april-18.jpgThe newest master of horror, Eli Roth, was born on this day in Newton, MA in 1972. Before moving to New York and graduating from New York University’s Tisch film program, Roth utilized his time by traveling abroad to Russia and Iceland. While working on a farm in Iceland, Roth contracted an infection that left behind little flesh on his face. Or so the story goes. The experience is what led to the inspiration for his first feature, Cabin Fever, released in 2002. Perhaps it was also during that time he found inspiration for his terror-filled second outing, Hostel, which has formed many a second thought in the minds of young, independent American tourists. In front of the camera Roth has appeared in The Mirror Has Two Faces, Lloyd Kaufman’s Terror Firmer and his own first two films. This month the moviemaker contributed a faux trailer to the Tarantino/Rodriguez thriller Grindhouse (and has a bit role in Tarantino’s “Death Proof” segment).

Factoid: As a production assistant on the 1997 movie, Private Parts, Eli Roth had the responsibility of being Howard Stern’s alarm clock. During those sleepless nights the writer-director penned the script for his first feature, Cabin Fever. What cost his friends and acquaintances $1.5 million in investments won big at the Toronto Film Festival in 2002, selling to Lionsgate for $3.5 million. It eventually went on to become the studio’s biggest hit of the year, earning well over $30 million.