It was colder today, though still warmer than it should be. My wardrobe is limited; today I chose one of my favorite chill-weather shirts, a hoodie that was given to crew members after the filming of Hostel. I didn’t work on the film, my shirt comes via the largesse of others. I mentioned a couple of days ago that I didn’t think much of the movie, but whatever negative feelings I have for the flick are nothing compared to the hatred that many Slovaks have toward it. That nation does not come out looking very good in the movie. Not good at all.
Tonight I found myself at Pizzeria Roma, one of the best places to watch international hockey in this town, as long as you’re rooting for the Slovaks instead of the Czechs. I was sitting at my table, working on a screenplay of all things, when some of the regular Slovaks arrived. I recognized a couple of them, although I haven’t been there in a while. I was just finishing a read-through of the first draft of Revenge of Home Textiles when a local came to my table and sat across from me.
“You speak English?” he said, more from politeness than as an actual question. I closed my laptop and prepared for Conversation. “You made Hostel?” he asked. “No,” I said, “but my brother worked on it.” I gestured to the chair fuego had occupied some time before, although he had already left before this guy arrived.
“I do not think that was a good movie,” he said.
“I think it was a terrible movie,” I replied. “Horrible.”
We went back and forth like that for a while. “That movie… I was in America in 1997. Americans don’t even know where Europe is. When a movie like that makes Slovaks look so bad, and others…” he hesitated. “I don’t want to argue…”
“I think we agree,” I pointed out.
“Do you know Quentin Tarrontino?” he asked. “Maybe you could tell him what we think.”
I laughed. “No, I don’t know him.” (I don’t even know how to spell his name, it seems.) “He just put his name on the movie anyway. I’m not sure why because Hostel really sucks. The guy who made it was Eli Roth. I met him once and he seemed like an asshole, but I was not my best that night either.” In fact on the night in question I was far from my best. Eli probably thought I was an asshole as well, if he thought of me at all. There is at least one person at that party who thought I was an asshole. All that’s neither here nor there; I expect that all my Slovak interviewer heard was “guy who made it” and “asshole”. That was enough for this conversation.
“You could tell him…?”
“They don’t care what I think.” Emphasis on they. “I’m surprised the Czechs let them film the second one here.”
“There’s another one?”
I guess that movie’s not out yet. Word on the street is that it sucks less than the first one, but I doubt I’ll ever find out firsthand. I nodded grimly, kicking myself for being the one who brought that particular bit of news to Pizzeria Roma.
There wasn’t much for us to say after that; his attempt to lodge a protest with the powers that be in Hollywood had failed utterly. I mentioned that just two days ago I had written on the Internet that I didn’t like Hostel, and that seemed to satisfy him. He returned to his people to report on the outcome, and I went back to work.