Eli Gets His Geek On For Comic-Con: Roth’s ‘Hostel: Part II’ Column

In exclusive MTV News column, director talks about taking break from editing to promote film.

In the fourth installment of an exclusive MTV News column, director Eli Roth discusses his recent trip to February’s New York Comic-Con to promote “Hostel: Part II.”

(Watch Eli Roth encounter Gary Coleman at New York Comic-Con, take a drive and more right here.)

As a huge convention geek, I have to say I love doing conventions and panels. I was that guy waiting in line for two hours for Tom Savini’s autograph at the Fangoria Convention in 1996, so for me to actually get to appear on a panel and talk to fans is a pretty big thrill.

In 1999, when I first moved to Los Angeles from New York, I didn’t have enough money for admission to some horror convention, so I sneaked in the back. I got busted for not having a handstamp, but only after I did two loops around the floor, so I was still able to use my money to buy a bootleg VHS cassette of “Torso.” (Hey, it was unreleased in the U.S. — how else was I supposed to get it?) A few weeks ago, I took a break from the editing room and flew east for New York Comic-Con, where I showed the first footage from “Hostel: Part II.”

I knew things had changed at Lionsgate since “Cabin Fever” when I showed up at the airport and realized I was flying on the Lionsgate jet. I didn’t even know Lionsgate had a jet. I was like, “Were you guys keeping this thing a secret from me during ‘Cabin Fever’ and ‘Hostel’?” It turns out they got it about six months ago, and I figured that since my films had helped pay for it, I was more than entitled to a seat. I’m almost sorry I flew it, because now I’m completely spoiled and my new obsession is finding a way to have a private jet take me everywhere, even, like, to Whole Foods and the gym. Until then, my monkey chauffeur, Mr. Pemberton, will just have to suffice.

Anyway, we landed in New York, and I checked into my hotel, stuffed my face with sushi and passed out. With both of my previous films, I had finished the movie before doing any interviews, but now with the June 8 release, I’m doing press and finishing the film at the same time. It was actually nice to switch gears and take a break from all the postproduction, to remind myself that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

On Friday, February 23, I woke up early and worked out in the hotel gym so I’d be awake for the interviews. Unfortunately, they were doing some construction at the gym; about a half-hour into my run on the treadmill they started painting, and I got too dizzy and had to leave.

I went to breakfast and had an Olivia Newton-John sighting, which was pretty tremendous for me since I was in love with her when I was 6. At first I thought that the paint at the gym was making me hallucinate, but once I heard her accent, I knew it was her. I wanted to tell her I was in love with her when I was 6, but I thought that might make her feel old and opted not to. I mean, what do you say, “Hi Olivia, I have ‘Magic’ on my iPod as a joke so I can blast it in my car with the top down at red lights to make people uncomfortable”? Nobody wants to hear that. I let her eat her breakfast in peace. And by the way, I do have “Magic” on my iPod. I also have the whole “Grease” soundtrack. I’ve never really admitted that before. Where was I? Oh yes, interviews.

I started the interviews around noon and went right through until dinner. By now I know a lot of the journalists, some of whom even visited me on the set while I was shooting, so a lot of the interviews felt more like hanging out with friends and talking about horror movies. Lionsgate set up a suite at the hotel; one by one the journalists came into the room, I showed the clip and we chatted about the movie. By the end of the day I was wiped out. I took a nap and had dinner with friends, and Saturday afternoon I started doing press again.

Check back with Movies.MTV.com next Monday for another installment of Eli Roth’s exclusive “Hostel: Part II” column.

In the meantime, scope out these past Roth columns:

· “Shoot Ends, ‘Insane Editing’ Begins: Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel: Part II’ Column”

· “Filming, Partying, Dieting Abroad: Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel: Part II’ Column”

· “Acting For Tarantino To Torture In Prague: Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel: Part II’ Column”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Hostel: Part II.”

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