Monday, October 18, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 18: Hostels

October is going to be all horror, all the time (unless we’re hanging out with Lil’ Troublemaker; but even then we’ll watch kid-friendly Halloween stuff) and I’m going to give you mini-reviews of every movie I watch rather than churn out more lazy (notice I said “more” – that doesn’t mean I won’t keep re-posting old ones) Top Ten lists.
Here’s Eli Roth’s disgusta-fests, Hostel and Hostel Part 2:

I personally score Roth’s Hostel movies as being above the so-called “torture porn” genre. I think both movies have strong enough stories and characters that they can’t be dismissed as part of that Hollywood fad. At the same time, they are certainly guilty of prolonging the trend. I’m not sure we’d be up to a seventh (!) SAW movie without them.
Hostel centers around three stereotypical American pre-college males who are backpacking around Europe. I like this setup because I have always thought it was extremely stupid to go backpacking around a foreign country. You’re just asking for some German weirdo to rip your taint off.
The arrogant, horny Americans are played by Jay Hernandez and two other guys. You should be able to guess right now who the best actor in the movie is. If you said Takashi Miike, you’re right! Your copy of Chuck Palahniuk’s stellar novel PYGMY is in the mail!
Seriously, though, Hernandez is good in this. He is a complete prick for the first part of the movie, making it apparent that he’s going to get it first and worst once the crazy foreigners start tearing into our boys. And that’s what’s cool – he ends up being the hero.
The three kids end up locked out of the place they’re staying and some Eastern European shit-weasel named Yuri or Bolvi or something takes them to the titular Hostel. Yuri is awesome because he has the greatest horror movie catchphrase since “Groovy”: When asked a question, his positive confirmation is, “Of course, my horse!” which is just the kind of weird European shit his character should say. And he says it a lot.
So the guys check into the Hostel and hook up with some whores who drug them and sell them to European torture perverts, which are in plentiful supply in Eastern Europe. The torture perverts in turn sell the foreign acquisitions to rich people who do all sorts of fucked up shit to them and I believe that Hostel might as well be a documentary at this point. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this type of shit is going on right now as you are reading this and that is why Hostel will bum you the fuck out.
The pussy kid that you think is going to live through the whole ordeal – because that’s how Hollywood rolls – kicks it first when some thick-lipped German freak drills him (literally) and slices his Achilles’ tendons and all sorts of other horrible shit.
Hernandez and the remaining American hit up Yuri to help find their missing pussy friend with no luck and eventually – surprise! – buddy #2 disappears as well.
Our hero is eventually stupid enough to get some whore to take him to where his friends are, and this is where the best part of the movie takes place.
Esteemed and bugfuck insane Japanese director Takashi Miike makes a cameo in the movie as he exits the place where the rich sickos buy victims from the torture perverts. After a brief exchange with Hernandez, he gets in a car and leaves. Beautiful!
Hernandez follows the whore into the torture facility and she tells him what a stupid fuck he is for following her into a torture facility. Then a giant Eastern European torture pervert conks him on the head and drags him away.
He wakes up tied to a chair and a different thick-lipped European sicko cuts parts (most notably his fingers) off until he (the sicko) trips and butchers himself with the chainsaw. Hernandez uses this opportunity to fall over. Then he grabs a gun and blows the fucker’s head off.
A bunch of really sick gallows humor follows, then Hernandez makes it to a car. BUT – he hears a chick crying and just can’t bring himself to leave. Stupid fuck. Hasn’t he learned about the women here yet?
Hernandez returns to the torture facility and finds an Asian chick strapped to a chair and Takashi Miike directing a scene, which is really weird, because didn’t he leave like twenty minutes ago? Maybe he just needed some take out.
Hernandez dispatches the jerkweed torturing the Asian chick and then cuts her eyeball off. Seriously. You’ll notice I said “off” and not “out” and there’s a reason for that that – trust me – you don’t even want to know.
They escape, the chick catches sight of her mutilated face, jumps in front of a train and spatters a bunch of Europeans with blood. Don’t feel bad for them – they were probably all in on it anyway.
The final scene is awesome and I don’t want to ruin it for you. Let’s just say it isn’t the typical pussy ending you would expect out of Hollywood. It ain’t The Mist, but it’s pretty fucking good.
Hostel Part 2 is about female versions of the stupid American dudes from the first one, but it is also about the rich sickos who torture people.
On the victims side, there is a girl who would most politely be described as homely, a hot girl (who I just realized is none other than It’s Alive’s Bijou Phillips!) and a Medium Girl.
On the torturers side we have two middle-aged well-to-do guys, one of whom is sporting 24-7 wood about torturing some hot, young kids. The other one doesn’t seem quite as sold on it. He kind of looks like the guy who played the dad on My So Called Life, which makes this whole thing even creepier.
The movie actually starts about a month or so after Hostel ended. Jay Hernandez is hiding out in his girlfriend’s cabin and pretty much realizes just how fucked he is. I mean, he didn’t escape from a bunch of bums – he escaped from an organization that caters to the wealthiest people on the fucking planet. He wakes up from a nightmare about the Hostel Torture Perverts killing him only to have the Hostel Torture Perverts find him and kill him. Kind of a rad opening, if you ask me.
After Hernandez’ head is presented to the CEO of Torture Perverts, Inc we are introduced to our protagonists for this jolly outing. The girls are art students who get talked into visiting a super-duper awesome European tourist attraction by some whore.
Things get right up in your face from the start when the girls encounter creepy Eurotrash dudes on a train. You’re pretty sure something awful is going to happen, but the girls just end up yelling at them. Also, some weird bum steals Homely’s iPod. This seems to upset her more than it should. I mean, I would be pretty bummed if someone stole my MP3 player, but she’s really freaking out.
When the girls arrive at the Evil Hostel of Kidnapping, you’ll be pleased to see that the same creepy clerk from the original is waiting for them, as well as some creepy Euro trash that happens to be watching Pulp Fiction on their diminutive (but probably quite upscale for Eastern Europe) 13” television. This is worth noting because Quentin Tarantino was a producer on both Hostels. Creepy clerk guy uploads the pictures from the girls’ passports to some auction site where rich creeps from all over the world can bid on the opportunity to torture them. As unnerving as this is, it is also quite fascinating to see the other side of the process. Entrepreneurs take notes! This is how you run a successful business!
After the girls settle in to their luxurious accommodations (by which I mean there are no dead rats just laying out where you can see them) they go to some shitty local festival with the Euro Whore. Naturally they start drinking and Homely – being naïve and desperate; just like all girls who don’t happen to be Jessica Biel – goes off on a boat ride with a guy who looks like a creepy European version of Kubiak from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. If you’re shocked by the fact that this leads to her being 1) kidnapped, 2) stripped nude and hung upside down over a giant bath tub with like, a billion candles around it, 3) sliced up with a scythe and then used as a human shower head by a crazy (!) naked European lady; well you just don’t know your horror movies, pal.
Some of you may be confused by the above terminology. Let me explain:
Nude – (nood) – in the state of having no clothes on; ungarmented
Naked – (nay;ked) - in the state of having no clothes on and up to something; i.e. – slicing up American tourists
You just got learned!
So Homely is out of the picture, but we did learn something from her experience: titties look strange and ugly upside-down.
While Homely was getting kidnapped, Medium Girl was doing one of those things that make black girls yell at the screen in the theater: she’s having a conversation with the reluctant-to-torture-people American guy. I get it. Kind of makes me want to yell at the screen, too.
The next day, Homely’s friends are so distressed by her disappearance that they decide to visit an exotic day spa with the largest pool ever. Hot girl gets kidnapped here. After a weird and totally-out-of-place lesbianish scene with Euro whore they go after Medium Girl, too; but she is crafty and agile and gets away. Sort of. She runs off into some woods and gets assaulted by this gang of little kids from the first movie that I totally forgot to mention. Euro Whore shows up to save the day with some Udo Kier wannabe (the aforementioned CEO of Torture Perverts, Inc.) who shoots one of the little kids in the face for being on his lawn. I don’t blame him – judging from their role in both movies, those little fuckers are everywhere.
Meanwhile, Hot Girl wakes up tied to a chair in front of a table and mirror like the one from Showgirls. Once she has had just enough time to realize she should definitely be freaking the fuck out, the Creepiest Person in the World (I do not know if it is a man or a woman and it doesn’t matter) shows up and starts putting makeup on her face. I love the fact that Hot Girl’s reaction is to almost immediately bite the Creepiest Person in the World’s nose right off (so creepy I couldn't even find a picture of their face!). There is a minimum of begging or struggling – she just leans in and, “CHOMP!”.
Hot Girl manages to get out of the chair and takes off out of the room, but the Torture Perverts learned a lesson after the last movie and beefed up their security with man-eating monster dogs. They chase Hot Girl down and she is brought to another room, where the American guy who was really into all this shit accidentally rips half of her scalp off with a circular saw. Once he actually sees for-real carnage, he decides this whole thing isn’t so cool after all and tries to bail, only to get torn to shreds by the man-eating dogs.
Now back to Medium Girl.
She’s in the CEO’s palatial manor and has no fucking clue how much deep shit she’s in at the moment. Something Euro Whore does tips her off and she tries to escape, only to end up tied up to a chair in the House of Torture with not-as-into-it American guy leering at her over a chainsaw or something.
In a twist worthy of M. Night Shamalama, now that we know the guy that appeared to be more into torture really wasn’t; it turns out that the reluctant guy is way into it and is also kind of fucking nuts.
Since Hot Girl’s first torturer got all fucked up, the Torture Perverts staff is desperately trying to find somebody to buy her. They’re offering her up for a bargain price, which is kind of awful but totally hilarious. Reluctant guy buys her and leaves Medium Girl long enough to go cut Hot Girl’s head off.
When he gets back, there is a crazy scene where he thinks Medium Girl is his wife, so she tricks him into trying to dry-hump her. This of course, leads to him being tied up in the chair and having his dick ripped off and fed to dogs.
I don’t want to give you the details of how Medium Girl made that happen, or of the awesome soccer game at the end of the movie.
So, in closing, I really like both of these movies. They’re not for everybody, but they should definitely be shown to anybody who plans on visiting a foreign country. I’ve been to Europe and shit is exactly like this.

Until tomorrow, stay creepy
-Phantom





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