June 19, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | June 19, 2007 |


Here’s some amusingly bitter news: Eli Roth is pissed off with the lackluster box-office performance of Hostel II, and instead of blaming himself for creating a backlash of apathy against torture porn, he’s blaming movie piracy. He’s claiming that the reason the movie did not perform well was because a working print of the flick was leaked, and several critics based their reviews of the film on it. He writes on his Myspace page, “critics have actually been REVIEWING the film based off the pirated copy, which is inexcusable. Some of these critics I have actually known for a few years, and while I wouldn’t dignify them by mentioning them by name, I know who they are, as do the studios, and other filmmakers, and they will no longer have any access to any of my films.”

Oh God no! You’re going to deprive critics of advanced screenings of your films? We didn’t see a pirated copy here at Pajiba, but man — if you want to go ahead and put us on the “do not see” list, be our guest. Hell, if you really want to stress the point, man, just deprive everyone from seeing your films — hell, stop making them all together. That’ll show us!

But, then Roth’s self-righteous anger turns to pathetic desperation:

I am not directing CELL any time soon, and I most likely will take the rest of the year to write my other projects. Which means I wouldn’t shoot until the spring, and you wouldn’t see a film directed by me in the cinemas until at least next fall. If everyone on my friends list went to see the film this weekend and brought a friend, it would make a huge difference. Bring a non-horror fan — try to convert them. It’s the only way these films will live. But right now the R rated horror film is in serious jeopardy. Studios feel the public doesn’t want them any more, and so they are only putting PG-13 films into production. The only way to counter this perception is to get out there and support R rated horror. It’s the only message they’ll hear. People love the movie, and even though it only cost $10 million dollars (as opposed to the other summer tentpoles which cost $300 million), and has already earned its money back, if it’s not a massive money earner then they’ll just continue to make the same PG-13 films everyone complained about a few years ago.

Jesus, Eli — maybe you can try chain mail. Here’s a suggestion, dipshit: Use your talent to make films that audiences might want to see. I’m as frustrated with the studio system as the next guy, but the reality is, the studios have already exhausted all the singles on the torture-porn album. Piracy is not the reason that Hostel: Part II didn’t fare well at the box office, it’s torture fatigue. Though, I do love the first comment to this entry on his Myspace page: “You deserve all the success in the world. You work hard and your heart is in the right place.” His heart is in the right place? That’s right, folks. ‘Cause the guy sure knows how to make a culturally redeeming film — his movies are well-intentioned, they’re just not finding a deserving audience. Yeah. Uh huh. That’s exactly what I thought when Rider Strong was fucking a gaping sore in a chick’s upper thigh in Cabin Fever — that Roth’s heart sure was in the right place.

Of course, if you want to put out an album of torture-porn dance remixes, you might actually find an audience again — such is the case with Darren Lynn Bousman’s next project. Personally, I loathe Bousman, who directed Saw II, III and the upcoming fourth installment, i.e., the really bad ones, but I have to admit that I’m captivated with his next project, a horror musical(!) entitled, Repo! The Genetic Opera. It’s based on an off-Broadway play that Bousman directed when it was still playing in small Hollywood playhouses and it’s about a future where everybody is buying organs, but when people can’t pay, legalized organ-repo men get involved — and you can probably imagine what happens after that. It sounds silly as hell, but it might just be silly enough to work, notwithstanding the hackery of Bousman’s involvement. It’s like a torture-porn version of Sweeney Todd!

In documentary news, for no other reason than the fact that I not only love the premise of The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters, I’ve also got a bona fide hard-on for all the mullets in the trailer. It’s Retard vs. Retard in one game of Donkey Kong for all the marbles. Check it out, and tell me you’re not the least bit intrigued.

I know there are a lot of Chuck Palahniuk fans in our midst, but — aside from the fanatical devotion to David Fincher’s adaptation of Fight Club most guys my age have — I’m not one of them, so I don’t know what the reception to a film version of Choke will be like. I can express some befuddlement at the choice of director, Clark Gregg, who most of you know as the ex-husband on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and a slew of bit roles in television and movies. He’s making his directorial debut with Choke, though he did write the pretty horrific Harrison Ford “thriller” What Lies Beneath (which had about as many thrills as a nursing home bedspring on “Bingo Night in America”). The premise itself is somewhat intriguing, as are most of Palahniuk’s plotlines: It concerns a sex addict who goes to restaurants, fakes choking, and awaits his rescue. Afterwards, he cons his rescuers out of pity money to pay for his fictional medical bills. The better news is that they have hired the best actor out there to play the role of con man, Sam Rockwell (brilliant in Matchstick Men), so there’s certainly a lot of potential, though Gregg’s involvement is some cause for concern (no offense to you die-hard “Christine” fans). (Thanks to Noah for the tip).

Here are your DVD releases this week: The surprisingly great Bridge to Terabithia, The Abandoned, Reno 911! Miami and Miss Potter.

Though Knocked Up came awfully close to supplanting my favorite two films of the year so far, Waitress still holds my spot for number two, and Rocket Science is still the best I’ve seen in 2007. It hits theaters on August 10th, and now there is an official trailer for it. It’s a pretty nifty little advert, even if it overdoes the Violent Femmes a bit, but it doesn’t even come close to capturing the true, whimsical magic of Rocket Science. You’re going to need to see the film for that — maybe even a couple of times. Anyway, here it is, to whet your appetite.

And, as an added bonus to today’s trailer watch, Dan dug up the trailer for … er … Ninja Cheerleaders starring George Takei and Trishelle Cannatella, who many of you know as the slutty one from “The Real World: Vegas.” No — not that one. Nor her. No no no: The really slutty one. Anyway, yeah: It’s a real trailer for a real movie that will really suck. And I’ve been feeling that real-time review itch lately — Ninja Cheerleaders will make an appropriate candidate. Please God let it go straight to DVD.

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The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | June 19, 2007 | Comments ()



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