April 24, 2008 / 10:29 AM / 11 years ago

"Hostel" director ditching horror with new film

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eli Roth, the director of the relentlessly gruesome “Hostel” movies, is aiming for a family crowd with his next project.

Roth told reporters on Wednesday he is two weeks away from finishing a script for a science-fiction action film inspired by the mainstream hits “Cloverfield” and “Transformers.”

“This will be my first big-budget, PG-13, mass-destruction movie,” he said backstage at the music industry’s NME Awards in Los Angeles. “I went total chaos and pandemonium.”

He declined to detail the plot ahead of a “big announcement” next month.

Films rated PG-13 in the United States strongly caution parents that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. But they are easier to market than R-rated films, which require viewers under 17 to be accompanied by an adult.

“I feel like I pushed the violence in R movies about as far as I can push it. I feel like I’m bled out. I wanna switch it up,” said the 36-year-old protege of Quentin Tarantino.

“Everyone I know has been saying ‘When are you gonna do a movie my kids can see?’ And finally, I’m gonna make a movie that 13-year-old kids can see.”

Roth was in theaters last year with “Hostel: Part II,” the latest in a string of films belonging to the so-called “torture porn” genre. As with its 2005 predecessor, it revolved around hapless backpackers who are killed for sport by paying customers in Slovakia.

In the sequel, the tables are turned and one of the customers is castrated by his female victim. Critics were appalled and audiences did not exactly rush to see it. Still, it was profitable even before its DVD release, Roth said.

While the “Hostel” films and Roth’s equally violent 2002 feature debut “Cabin Fever” were set up at independent studio Lionsgate, he said he would shop the new project to “the big guns.”

Roth said his latest project meant he is not turning his back on violent movies and he expected to fulfill the needs of his bloodthirsty fans by shooting some gratuitous violence to include on an unrated version of the DVD.

Editing by John O'Callaghan

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