True? Not True? It’s a Gray Area
Update:So I saw a trailer for this on TV last night, and it seems they have pulled the “inspired by true events” tag off of the trailer. That made me curious, so I took a quick trip to the movie’s web site. Besides the slow load times for the site (troubles, guys?) they have removed the “Inspired by…” line from the site as well. There is no reference to the “true events” that used to permeate all the movie’s marketing collaterals. I looked at the Lion’s Gate Films’ site to see if they had issued a statement pulling the tag, but found nothing. Apparently the ridicule they received for basing this movie on a website the director saw once upon a time and calling it “true” was a bit much. If only the producers of Wolf Creek would fess up, the world would be back in synch.
The new Quentin Tarantino/Eli Roth production Hostel is billed, in its trailer, as being “inspired by true events”. Well, I am almost as interested in the world of true crime as I am in movies and politics.
I think it stems from growing up the son of my father. He was an FBI agent once upon a time before he went into private practice as a lawyer. He likes to study serial killers and actually once had a roommate that was arrested for killing a couple and sitting on the bank of a river fishing with bait cut from their bodies.
So I have always wondered what makes the sickest of the sick amongst us go gooey. The short answer is a head full of bad wiring, but there’s more…
Anyway, when I see something like this, or Wolf Creek I want to know the true story on which they were based.
Well, it seems in the case of Hostel to be a bunch of bullshit. From IMDB:
- The trailers bill the movie as “inspired by true events.” Director Eli Roth says that he found a Thai website that advertised itself as a “murder vacation,” offering users the chance to torture and kill someone for the price of $10,000. Roth later showed the site to Quentin Tarantino and the two developed the idea for the film. Tarantino and Roth said later on an Icelandic talk show that they have no idea if the website was real or not.
WTF? I mean, I’m used to people trying to sell shit stretching the truth about their product, but come on. This isn’t even remotely true. “I saw a website from Thailand that said you could do this so I’m billing my movie as ‘inspired by true events.'” What a joke.
Wolf Creek apparently shares the tendency to really stretch the “inspired by” concept. Based on the extreme lengths to which these movies go to make a tenuous claim on reality, it’s another sad day as Hollywood goes down the crapper to sell stale movies.
Based on the tangential relationship between a website that likely was a hoax and “true events” of torture and murder in an Eastern European youth hostel full of hot women wanting to get nasty, you could claim anything was “inspired by true events.” A character cries in your movie? That’s based on true events, regardless of the circumstances around the crying just because people have cried before. Someone dies in your film? From AIDS? From a gunshot? From being hit in the head by the propeller from a plane? It doesn’t matter! Those have all happened at some point.
Based on the ridiculous claims of Tarantino and McLean, Mars Attacks was based on true events because someone has driven a truck, tuned in a radio station or gambled in Vegas.
Hollywood, can we have just a little honesty in marketing.
I know. Who am I kidding?