April 23, 2014

Eli Roth confirms “Thanksgiving” script as “Machete” nears

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Robert Rodriguez did it. Will Eli Roth be next?

We’re talking about building a feature film off of the fake trailers included in Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s double-feature throwback, “Grindhouse.”

With Danny Trejo in tow, Rodriguez recently constructed the vengeance picture “Machete.” Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal and Robert De Niro appear alongside Trejo in the film, which opens everywhere on Sept. 3.

Roth also directed a bogus trailer for “Grindhouse,” promoting a horror film that doesn’t exist. It was called “Thanksgiving,” and if Roth has his way, it will be in theaters soon enough.

“Robert’s doing his thing and I’m doing mine, but I am writing ‘Thanksgiving’ with my friend, Jeff Rendell, who I wrote the trailer with,” Roth recently told me when we sat down to discuss “The Last Exorcism,” which Roth produced.

“I only want to make it if I can make it as good as the trailer. If it can’t live up to the trailer, then there’s no point.”

Well said. I haven’t seen “Machete” yet, so I don’t know if there’s enough material in the character to prop up a full feature. And if Roth made a movie that played off his “Thanksgiving” clip, it would be a throwback to such holiday-themed slasher flicks as “April Fool’s Day” and “Silent Night, Deadly Night.” Not high art, but those films tend to pack in dedicated crowds. We’ll see what comes of “Thanksgiving,” but I’ll bet the box office performance of “Machete” plays into Roth’s decision to push forward or hold back and move onto something else.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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