Eli Roth is set to produce a History of Horror documentary series as part of the AMC Visionaries franchise. When it comes to actively working directors, there are few as closely associated with the horror genre as Roth. A dedicated horror fan in his own right, Roth burst onto the scene in 2002 with his debut feature Cabin Fever, the tale of a flesh-eating virus that infects a group of college friends vacationing in the titular cabin. Roth would then go on to direct two of the most notorious entries into the so-called “torture porn” subgenre, those being Hostel and its sequel Hostel: Part II.
Outside of his directing work, Roth has also contributed to the horror genre as a producer, executive producing the Netflix series Hemlock Grove. Roth also produced films like The Last Exorcism, Aftershock, and Clown. Non-horror fans are still likely to know Roth, via his memorable performance as Sgt. Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Next up on Roth’s agenda is writing and directing a remake of the 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish, featuring Bruce Willis taking over the lead role once played by Charles Bronson.
Considering his credibility both as a maker of horror films and as a fan within the horror community, it makes perfect sense that Roth would be tapped to produce a look at the history of the genre. EW reports that Roth is teaming up with AMC to create a limited run documentary series tentatively titled Eli Roth’s History of Horror, a 6-part look at the history of cinematic fright flicks. Roth offered the following statement concerning why he took on the project.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible series. For years, I’ve wanted to create a definitive ‘History of Horror,’ a living record of the genre with interviews from all the greats, old and new. Sadly, we lose more of these masters every year and with them go their stories and experiences. This show will serve as a record for future generations — fans and filmmakers alike — to enjoy. I could not be prouder to create this with AMC.”
Roth’s History of Horror will be presented as part of the new AMC Visionaries brand of shows, and will air on TV sometime in 2018. Other planned entries into the Visionaries franchise include a history of rap produced by acclaimed hip-hop group The Roots, a history of comic books produced by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and a history of sci-fi produced by superstar director James Cameron. Limited series chronicling the histories of video games, martial arts, and the internet are also in development.
It’s unknown as of yet which horror notables will join Roth to discuss the genre on AMC, but the man has many high-profile friends, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see people like Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez participate. Roth’s comment above about losing horror masters – a clear reference to the recent death of zombie godfather George A. Romero – also suggests that he’ll likely pursue involvement from aging genre legends like Dario Argento and John Carpenter as well.
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