Scott Spiegel, the co-writer of Evil Dead II and the director of Intruder and From Dusk Till Dawn 2, is back in the directors chair, spreading the red in his accustomed over-the-top fashion in Hostel: Part III, the direct-to-DVD sequel hitting December 27.
In this chapter, the mayhem is relocated to Las Vegas where a bachelor party goes terribly awry and, naturally, the Elite Hunting Club is responsible. Shock spoke to Spiegel about picking up the franchise where Eli Roth left off.
How much of the story/script was in place before you were brought on board?
The basic concept was there. Michael Weiss wrote a draft that was revised by John Fasano. I read that and really liked it. I had my own bag of tricks and worked closely with Chris Briggs, the producer of this film and the first two Hostel movies. We worked closely to bring the script to our budget level of $3 million and a 20-day shooting schedule with no second unit. [laughs] Its an ambitious project and I think, in some ways, its more ambitious than the first two films because we blow up stuff. It was a big challenge, but luckily we had a really solid foundation with the script. I tweaked some sequences because I was loving the misdirection of the story. Hostel meets The Hangover. I liked that. I liked the relocation to Vegas and the betting on the tortures that take place. Youll notice the style is a bit different. It veers away from the gritty, grimy European feel to the crisp and clean style of Vegas. Almost clinical in some respects. Its a different locale, but the same torture!
The Hostel films were released during a particular horror movement that embraced the extreme. Now, the genre is moving into other waters. Was there a concern a third film would feel out of its time?
Thats a good question. That is a big part of the consideration. Where is torture porn and where is the genre now? The Saw franchise is ended for now. What are you going to do? I think what was important was having a strong script with twists and turns. We shot a lot of gore and I was thinking maybe Sony would come down on us and trim it, but they didnt. I should have shot more. But it was all about staying within the shooting parameters, making the best decisions, working from a great script with a strong cast. By the time we went into shooting, we didnt really think about whether torture porn was relevant. What mattered were characters you cared about. Mind you, I love movies where the audience cheers when a head explodes, but its nice this film has a cool story and is funny in its own world. I hope Eli is happy with this film, I really do.
Has Sony hinted at a fourth film at all?
Not at this point, I dont. I am getting some nice feedback that Sony is getting some fairly decent reviews. I dont know. I would certainly jump right on board a sequel. If the movie is successful enough on some level, Id be game for a fourth one.
Theres one particular torturer credited as “Japanese Cyber Punk” how did she come about because I liked the design of her outfit?
Originally, in the script, her name was Big Tina and she weighed 400 pounds and came in and did stuff like a Flashdance bit with a bottle of water and I was like, whoa, I dont want to see that. [laughs] A killer is what she is, so we changed it up and went with this actress Alicia Vela-Bailey and our costume designer, Roger Forker, found it and the mask came first and then Roger just pulled it all together with this leather suit, he was the man. Decisions like that just flew because I had no time. In one night, we did the cockroach scene and then the crossbow scene and Im like, oh my God, dude. This is a lot to do! I wish I had more of that character youre talking about though.
Are they keeping you in the loop on The Evil Dead remake? Whats up next for you?
I just hear from other people and everything. Im reading other scripts. John Fasano, who did revisions on Hostel 3, he co-wrote this script called Dodge which is the Young Guns version of Tombstone. Its a great script. I would love to do that. Im mostly reading horror right now, but well see what the response is to Hostel 3.