KR: I know you’re in the final stages
of post and I was wondering if you’ve shown some sort of final cut
to a room full of close buddies. I’m assuming you do something like
Always! I never put it before an audience unless I’ve show it to
a group of people who I really trust. Plus you need to have some strangers
in there who don’t know you so you can get an honest reaction -
people who won’t go on the Internet and say shit about it. You have
to do that because it’s really the only way to tell if people are
going to get it. But I do it mostly for story points, to see if people
are confused or not. And sometimes people will not get something, which
tells me that I need to clarify that point by throwing a specific line
back in or something.
KR: So do you guys plan to do an official
Well now the problem is that so much stuff that gets out on the Internet
so fast that testing a movie like HOSTEL II doesn’t really make
much sense because if the movie is working then it’s working. There’s
not much you’re going to learn from a test audience. It’s
all about getting that group of people that you really trust.
We’ll get everyone together in the editing room, show the film,
ask them what they thought and you can feel it - I mean, whether or not
people are telling you the truth to your face. All you have to do is sit
there and watch them during the movie and that tells you everything. If
they’re rolling in their seats, if they’re checking their
watches then they’re bored. If they’re riveted or silent then
you know you’ve got them. That always works best for me. I’ll
always show it to a group of trusted people.
KR: What did you set out to accomplish
with HOSTEL II?
I wanted to make a better movie. I wanted to make a film like ROAD WARRIOR
or ALIENS. That was my goal. I didn’t want to repeat the first one.
I didn’t want to do some knockoff and I didn’t want someone
else to do it. I also wanted to make it myself so I could keep the integrity
of the franchise. I wanted to make a movie where people walked out saying
“You know what, that was scarier then the first one, it was far
more disturbing then the first one and it was a much better movie.”
KR: Well that’s good to hear. Most
people would just add more tits, more blood and of course a higher body
Well, the simple truth is that it’s easy to be more disgusting.
If I wanted to do that I would just chop up more body parts. Not hard
to do. But to make a movie - one that’s scarier, smarter and better
then the first - is difficult. People expect a certain experience, and
I said to myself - how do you make a sequel to a horror movie? You look
at JAWS 2, EXORCIST 2 and these are bad movies. I mean with THE EXORCIST
2 you can’t just have a girl getting possessed by the devil again,
but then how is it an EXORCIST movie without that?
Then I looked at some horror sequels that I love like SAW 2 or THE DEVIL’S
REJECTS and these were sequels that really took what was great about the
first one and expanded upon it. And it’s tough because I know people
who go to this movie are looking forward to scary torture scenes so how
do you do that so people aren’t just waiting for it. And how do
you make them scarier then the first time, and how do you make new twists
with new surprises. I want to satisfy the audience for what they’re
going to see there in the first place, but at the same time I wanted to
take the story to another level.
KR: What excites me most about HOSTEL II
is how you pick up directly from the first movie. You just don’t
see that much anymore. I can remember the first time I saw HALLOWEEN II
and how excited I was that it continued right down to the minute.
It drives me crazy when you go see a sequel and they somehow link the
two movies together. Once I started thinking of the movie as HOSTEL PART
II it really freed me up, and that's what I want to see. I want to see
what happens literally if we pick up exactly where the first one left
off, where it’s literally the next cut. I want to be able to cut
out the ending credits from the first film and the opening credits from
the second and watch it like one movie, and so few sequels do that. I
think that’s why people are there. That’s why I’m there.
I wish all sequels began that way.
KR: You mention how when you thought of
continuing the story directly from the first film it freed you up. Can
you elaborate on that?
Well you stop thinking about how to top the first one. What’s going
to be the equivalent of the eyes scene? You stop equating the two movies
and you start thinking in more linear terms. What happens next? And introducing
new characters, new storylines, showing things from different points of
view. And I originally thought - wouldn’t it be great if you repeated
the first movie from the perspective of the client? That kind of initial
inception, and then you’d end the movie with Rick Hoffman getting
shot. But in the end I realized that wasn’t enough to fill up a
But I saw what people really responded to. Like when Rick Hoffman asks
Jay Hernandez what it’s like to kill someone. Rick was acting like
a kid on Christmas morning and that really disturbed people. I realized
then that I was onto something. Everyone connected to the scene and that’s
what I wanted to do. I wanted to explore the psychology of these guys.
Plus I wanted to continue the story with girls, and I wanted to continue
the story with Jay. So we have different storylines that are weaving in
and out with one another.
KR: I liked HOSTEL and gave it a very good
review, but one of the things that I didn’t like was how much of
the plot was given away in the marketing campaign. Are you guys watching
that more closely this time around?
I wish they didn’t have trailers for anything and people would
just go see the movie, but the reality is that it’s a business and
peoples’ jobs depend on these movies making money so they’re
going to cut TV spots a certain way to get people in the theaters. The
people who were the luckiest are the ones who saw it with no prior knowledge
at all. I think they probably enjoyed it the most. But in the end I feel
the film still works.
The studio has been really great with HOSTEL II and I think it’s
because at this point they don’t really need to explain what the
film is. They’re not even going to test screen it. We might not
even have a premier because they don’t want stuff leaking out. They
think that the name HOSTEL is enough to get people in the theaters.
KR: My guess is that you’d be right.
So let me ask you this - If you were dragged into one of these hostels
and tortured what would be the worst torture method for you? I’m
assuming you’ve thought about this over the past few years, right?
Well yeah, every torture you see in the movie is something I’ve
thought about myself going through. So the movie pretty much answers that
KR: But if someone had a chainsaw to your
face and you had to pick one, something that really makes your stomach
There’s one that I saw in the Museum of Torture in Prague where
they had an illustration of a guy upside down, naked and they’ve
got his legs wish boned. Now keep in mind, this is a torture that the
church used to do to get confessions from witches. And they had two guys
with a hand saw sawing the guy down the middle. Just back and form, back
and forth. And what the display said is that the blood goes to your brain
so that you stay alive until that thing is all the way though you. That
pretty much makes my skin crawl.
KR: Um… yeah I can see why. So during
my viewing of GRINDHOUSE I saw your mock trailer for THANKSGIVING. Do
you think that if you made the full version and released it on an international
level that somehow it would lead to work peace?
Absolutely! I think that if everyone in the world got together and united
to watch THANKSGIVING it would end all wars. And everyone would break
out into a great big orgy.
KR: So would you ever make the movie for
I would do that in a fucking heartbeat. In fact, I’ve been talking
with Edgar Right about doing a double feature with two forty-five minute
movies. He’d do DON’T and I would do THANKSGIVING. We’ve
both talked about it. So at some point in the near future you may see
that double bill.
KR: That trailer is getting some awesome
response. I assume you are aware of that?
You know it’s funny how I went out of my way to make the worst
thing possible and it’s getting the best response of anything I’ve
ever done. But I think it’s great. It was a blast. No one got paid,
and we all did it for the love of doing it. And it was the most fun I’ve
had shooting anything. Which goes to show that if you do something you
really love then people will respond.
KR: OK man, I’ve definitely taken
up too much of your time so I’ll let you go. Thanks again for the
It’s been my pleasure, take care man!
Thanks to Eli Roth for this interview!
Interview is property of KillerReviews.com - Copyright 2008
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