Eli Roth and Cotton!

Cotton, from Eli Roth's production company, Arcade
Cotton, from Eli Roth's production company, Arcade

I love Eli Roth.  I love Eli Roth like I love lucha libre wrestling.  Even though he’s only done three movies, they sure are damn good (I’m sure someone will disagree!).  Cabin Fever totally caught me off guard, and I loved every minute of it’s craziness.  Hostel is a definitive moment in modern horror. Hostel II…not so much.  I loved the hell out of it, but being released in the middle of the summer season, and a DVD-quality leak showing up on line weeks earlier, led to a really poor box office performance.  Since then, other than a mock trailer for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse, Roth has been relatively quiet.  Sounds like he’s coming back in a big way though, with a major acting role in this summer’s Inglorious Basterds, and a slew up upcoming films under his production company, Arcade.  The most interesting of these projects?  One called Cotton…

COTTON concerns a troubled priest, disillusioned by years of defrauding poor believers. Roth elaborates: “Cotton Marcus is a preacher who’s been doing fake exorcisms all his life, and decided to make a documentary about himself to expose what he does to clear his conscience. He wants to come clean, show all the tricks of his trade and talk about why people need exorcisms—the psychological benefits—even though they’re faked. His dad did it before him and at 40 years old, he’s starting to feel guilty about cheating people out of money. ‘Yes, I’m a fraud, I did it for the cash and this documentary reveals how I did it.’

“Cotton has to choose a suitable subject out of the hundreds of letters he gets from panic-stricken people,” Roth continues. “There’s one from Oliver, a poor farmer in the Deep South, who wants him to exorcise his 14-year-old daughter Nell. Although he’s uncomfortable using children because of the possible psychological damage, Cotton is convinced Nell is the right subject when her father shows him a dead horse and tells him his daughter ripped the heart right out of it. Along with killing animals at night, Nell shows signs of abuse and is revealed to be pregnant. And so it gets worse and worse, weirder and weirder, until Cotton realizes Nell really is possessed by a demon. Then the freaky shit really starts, with chains and sex. I liked its edge and smart take on what faith is, what is real and what isn’t, its fresh approach to modern-day exorcisms.”

Check out the full (and quite lengthy) article at Fangoria!

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