Watch: Thanksgiving director Eli Roth shares his Bake Off fears
Eli Roth has murdered teens, beheaded backpackers, and stabbed students, yet the director behind such horrible treats as Cabin Fever, Hostel, and the upcoming flick Thanksgiving (in cinemas Friday) has another surprising set of victims on his kill list: bakers.
“I'd love to do a horror movie about The Great British Baking Show,” the American filmmaker tells Yahoo UK (referring to what we call Bake Off over here).
“To me, that’s the scariest, most tense show to watch. When they're racing to make time and their things are under proved and Paul Hollywood is glaring at them and Prue bites it and the pie collapses, it's the most tense thing in the world for me.
“When people are watching horror movies and get freaked out, I sit there and I watch The Great British Bake Show and I'm absolutely cringing under my chair watching it.”
And what would a Bake Off horror movie look like? Yahoo suggests that judge Paul Hollywood’s eyes could play a part.
“Just laser piercing, cutting people in half, cutting their heads off,” Roth eagerly adds.
Before that terrifying, half-baked feature idea inevitably comes to the big screen, Roth’s next release is Thanksgiving, a slasher set around the American holiday. The film focuses on a killer, using the alias John Carver, who sets about murdering a group of teens previously involved in a deadly Black Friday riot.
Thanksgiving was first put to celluloid back in 2007, when the director made a fake trailer for Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s divisive double-feature that paid homage to ‘70s exploitation films.
Tarantino was a vocal supporter of Roth’s work, not only casting him in a minor role in his half of Grindhouse, Death Proof, but also calling Roth the “future of horror”. At the time, much of Roth’s work had been dismissed as “torture porn” in the same vein as Saw. Since then, the horror landscape – and the public’s perception of horror – has drastically changed.
“I haven't heard [that term recently], I don't think those types of movies are being made, or they were sort of done to death, it's very out of fashion,” he says now.
“But [that term] just says more about the critic than it does about the movie. It's just a way of ghettoising and dismissing the films.
“Fifteen years later and people are talking about the films like they’re classics. Kids that are 20 years old, that were four years old when they came out, they don't know that term. They just love them. People are telling me that Grindhouse and Hostel were the most influential horror films of the ‘00s, they don't think of it like torture or any of that.
"They're just movies that they love. The only critic that matters is time.”
The only critic that matters is time.Eli Roth
A large part of that changing perception has also come thanks to how television has developed in the years since Hostel first reached cinemas in 2005.
Watch: Eli Roth looks back at being labelled 'torture porn'
“Just look at what’s on television,” he says. “There wasn't hard TV at that time. You can look at Last of Us, Game of Thrones. There's so much gore. Anything on Netflix, any of the horror series, Fall of the House of Usher, people are getting that at home, it's not shocking anymore.
"You have to be creative. You have to come up with great new ideas. Everybody's seen everyone eviscerated, every body part’s been chopped up.
“What's creative is [like in Thanksgiving] doing it with corn holders. It's doing it in a new way that people haven't seen before. It's coming up with something where you go, ‘That is sick because I didn't even know that someone could think of that.’”
It sounds like, if Roth gets his wish, it won’t be just the bakers getting creative in the Bake Off tent…
Thanksgiving is in cinemas from 17 November.
Read more: Horror
Watch a trailer for Thanksgiving