Eli Roth discusses his 'COTTON' Exorcism Movie and THE FUNHOUSE Remake

by Joey Paur


Personally I am not a big fan of Eli Roth. It will be interesting to see him in 'Inglourious Basterds' but I am not a big fan of the films he has made. I am just glad to hear he is going to make something other than a Hostel movie. He has got that Sci-fi film that he is developing called 'Endangered Species'. He also sheds some light on a couple other projects he is involved with, such as a movie he is producing called 'Cotton', which really sounds interesting, and a his desire to go out and remake Tobe Hoopers 'Funhouse', which just seems pointless. He recently gave Fangoria the details on this new Exorcism horror film he is producing and it sounds pretty crazy.

“Eric pitched COTTON to me as a faux documentary about an exorcism. Oh, OK. But my first thought was, how do you top The EXORCIST if you’re going into that territory? THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE was a different kind of demonic-possession movie, but it did try and had some great moments. I’ve always had a fascination with the subject matter anyway; don’t most people? So I read the script, and it was one of the scariest ever. Honest, and I read everything! It builds and builds and builds suspense and horror, and is really smart.”

Most people do have a fascination with exorcisms, because it's interesting and would scare the hell out of us if we ever saw one! But, I just don't see how the original Exorcist movie will ever be topped. It won't, but it doesn't mean movies can't be made on the subject matter. We could always use a good horror/devil film.

The movie 'Cotton' is about a troubled priest, disillusioned by years of defrauding poor believers. Roth explains in detail:

“Cotton Marcus is a preacher who’s been doing fake exorcisms all his life, and decided to make a documentary about himself to expose what he does to clear his conscience. He wants to come clean, show all the tricks of his trade and talk about why people need exorcisms—the psychological benefits—even though they’re faked. His dad did it before him and at 40 years old, he’s starting to feel guilty about cheating people out of money. ‘Yes, I’m a fraud, I did it for the cash and this documentary reveals how I did it. Cotton has to choose a suitable subject out of the hundreds of letters he gets from panic-stricken people. There’s one from Oliver, a poor farmer in the Deep South, who wants him to exorcise his 14-year-old daughter Nell. Although he’s uncomfortable using children because of the possible psychological damage, Cotton is convinced Nell is the right subject when her father shows him a dead horse and tells him his daughter ripped the heart right out of it. Along with killing animals at night, Nell shows signs of abuse and is revealed to be pregnant. And so it gets worse and worse, weirder and weirder, until Cotton realizes Nell really is possessed by a demon. Then the freaky shit really starts, with chains and sex. I liked its edge and smart take on what faith is, what is real and what isn’t, its fresh approach to modern-day exorcisms.”


Well, I'm sold. Seems like a pretty hardcore real horror movie. I also like the fact that it is being filmed on a low budget with a 24 day shooting schedule which is currently filming in Louisiana. The Actors in the film are all unknowns which makes it even better. This is good old fashioned horror movie making. The film is being directed by a Daniel Stamm who recently made a mocumentary called 'A Necessary Death' about suicide. Roth says of the director:


“Daniel really understood the material, and he loves horror movies. We needed someone who could get real performances to shine through the BLAIR WITCH-style format and provide a real ‘What the f**k?’ type of movie. The documentary-format trick is no longer a gimmick; it’s now a technique that [REC] and CLOVERFIELD realized was the best way of telling their stories. It works for some movies, for others it doesn’t."


Then he goes on to talk about the remake of Tobe Hoopers Funhouse. Which seems strange because he said he is only interested in directing his own original material.


“I’m talking with Universal about that one. THE FUNHOUSE is a movie where the first half is brilliant—they set up these great characters—and then they pay off none of them. You have Marco the Magician sawing his daughter in half, the brothers who run the carnival and the funhouse setting. And then it’s all about this weird mutant thing. It should be about the kids getting killed in horrible ways, put in different contraptions in the funhouse and the final girl being strapped into the ride and sent into the tunnels to be confronted by terrifying tableaux of her dead friends. A smart remake could be so much fun. Kill the kids in fabulous ways and continually reuse the bodies by making them freaks in the freak museum, sew their eyes shut, waxworks… That’s the stuff I want to do in a remake of THE FUNHOUSE.”


So it's like Hostel and Saw, but in a amusement park setting. I like the exorcism Cotton movie much better. But I can see how this kind of movie appeals to Roth, and there is some potential for it to be a bloody good time. I guess we will have to wait and see.


So what are your thoughts on the movies he is currently involved with?

Source: Fangoria

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