Eli Roth Talks Faux ‘Thanksgiving’ Trailer!

On the weekend of April 6, when Dimension Films releases Grindhouse, you only think you’re going to be discussing which was better, Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” or Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror”. The fact of the matter is that you’re going to be talking about Eli Roth’s faux trailer, “Thanksgiving”, which is certainly the highlight of the moviegoer event. This past weekend we caught up with Roth who talked to us about the trailer, the dreaded MPAA and more. Read on for the interview, along with a still from production!
When you see GRINDHOUSE one of the most infamous shots in the movie is from Eli Roth’s trailer THANKSGIVING, which involves a cheerleader and a knife – here’s how the MPAA reacted, “So we showed it to the ratings board, and it was funny that that trailer wound up getting more comments than Death Proof and Planet Terror combined,” Roth explains, “But in the end the ratings board were great. We said. `Look we still want to have the moment, so I was like what if I scratch the film, literally take out the full frontal nudity?’ Just kind of scratch it and use clever editing so that it actually isn’t there but it’s cut together with trick photography, and they were great about it. And they even let me keep the turkey sex.

He then joked a little about the soon-to-be infamous shot, “Honestly, when I shot that trailer I really thought there was no problem with anything, it just shows how genuinely out of touch I am,” Roth explains, “A girl, full frontal, shot to camera, landing on a knife… seemed like no problem to me! Its an exploitation movie, it’s my JOB to exploit! If I don’t exploit this girl I have FAILED as a grindhouse director! These guys are expecting a lot from me!

But of course the big question is, will Roth ever turn THANKSGIVING into a feature film, much like MACHETE? Here’s what he had to say, “Here’s part of the problem, I had so much fun shooting that trailer; it’s kind of all I want to do now. It’s a trailer is just money shot after money shot! Normally I have to write the story and the subtext and make excuses for all of it… But this is pure unadulterated, gratuitous sex and violence! I felt like a 13 year old kid again when we were shooting it.”

As for as Roth’s favorite “holiday horror” film, he tells us, “When I was growing up, there was Halloween, Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, New Years Evil, and I was like: When’s the Thanksgiving one coming out? And especially growing up in Massachusetts, where we have two full time working pilgrim plantations. So that was a big deal, Thanksgiving in Massachusetts. I’ve always been dying for one. But I love My Bloody Valentine. When we shot this trailer, the style I was going for was like Prowler, Mother’s Day, Maniac, and Silent Night Deadly Night.”

See Eli Roth’s THANKSGIVING trailer in GRINDHOUSE April 6

-Brian Collins