Directed by Eli Roth ("Cabin
Written by Eli Roth.
Starring Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson and a
shitload of tits.
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 1/21/06
Even with the Quentin Tarantino name slapped
on the marketing campaign for the new horror film "Hostel" and an
unbelievable amount of breast shots featured within, the flick
scores almost no points for what normally makes a bloody slasher
flick fun for me and in the process makes the much-hyped film as bad
as any other run-of-the-mill kill flick out there.
"Hostel" does have a couple things going for
it, though--a couple of cool, nasty kills and just about the
strangest, nastiest eyeball extraction scene in memory. Oh,
and a couple of decent female chest shots amidst literally a hundred
gratuitous nude scenes.
Three guys--two Americans (Jay Hernandez and
Derek Richardson) and a vaguely Norwegian guy named Oli (Eythor
Gudjonsson)--are traveling through Europe club-hopping when they
meet a guy in Amsterdam that knows of this mystical, magical place
where damn near the hottest women in the world seem to all be having
threesomes and moresomes--Slovakia. Sold on about a dozen
digital stills from this wise man's camera, the three guys head off
to Slovakia, crash out at what seems like a small Slovakian town's
only hostel and proceed to get into a shitload of trouble after
meeting some more hot women at said hostel. Blood and
Eli Roth, who directed the so-so "Cabin
Fever" a few years ago, literally goes for the jugular during the
film's second half, as we are treated to a place where people seem
to keep going and from which they never return. Going out of
his way to give us sequences of innocent foreigners being killed off
by paying "customers" (people can pay a fee to do anything in this
world, I guess), Roth gives us people assaulted by blowtorch, weed
cutters, chainsaw, handgun and scalpel...thankfully, much of it is
done in shadowy darkness. But, the kills didn't effect me the
way they should have, I thought, because we never really get one
static bad guy or killer that necessarily hates these innocent
people. It's just a business, and that makes the kills very
one-note, very unsympathetic...part of me was saying "dumb
foreigners--this is what you get for taking a train to Slovakia to
get laid" while watching guys and gals get their toes cut off.
There is no star power, there are no great
performances, even though one of the paying customers we meet near
the end really does seem to go for broke in expressing his passion
for spending $25,000 on killing somebody he doesn't know; there are
a couple of funny moments as the guys tour Amsterdam, but otherwise,
there's nothing funny about this business until the end, when one of
the guys gets wise to what's going on and proceeds to go after the
people that set him up in the first place. But, that's really
it--it's a soulless slasher, one that doesn't meet the hype and
never really scares you, unless you get it in your mind that getting
stuck in a quasi-prison in the middle of nowhere really IS a
But if you like nudity, especially
gratuitous breast shots, "Hostel" might be for you. Might.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard