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In honor of Thanksgiving now playing in theaters, I decided to take a look at the filmography of Eli Roth. After spending a few days watching films like Cabin Fever, Hostel and The Green Inferno, I cried in the shower for about twenty minutes and am vegan now!
In no particular order, here are the most gnarly moments of Roth’s fun career in horror…
“I’m Never Gonna Shave Again” – Cabin Fever (2002)
Without a doubt my favorite Eli Roth film and in my opinion one of the most underrated horror comedies of all time, Cabin Fever features tons of laughs and gross-out scares. One in particular that is hard to forget. Specifically, for those who shave their legs.
After Sweet Lou (the always memorable Joey Kern) decides to reasonably say “To hell with all of you since you WON’T STOP TOUCHING THE BLEEDING AND INFECTED PEOPLE” and storm off into the woods to be alone with more beer than he can drink before it gets warm, Marcy (Cerina Vincent) decides to get him back by revenge banging Paul (Rider Strong). A really, really bad idea considering the ease of which folks’ skin is flopping off of them like fake mustaches from a Dollar Tree. They get through the fornication safely and I’m guessing very quickly based on what we know about Paul. Marcy decides to do the second dumbest thing at that moment and run a warm bath to shave her legs. You just KNOW what’s coming next and the suspense will make everyone in the room start acting like they are in one of those slow-motion paper towel ads when a spill is about to reach the carpet. Bounty is not here to save you, Marcy.
The flesh begins to rip off of her leg along with the razor. She doesn’t stop and continues to shave the entire side of her leg. Clearly, she’s a completist. I respect it. I also need therapy now.
“These Guilty Feet Have Got No Tendons” – Hostel (2005)
Hostel was such a fun movie to be alive for the marketing of. It had almost Blair Witch Project levels of hype (emphasis on almost). Horror fans congregated at shopping malls and in our fluorescent lit cubicles to discuss how this “might finally be the one to make me spew in the movie theater.” Not to be. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
In this scene, Josh (Derek Richardson) is covered in his own vomit and being tortured by a Dutch businessman (Jan Vlasak) who eats salad with his hands and likes to rub the legs of strange men on trains. His first order of business is to take a power drill and insert it into his skin. As he pulls it back out, it is grossly covered with Josh’s leg meat. After some more leg rubbing, Josh convincingly begs to be set loose. And that’s when things get REALLY nasty.
The man taunts him with the whole “Well, why didn’t you say so?” dick move and leans over and does something the camera doesn’t show. Then he cuts his restraints and opens the door for him. Josh stands up and takes one step forward before BAM! Roth decides to let us see what them feet do and we see that his Achilles has been sliced open. When he tries to step forward we get to watch his legs move but his feet stay on the ground, meaning we see his shit split open. It’s one of those things that makes you involuntarily scream strange words at the screen like “GOO!” while pointing. Josh tries to crawl away but the man stops him and slits his throat.
“Pour Some Blood on Me” – Hostel: Part II (2007)
Heather Matarazzo (Scream 3) just seems like the sweetest, most innocent person that has ever lived. So, it’s very upsetting to see her hung upside down completely naked and begging for her life while a lady uses a scythe to cut her body open from beneath her whilst bathing in her blood. Yes, I said scythe. Like the giant Children of the Corn sized one that Michael Myers uses in Halloween V. I’ve never been to a spa before but thanks to Eli Roth, I think I now have a negative relationship with them in my brain.
In all seriousness, I remember seeing this scene play out alone in the dollar theater and feeling actual anger. Like, the kind of mad people get on the internet when you say or do anything at all. Which means the scene and more specifically Heather Matarazzo did their job and did it well. Even the leadup is hateful and mean as this wack-a-doodle slowly scrapes the scythe across her skin for what seems like an eternity before breaking it. It’s the kind of scene you really want to take a shower after watching. THE REGULAR KIND!
“All Will Be Carved” – Grindhouse (2007)
This parody of old slashers was a part of a series of fake trailers used for Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse. If you figured out that it was the basis for Roth’s new Thanksgiving film then congratulations, Batman. The trailer is so undeniably unforgettable that fans demanded to see this perverted masterpiece become a real movie.
Roth managed to pack a full movie’s worth of slasher-dom into a couple of minutes of a trailer that features multiple beheadings, a cameo from Roth himself and actors from his previous movies such as Jordan Ladd from Cabin Fever and Jay Hernandez from Hostel. A turkey mascot is even beheaded at a parade in front of everyone. These are not the things that stand out however, oh no. Beheadings alone aren’t enough to make Eli Roth’s list of unholy what-the-fucks.
The two moments that take the cake are of the gnarliest order. In one scene, a cheerleader gets naked while jumping up and down on a trampoline and everyone is having a great time! That is until the Pilgrim slasher goes all MythBusters on us and sticks a very large knife facing upright through the bottom of the trampoline. Next, a turkey is unveiled to the family, only it’s a human being basted and roasted and tied in the position of a turkey. Complete with stuffed orifices and even a meat thermometer. Next to it a smaller, normal sized turkey with someone’s head on it.
It’s a turducken of depraved, hilarious and horrific proportions.
“Eye Didn’t See That Train Coming” – Hostel (2005)
Just as Paxton (Jay Hernandez) has almost escaped the Holiday Inn Torture Dungeon, he hears a woman screaming and doubles back to save her. There, he encounters a man (Rick Hoffman) who screams at him to “Get your own fuckin room! I paid for this!” as the camera reveals to us that he is taking a blowtorch to a woman’s (Jennifer Lim) face. Paxton shoots him down and helps free the woman and OH MY GOD did I mention her eyeball is dangling from her face?!? And not like a silly Friday the 13th Part 3D ping pong type eyeball. A gross, gooey, deflated bag type of eyeball (they used a condom for the effect). She understandably starts to lose her mind like she’s at a Taylor Swift concert and Paxton tries to help her by (for some reason) taking a pair of scissors and cutting the dangling eye bag off of her face. Whew. That’s better, right?
It’s so disgusting you’ll want to scrub your own eyeballs with dish soap, and it leaves the character in such bad shape that she walks into an oncoming train afterwards. Sounds about right.
“Where’s My Face Again?” – The Green Inferno (2013)
When Jonah (Aaron Burns) and his activist friends are captured in the Amazon by a tribe of cannibals, they have a civil discussion and everyone goes home to think about what they’ve learned from each other. But really though, they pin him to a rock and eat him in front of his friends.
This scene utilizes a strange blurring effect that weirdly makes it even scarier as if even the movie is saying “this is too much for you.” But don’t worry, like articles about Will Smith and Jada’s marriage, you’ll see more than you ever wanted to! This absolutely frightening lady with wooden beads running throughout her facial orifices puts some sort of wooden tool up against his eye sockets and starts digging around in there. I mean, she gets in there. By the end of it, his face is squished to Hell and she’s eating his eyeballs as the crowd cheers her on. She then saws his tongue off and enjoys that so much her eyes start rolling around in the back of her head. This lady really loves eyeballs. Right about then some dudes pop over and start using gigantic weapons to hack away at Jonah’s limbs like he was a big moist man-cake before finally sawing his head off.
What horrors will Roth unleash next? Thanksgiving is now playing in theaters!