Director Got the Commentary <I>Fever</I>10 Jan, 2004 By: Fred Topel
When Cabin Fever fans pop in the DVD of the indie horror movie, which streets Jan. 20 from Lions Gate Home Entertainment, they will hear a lot of director Eli Roth. Roth recorded seven commentary tracks for the film. Five are included on the disc: Roth alone; Roth and the guys (actors James DeBello, Joey Kern and Noah Belson); Roth and the girls (actresses Jordan Ladd and Cerina Vincent); Roth and the filmmakers (producer Lauren Moews, cinematographer Scott Kevan and Lions Gate representative Jason Constantine); and Roth and star Rider Strong.
A fan of commentaries, Roth just couldn't stop himself from talking.
“We just kept doing it,” Roth said. “I had a lot to say on the subject. I was one of the first laserdisc guys. I was really, really, really into commentary, starting in like ‘91.”
Though he's joined on four of the commentary tracks, Roth's participants said he still does most of the talking. Co-star Cerina Vincent said, “Eli's a blast. He's so high energy, so that was fun. I got some stuff in, but it doesn't matter because what he said is just so great anyway, and I agree with it.”
Roth said he acted as interviewer during the group commentaries. “There is inevitably some overlap, but I was careful to ask different questions to each person, so it's not just the same stories over and over.”
A documentary on the disc called Beneath the Skin was actually shot by Roth's own brother.
“My brother Gabe's a documentary filmmaker, and he was there shooting the whole time,” Roth said. “So he's got a really awesome half-hour documentary on behind the scenes, going through all aspects, showing us shooting a lot of the stuff.”
The DVD includes deleted scenes, but Roth doesn't feel any of them belonged in the finished film.
“A lot of the scenes that are deleted should have been deleted. There are no real major gore scenes that are missing,” he said. “There are going to be some extra treats though. There are going to be some things that people will never be expecting that'll be on there.”
Such extra treats include Easter eggs featuring adult film star Stephanie Swift and Playboy TV personality Janelle Perry; his short film The Rotten Fruit; and something Roth cryptically called “Chick Vision.”
“This Chick-Vision is a new feature never before seen on DVDs, and I think it will make us one of the landmarks in DVD technology,” he said.