïve. Of course they all end up, not on the natives friends list but on the lunch menu. One by one our teens find out the jungle isn't nearly as innocent as they would believe.

To be short, The Green Inferno just didn't work for me. I don't know, maybe three seasons of Hannibal has desensitized me to cannibalism. Or maybe The Green Inferno was too beautifully shot, versus the grainy cheap looking exploitation films from long ago. Because it is a beautiful film to watch. The Amazon is beautiful and verdant and crystal clear. Part of the magic of Cannibal Holocaust was it looked almost like a home movie. You could believe it was discovered footage of a lost expedition. You could get lost in it, and believe it was real. A lot of people did believe it was real. The actual animal mutilations added to that sense of realness.

Now I would never suggest that Eli slaughter animals for the film, and I'm not a fan of found footage for the most part. Maybe it's just impossible to capture that magic. A lot of films have tried for a retro exploitation look and mostly failed. Still I knew going in this was going to be a clean, beautiful film, and that wasn't my biggest concern.

No what killed me for The Green Inferno was a lack of dread. A good horror movie needs to keep you on your seat. It can do that with suspense, or it can do it with dread. We all pretty know how this is going to turn out. Kids go in, kids get ate, maybe one or two escapes, so it's hard to really build any suspense. I knew this going in, but I was expecting that dread. That uneasy feeling that keeps me on the edge.

I never got that sense. Maybe the characters weren't likable enough. One of the most likable characters was the first to go. The first kill by the cannibals was also the goriest, and most drawn out. After that it was all kind of, well, lame. The story did keep me interested but there was never any real unease, other than one scene dealing with female genital mutilation (or FGM) but even that didn't last long.

Without the dread, I just kind of sat there waiting for the next thing to happen. Waiting on the next captive to die, waiting on the failed escape attempt, waiting on the inevitable rescue, waiting on the end that was a little too close to an episode of South Park. Honestly I totally saw that coming.

Another thing that irked me was the attempts at comedy. Roth used comedic bits in Cabin Fever, that more or less worked with that type of film. Here it was totally out of place. A cannibal film, especially one purporting to be a spiritual successor to Cannibal Holocaust doesn't need humor. It needs to be dark, bleak and disturbing. Fart jokes and cannibals with the munchies do not belong in this film.

And where was the morality of The Green Inferno? Eli Roth has mentioned this being an attack or response to the social justice warriors. Those who jump into a cause without fully understanding it. The SJWs here are basically good kids, but with a corrupt leader. So it's kinds of hard to see this as them getting what they deserve. The one person we have, at least somewhat, been rooting for, our heroine as it was, turns out to be the most shallow social justice warrior of them all. In fact the two survivors are the two people we should actually care for the least.

Cannibal Holocaust has a reputation of being just a movie to shock. The director, Ruggero Deodato has stated he didn’t intend the film to have any deep meaning. Still Holocaust has much more soul, is much deeper than The Green Inferno.

The Green Inferno

Eli Roth's The Green Inferno. Eaten by fear or nibbled with ho hum?

Cannibal Holocaust made us rethink who was the savage and who was the civilized. In Inferno, every fucking body is evil. The natives are evil. They take glee in torturing and eating the captives. They do Female Genital Mutilation for gods sake!! Exaggerated PC rage. The construction crews were evil, killing the natives and willing to kill the SJWs if cameras weren't on them. I was actually expecting a bullet to put an end to our heroine near the end. The leaders and guides of the protesters are evil, making deals just for publicity with no real concern for the people they are supposedly protecting.

The only innocents are the appetizers.

Not to say this was the worst film ever. It was beautifully shot. The rain forest has never looked better, and the Peruvian city scenes were pretty too. I actually lost myself more in the city scenes than the scenes in the jungle village. And Lorenza Izzo was gorgeous. Especially running though the jungle in her retro, savage, plant fiber bikini that should have never stayed in place. The image of her in the red face paint would have been an iconic image in a better horror film.

Maybe the best scene in the whole film was the airplane crash. It was tense, unnerving and a bit a little gory. It would have worked even better if so much of the scene wasn't shown in the trailer. Gore hound might be happy with the the gore scenes, but they are just as likely upset that there are only a couple of really gory scenes. One of the scenes is a great throw back to classic zombie films like Day of the Dead, which will at least make ya point and say, “Hey, cool”.

But one good scene, and a couple gore scenes do not a horror film make. I left the theater feeling disappointed instead of nauseous, empty instead of uneasy. While I appreciate Eli bringing cannibal films back into the public conscious, it just didn’t work for me.

One last complaint. If this is a tribe that has never had contact with the outside world. Why did so many of them have Moe Howard haircuts?

Sadly, The Green Inferno gets 4 out of 10 stars (yeah I'm going to a ten star system)

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Inferno (2013)

By Amy Lynes

Inferno StillThe Green Inferno

Directed by: Eli Roth
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levi, Aaron Burns, Nikolas Martinez, Darly Sabara, and Magda Apanowicz

Much to the delight of horror fans all over, The agonizingly long wait for Eli Roth's The Green Inferno has finally come to an end. The film has FINALLY been unleashed upon the gore loving masses and we can now, at long last, witness what Eli Roth has done with the cannibal subgenre and find out if it lives up to the all the hype and long running controversy behind it.
Here is a short rundown of the synopsis of The Green Inferno:

Justine is a young college student whose father works for the UN. After hearing gruesome reports of genital mutilation in other countries, she makes friends with who talks her into coming to an activist meeting and she becomes interested in the plight of the many native tribes that are being forced out of their villages in the Peruvian jungle by greedy companies who are deforesting the land and either forcing the natives out or killing them if they fight back.

Soon after, her initial meeting, she decides to join their cause and they head off to the jungle with a plan to chain themselves to the heavy machinery and to keep the bulldozers from being operational, thus keeping the workers from doing their jobs and delaying their project.

Rather quickly, Justine nearly takes a bullet to the head because she was given a faulty lock and is an easy target for the corporation goons. Turns out these activists were setting her up the whole time just to get footage of a daughter of a UN worker being threatened and possibly even killed by the huge corporation. They are then detained for a short time before being released and told to leave immediately. Of course, on their way out of the jungle, the engine blows and the plane crashes. Within minutes, the natives come and the students (who are still dressed in their corporation worker gear) that survive the crash soon wish that they maybe hadn't...

Although it was a little slow to get going, the gore and carnage didn't seem to stop after the first gruesome kill. Kudos to the Nicotero-Berger effects team for the amazing effects. It was fantastic work and extremely beneficial to the the film. However, there is a scene with CGI ants that leaves much to be desired. They look incredibly fake and it really detracts from the scene. It made the terror of something like that happening far less believable and really not that terrifying at all.

Aside from that, the rest of the visuals are phenomenal. Shot on location in Peru, The Green Inferno had some fabulous scenic shots which really lend themselves to the feeling of isolation. Knowing there is no one out there to help these kids and that no one will be coming to their aid anytime soon adds to the overall feeling of despair.

The Green Inferno is a reunion of sorts, in that we see quite a few familiar faces we've seen in some of Roth's previous work. Lorenza Izzo (also Roth's real life spouse since late 2014) has been in two other films, Aftershock and Knock Knock, and Ariel Levi and Nikolas Martinez were both in Aftershock, as well as Ignacia Allamand, to name a few. There is a reason he uses the same cast repeatedly. It's because they nail their roles beautifully. There were some characters that were really likable and you actually feel remorse when they meet their demise. And then there are the characters where you applaud the bad things that happen to them because they were such assholes. The performances from the entire cast made the fear, shock and disgust of their dire situation believable.

In spite of all the blood, gore, and some extremely gag worthy moments, there were some comedic moments mixed in as well. An odd choice for a cannibal movie. But it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. A tad unnecessary, but it was nicely balanced by all the carnage. Fans of the old cannibal films of the 70s and 80s will delight in the nods to some of the cannibal film classics that can be seen throughout the film, especially the end. And by the way, stay for the credits. There's a little something there that may be indicative of a possible sequel.

While it's clear that Roth was making an attempt at social commentary about using social media to publicly shame and exact "justice", the statement falls somewhat flat. The Green Inferno probably won't change anyone's opinion on Eli Roth if they are not already a fan, but the fans of his usual splatterfests will revel in the morbid deliciousness of this film. I know did. And I already can't wait to see it again.

Rating: 9/10

Posted by Amy Mead in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

COMING SOON: The Green Inferno (2015)

Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Will Devour You This September

By Dixielord

The Green Inferno
In 1980, director Ruggero Deodato unleashed one of the most controversial films of all time on the cinematic world. Cannibal Holocaust is probably the best know of the Italian cannibal genre of films, and today, 35 years later, people are still outraged and disgusted by it. Now September 2015, Eli Roth prepares to unleash The Green Inferno, a spiritual successor to Cannibal Holocaust, on the film going public.

The film's plot concerns a group of students who travel to the Amazon to help save a local tribe. On the way to their destination their plane crashes, and in a savagely ironic turn of events, they find themselves held hostage by the same tribe they were coming to help. Things go from bad to worse as the natives begin to sharpen their knives and look at them with hunger in their eyes.

Eli's fans and a lot of horror fans in general have been waiting on The Green Inferno for what seems like forever. Roth announced his intention to make a modern cannibal film back in 2012. Filming began late in 2012, with an intended theatrical release sometime in 2014. Although the film did have a few screenings at horror festivals, financial difficulties prevented a wide screen release, and many fans, including me, feared it was dead, or at most would be a straight to DVD release. Blumhouse Productions rescued it and now it is scheduled for released on September 25, 2015.

It is important to remember that The Green Inferno, despite some early rumors is not a remake of Cannibal Holocaust, or any other film from the late Cannibal genre. The fact that The Green Inferno was the name of the film within a film, as well as being an alternate title for Cannibal Holocaust fueled these rumors. Instead it's more of a homage to the whole family of European cannibal films that were popular in the late 70s and early 80s such as Cannibal Ferox, Mountain of the Cannibal God, The Man from Deep River, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals and many others.

Eli Roth has shown in the past that he has no problems making a bleak and gory film, and the Italian cannibal films are about as bleak and gory as they come. There's just something about the taboo of eating human flesh that makes us all shiver down deep inside, while intriguing us at the same time. Movies like Cannibal Holocaust hit that nerve square on the head, but can Eli do the same thing with Inferno?

Obviously there's no way he can completely repeat the formula Deodato used. The infamous animal slaughter in Holocaust would land the film banned and Roth in jail, and would most definitely end his career. Other than that though, it's a new age, we ardent as easily shocked or fooled today. We know the special effects and CGI tricks, so film makers have to work harder for a scare. The Green Inferno also looks to be a bright, well lit, beautifully filmed movie. That's all well and good, but the cheap, grainy feel added to the effect of the old cannibal films. It made it feel more real, more dangerous, like not only it could happen, but maybe it did happen. Deodato actually ended up on trial because authorities thought he murdered his cast on screen.

The Green Inferno

Some comments made by Roth seem to imply the film will be, to some extent, a condemnation of Social Justice Warriors. Those who get themselves heavily involved in causes and situations they don't fully understand. His group of activists have the best intentions, to protect the noble savages, without understanding just how savage they truly are. It's a topical subject especially with the popularity of social media, and his statements have garnered a lot of attention. Holocaust seemed more an attack on the media, and their willingness to go to any extreme to get a story. His natives may have been cannibals, but the news crew were far more savage in the end.

With all this I still have faith that this film will be a success, that it will be a good film, a film that pays respect to the older films that inspired it. I have faith it's going to make me cringe, make me feel uneasy, and maybe even jump a few times. It wont be easy but I think Eli can pull it off. On September 25, 2015, I will find out.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments