At 51 years old, Eli Roth has this physical status:
At NYU film school, Roth wrote and directed a student film called Restaurant Dogs, an homage to Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. The film was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 1995, ultimately winning its division (Division III).
Through his internship with Frederick Zollo, Roth met David Lynch and remained in touch over the years, eventually producing content for Lynch with his fledgling website in the late 1990s. Through Lynch, Roth met film and TV composer Angelo Badalamenti, whose music he used in his first feature film. He also met a member of special effects company KNB EFX, which contributed to his first feature.
In 1999, Roth moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote, directed, edited, produced, animated, and provided voices for a series of animated shorts called Chowdaheads for Mandalay Sports Entertainment. They were to be shown between WCW Monday Nitro pro wrestling matches, but they were finished but never actually broadcast. Roth's friend Noah Belson co-wrote the shorts and provided the other character voices.
In mid-2000, with financing from the website Z.com to deliver a five-minute pilot, Roth wrote, directed, animated, and produced a series of stop-motion shorts called The Rotten Fruit. The company folded after several episodes were done, and its domain name was picked up by Nissan for its "Z" sports car. A portion of Roth's work for The Rotten Fruit was done at the Snake Pit studios in Burbank with miniature sets, posable clay, foam figures, two high-end digital still cameras, and a pair of Macintosh computers. Noah Belson co-wrote and performed character voices.
Roth had co-written Cabin Fever with his college roommate Randy Pearlstein. They based the premise on Roth's experience of contracting a skin infection while riding ponies at a family friend's farm in Iceland in 1991. Much of it was written in 1996, while Roth worked as a production assistant for Howard Stern's film Private Parts.
Cabin Fever was produced in 2001 on a budget of $1.5 million raised from private investors. The film was sold to Lionsgate at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival for $3.5 million, the biggest sale of that year's festival. Released in 2003, it was Lionsgate's highest-grossing film of the year, earning $22 million at the U.S. box office and $35 million worldwide. Lionsgate's stock rose from $1.98 a share to nearly $6 a share after the film was released; the company used its newly valuable stock to buy Artisan Entertainment. Cabin Fever made Roth a star in the horror genre. In a 2004 Premiere Magazine interview, Quentin Tarantino called it "the best new American film".
In 2005, Roth's second feature, Hostel, was made for just over $4 million. It opened No. 1 at the box office in January 2006, taking in $20 million its first weekend. The film went on to gross $80 million worldwide in box office, and more than $180 million on DVD. Although the story is set in Slovakia, all the exteriors were shot in the Czech Republic.
In the film, three friends are lured to visit a hostel where they think their sexual fantasies will come true. Instead, they fall into the clutches of an international syndicate that provides first-hand torture and killing experiences for rich, sadistic tourists. The film was rated No. 1 on Bravo TV's 30 Even Scarier Movie Moments, and Empire Magazine readers voted Hostel the Best Horror Film of 2007.
Roth reportedly turned down studio directing jobs to make Hostel. He took a directing salary of only $10,000 to keep the budget as low as possible, so there would be no limits set on its violence. In January 2006, film critic David Edelstein in New York magazine credited Roth with creating the horror subgenre "torture porn", or "gorno", using excessive violence to excite audiences like a sexual act.
In 2007, Roth directed and narrated the faux trailer segment Thanksgiving for Grindhouse and appeared in Death Proof, Tarantino's segment of the film. Roth and co-writer Jeff Rendell won a 2007 Spike TV Scream Award for best "screamplay" for their work in Grindhouse, sharing the honor with Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Rob Zombie, and Edgar Wright.
Hostel: Part II opened in sixth place in June 2007, with $8.2 million; it went on to gross $17.6 million in US theaters. The film, which cost $10.2 million, earned $35 million in theaters worldwide and $50 million on DVD and pay television.
Lionsgate attributed the lower grosses to the summer release, opposite blockbusters such as Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and Ocean's Thirteen, as well as the film's workprint having been leaked online before its release. Close to two million illegal workprint downloads were tracked the day Hostel 2 opened.
Hostel: Part II was nominated for six Spike TV Scream Awards, including best horror film and best director. It was on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 20 best horror films of the past 20 years.
In 2009, while acting in Inglourious Basterds, Roth said that he would soon begin his next film, Endangered Species.
In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Roth indicated that he had suspended work on Endangered Species to focus on 2013's The Green Inferno.
Roth directed the cannibal horror film The Green Inferno (2013), which was inspired by his love of Mondo horror films such as the infamous Cannibal Holocaust. The Green Inferno was criticized for its portrayal of indigenous people as cannibals, and it was described as a "new low in racist film making" by People's World.
Roth's 2018 remake of the film Death Wish opened to $13 million at the box office. The film is centered around a trauma surgeon who turns to vigilantism after his family is attacked. The film was panned by critics as "pro-gun propaganda" and ill-timed in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Roth defended the film, stating that the film was not pro-gun and that he wanted the film to focus on family, protecting one's family, and seeking justice for one's family.
In 2002, Roth brought a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark made by children to the attention of both Harry Knowles and Steven Spielberg. He had a copy in his video collection for years, and showed it at Knowles's Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival in December. The response was so great that Roth took the tape to his first meeting at DreamWorks to give to Spielberg. An executive called the next week saying that Spielberg loved it and wanted to contact the filmmakers. Roth had never met them, but Google-searched every name in the credits until he found Jayson Lamb, the cinematographer. The three filmmakers—Lamb, Chris Strompolis, and Eric Zala (a former Activision employee)—had not spoken to each other in years when Roth contacted them. Roth, feeling that their film was so powerful he had to do whatever he could to make sure fans saw it, introduced it at its premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in May 2008, five and a half years after he first gave the tape to Knowles. Soon, the three reunited friends were touring the world, doing charity screenings.
In March 2006, Dimension Films bought the rights to Cell by Stephen King and would produce a film to be directed by Roth. In 2009, King finished the screenplay, and actors John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson joined the project; however, Roth did not direct.
Through his company, Arcade, with Eric Newman and Strike producer Marc Abraham, Roth produced the horror film The Last Exorcism, (originally titled Cotton) which was directed by Daniel Stamm. Completed in December 2009 and retitled in February 2010, The Last Exorcism cost $1.5 million to produce. It opened at more than $20 million in U.S. sales, and earned No. #1 opening spots in Canada and the UK. The film had paid for itself when rights in a few foreign territories were sold before shooting began. It earned over $40 million box office in the United States, and $70 million worldwide.
Roth has talked of doing Trailer Trash, another compilation of fake trailers. "Trailer Trash is not a horror film," he said; "it's a comedy. It will be very R-rated and completely insane, and I'm producing it with Mike Fleiss".
He has also produced the 2012 kung fu film The Man with the Iron Fists, written, directed, and scored by RZA who also stars in the film. According to Roth, Tarantino is involved as well. In an interview with CHUD, Roth said:
In 2014, Roth produced the American supernatural horror film Clown and had the minor role of "Frowny the Clown." He next helmed Knock Knock (2015), a remake of the 1977 horror-thriller Death Game, about two young women who seduce a married man and then do unspeakable things to him. Keanu Reeves starred and executive produced.
In 2015, Roth was announced as the director of the adaptation of the best-selling shark novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, eventually called The Meg. In 2016, it was announced that he had left the project due to creative differences.
In 2020, it was announced that Roth would direct an adaptation of the Borderlands games, with Craig Mazin penning the screenplay with Roth.
Roth recorded an audio commentary for Troma's 1997 DVD release of Blood Sucking Freaks four years before directing his first film, billed as a "Blood and Guts Expert". The DVD is one of Troma's highest-selling.
Roth is a frequent contributor to DVD "extras" content (liner notes, video commentary) for horror film distributors Grindhouse Releasing/Box Office Spectaculars, particularly for two of his favorite films Juan Piquer Simón's Pieces and the North American DVD release of Lucio Fulci's Cat in the Brain.
Roth began his professional acting career in 1998 and has been known to play parts in the films he produces. Roth's most notable appearance to date is his role as violent Bostonian soldier Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz in the 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds.
Roth's role in Quentin Tarantino's segment of the 2007 film Grindhouse, Death Proof, came about because Tarantino was impressed by Roth's brief part as Justin in Cabin Fever. Roth—who left pre-production on Hostel: Part II in Prague and flew to Austin, Texas, to film the scene at the Texas Chili Parlor—said that working as an actor for Tarantino is "like taking a master class in directing". He quipped that the only directors he would ever act for are people who have won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Outside of these films and his own, Roth has appeared in a cameo role as a contest emcee in Alexandre Aja's 2010 film Piranha 3D and in the 2012 musical film Rock of Ages, among others. Roth has also appeared in several projects that David Lynch directed for his website davidlynch.com.
Roth hosted and executive-produced an episode of Discovery Channel's TV series Curiosity, titled "How Evil Are You?". The episode explored the scientific aspects of evil, with Roth undergoing a brain scan and DNA sequencing at University of California, Davis with neuropsychiatrist Dr. James Fallon. Roth also re-created the infamous Milgram experiments for the documentary, with results identical to those from 50 years earlier.
Roth directed the pilot of Hemlock Grove, a horror/thriller series, that premiered on Netflix on April 19, 2013.
He also hosts Shark After Dark on Discovery Channel's Shark Week.
In 2009, Roth wrote, directed, and acted in a PSA for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about the link between violence against animals and violence against people. Roth won a Telly Award for his spot (Public Service Category: Bronze).
Roth is a curator of the Museum of Pop Culture's exhibit "Can't Look Away", detailing the history of horror. He was selected, along with directors John Landis and Roger Corman, to represent three generations of film directors who have shaped the genre. The installation opened in September 2011 and ran through 2014.
In September 2012, he opened a haunted house, Eli Roth's Goretorium, in Las Vegas. Haunted Desert LLC, which owns Goretorium, filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2013, and the attraction closed in October.
Roth directed the music video for Snoop Lion's lead single "La La La" from his reggae-genre album Reincarnated, which was released on April 23, 2013.
In 2015, Roth partnered with Jack Davis to launch Crypt TV, a digital company focused on short-form horror content.
In 2021, Roth invested in Jomboy Media, a digital media company that produces content focused on sports and pop culture.
Men's Fitness magazine voted Roth "Most Fit Director" in their July 2006 issue, a title Roth takes very seriously. He follows a strict workout routine, which he documents on the Hostel DVDs. Roth claims that he treats every red carpet like a Milan runway, and he often jokes that he makes films only as a way to live out his lifelong dream of being a male supermodel. He spoke of his love for fashion in his interview in the October 2007 issue of Italian Vogue.
Roth was profiled on the G4 TV show Icons and was on the cover of Forbes magazine's "Hollywood's Most Profitable Stars" issue.
A terrifying killer stalks the town of Plymouth in the chilling new trailer for Thanksgiving amid mixed fan reactions: 'Never thought I'd have to fear corn cob holders!'
Thanksgiving teaser trailer: Addison Rae looks terrified as she co-stars with Patrick Dempsey in Eli Roth's serial killer film
Remember that girl you knew who moved into an old house and felt like someone was watching her sleep? Then you are gonna love Friday’s elirothpresents #UrbanLegendTRVL “The Creep in the Walls.” A very very creepy episode beautifully directed by cathostick. Written by ethanevansfilm jessbfilm starring emilylaurenco ! Don’t miss it Friday at 10 EST travelchannel & streaming on discoveryplus Thank you acproduction_ca for the spectacular artwork! If you haven’t seen it yet the episodes are all on discoveryplus , we continued the film series as anthology horror. The directors really nailed it.
claudiosimonettisgoblin brought the house down last night. So many of my favorite movie moments from master darioargento_official, Romero, and Bava. Claudio is the nicest guy and the whole crowd was with them every frame of Suspiria and after when they played some of their most memorable themes. Do you have a Goblin favorite?
Major victory for sharks at cites (no thanks to Japan and Canada who voted against protections) but sharks have a long way to go. The battle is just beginning. It’s still legal to kill and trade them. I’m hearing reports it may be as much as 250 million a year are killed because of vaccines now but these numbers take a lot of studies to confirm and they just don’t have time. We can’t depend on government protection. noaa is completely in the pocket of the fishing industry. The only way we can save our oceans is driving the value to zero. No sharks out of the water, period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is making money from them or wants likes on social media. We have to look at shark killing the way we now look at gorilla hunting. Follow onlyone sharkallies sharkgirlmadison nakawe_project garystokesphoto shawnheinrichs cadesavessharks finsattached oneoceanconservation oceanramsey and so many others to get involved. 📸 joeromeiro333