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 Hostel Part2 (review)
Posted: Jul 10 2007, 02:04 PM

3K Guardian

Group: 3K Moderators
Posts: 1,763
Member No.: 4
Joined: 22-October 06

Quentin Tarantino lends his name as executive producer, though sadly little of his wit or verve, to Eli Roth's grisly sequel to his stomach-churning torture fantasy.
Hostel: Part II follows the entrails-slathered template of the first film, but with three girls as the potential victims.
The bloodletting is so graphic and gleefully sadistic, only audiences with cast-iron constitutions will be able to endure every slash and slice of the second film without looking away in repulsion.
There's nothing particularly scary in Roth's hellish creation - it's a valentine to the gross and the gory.
Brutality is meted out with a wolfish grin, and actors scream for their lives as the bad guys disembowel and dismember them before your eyes (if they aren't hidden behind your trembling hands).
What kind of degenerate mind dreams up this sick and twisted ode to pain, and peddles it as mass entertainment?
And more importantly, why would any sane person hand over their hard-earned cash to witness the senseless slaughter?
After a protracted prologue to despatch Paxton (Jay Hernandez), the sole survivor of the original Hostel, the follow-up moves to Europe where Beth (Lauren German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips) and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) are sampling the delights of Rome, including a painting course with nude models - cue the first of many gratuitous topless shots.
Boarding the late night train to Prague, the girls fear for their lives at the hands of rowdy fellow passengers, and are only too glad when artist's model Axelle (Vera Jordanova) befriends them and suggests a detour to the picturesque spas of Eastern Europe.
'Hot springs... that sounds so therapeutic. I want to go,' beams Lorna.
'It's easy, you only have to change trains in Prague,' explains Axelle encouragingly.
Checking into the surprisingly cheap Slovakian hostel from the first film, the girls are marked for death.
Photographs are scanned from their passports and posted to hundreds of clients worldwide, who bid against one another for the privilege to slay the American beauties - eBait, if you will.
Macho, alpha male businessman Todd (Richard Burgi) posts the highest bid and invites his best buddy Stuart (Roger Bart) along for the ride.
However, once the reality of the situation begins to sink in, Stuart gets cold feet.
'Stuart, this is not like going to a whorehouse. You can't just back out,' snarls Todd, fearful of the likely reprisals from Sasha (Milan Knazko), head of the nefarious Elite Hunting operation, and his statuesque assistant Inya (Zuzana Geislerova).
And so Stuart dons his waterproof overalls and prepares to take his pick from a vast array of knives, saws and other implements, before he enters one of the killing chambers.
'Any idea what you're gonna do in there?' Stuart asks his buddy.
'You don't wanna know,' replies Todd darkly...
Hostel: Part II boasts a much larger budget than its predecessor and production values are high, including Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger's horribly effective special make-up effects and suitably gloomy cinematography.
The torture sequences are excruciating. One victim becomes a dinner platter for his client (a cameo for cult Italian director Ruggero Deodato of Cannibal Holocaust infamy) while another poor traveller becomes the screaming, twitching faucet for a human blood bath, spraying gallons of fake claret onto their naked torturer below.
In a moment of rare restraint, the death of one character takes place off screen, shown on a CCTV screen and obscured at the vital moment by one of the Elite Hunting security team, but for the most part, Roth revels in the slow, agonising demises of his two-dimensional prey.
Beheading - by chainsaw or hefty axe - seems to be a personal favourite of the writer-director.
German, Phillips and Matarazzo have scant time to make us care about their unsuspecting tourists before there are squealing and sobbing for their pitiful lives, while Burgi and Bart's predators get what's coming to them.
And, alas, so do we: just over an hour and a half of relentless carnage.

Released: 29/06/2007
Certificate: 18
Runtime: 94mins

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