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Hostel Part II (Unrated)
DVD disk
10.26.2007 By: Jason Adams
Hostel Part II (Unrated) order
Director:
Eli Roth

Actors:
Laura German
Bijou Phillips
Heather Matarazzo

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of girls go backpacking through Eastern Europe and end up at a very familiar boarding house.

Things will probably not end well for them.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Based on his interviews and commentaries, Eli Roth seems like a cool guy and an obvious superfan of the horror genre. That being said, while I wouldn’t mind hanging out with the dude, I have still yet to completely enjoy one of his movies (unless you count the trailer for THANKSGIVING). CABIN FEVER was fun, but overhyped; same with the first HOSTEL. And sadly the sequel doesn’t do much to change my mind.

Roth tries to inject some needed freshness in to HOSTEL PART II by showing us more of the “business” side of things, but it’s still pretty much a remake of the first movie complete with estrogen. The killer corporation seems realistic and scarily plausible in today’s world, but dividing up the time between the two clients and the three girls hurts both stories. It’s definitely not easy seeing any of the females get tortured, but that’s more due to human decency and not that I cared about any of their characters. Likewise, when the businessmen have giant character shifts at one point in the movie, Roth obviously expects you to be floored, but my reaction was more along the lines of “Oh. Okay, I guess.”

However, if you love mindless gore, you might still enjoy HOSTEL PART II. Roth really ups the ante in terms of bloodshed in the second installment; the kills are well-executed and the work by Greg Nicotero and the dudes at KNB Effects is bloody great. It does kinda feel like Roth is working too hard to top himself though. By the time a group of Slovakian kids began playing soccer with a human head I realized that a lot of this was borderline silly. Don’t get me wrong. I hate wussy PG-13 horror as much as the next guy, but this is the antithesis of that trend; R-rated for the sake of being R-rated. This kind of movie has been around forever (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST director Ruggero Deodato actually has a fitting cameo here), but I think I’ve just outgrown any real interest in gore for the sake of gore. If I was still in middle school, this would be my favorite movie after FACES OF DEATH.

I can’t help but think of something like David Slade’s HARD CANDY. All the horrible (and similar) violence is intelligently implied, which makes it a longer lasting, more psychological kind of fear that I think is more effective. Sure, I might instinctively wince if you show me somebody getting brutally disemboweled, but will I be scared? Not really. In that regard, HOSTEL PART II rides the fine line between horror and mainstream snuff. Nothing wrong with that, but personally it just doesn’t do much for me.
THE EXTRAS
Even though HOSTEL PART II didn’t set fire to the box office, they still packed a bunch of fun material on this single disc.

Commentary by Eli Roth: The first thing Roth does is explain why there are so many commentaries on this disc. His reasoning—if you own a movie you should revisit it from time to time, and each commentary can provide a new experience ten years down the road. (He even gives a shout out to internet DVD reviewers who have to listen to them all at once.) Aside from that, Roth is very honest and open about his movies, decisions and Hollywood in general. Overall, it’s a fun listen, except for the occasional out-of-place rants about how HOSTEL PART II is about the Bush administration, Iraq and Hurricane Katrina.

Producer commentary by Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino and Gabe Roth: This should be called the fanboy commentary, since all three spend a lot of time gushing about all their favorite horror movies and directors. If you’re a fan of the genre and can keep up with all their references, this is tailor-made for you. There’s also no shortage of ass kissing (i.e. when Tarantino compares the Roth brothers to the Coppolas).

Actors commentary by Eli Roth and actors Richard Burgi, Lauren German and Vera Jordanova: Being the third track, this surprisingly doesn’t feel repetitive. It’s entertaining overall, and everyone’s reaction to the castration scene is humorous.

Hostel Part II: The Next Level (26:26): This fun documentary offers a look behind the scenes of the entire production and highlights the lighthearted mood onset. Surprisingly funny and enjoyable, despite the graphic context.

Deleted Scenes: Ten scenes, each with a written intro from Roth. All I will say is that the one called “Rape Shower” is not as promising as it sounds.

The Art of KNB Effects (6:01): If you’re in to blood and guts, or more accurately, how to spill some blood and guts on film, you’ll get a rise out of this revealing featurette. Does anyone else think it’s fitting they refer to each gore set piece as a “gag”?

Production Design (6:42): A look at some of the set design, including the train (done all on a soundstage) and the Harvest Parade.

Hostel Part II: A Legacy of Torture (23:43): Eli Roth discusses HOSTEL’s place within the horror genre and then you get a quick lesson in the history of torture, including a very cool tour of the torture museum in Tuscany. I’ve been there and I highly recommended visiting it if you have a strong stomach.

The Treatment: Radio Interview with Eli Roth: This is a decent interview (I was surprised when Roth started by talking about Hurricane Katrina and its impact), but my DVD player wouldn’t let me fast forward or jump ahead, which was mildly annoying.

Blood and Guts Gag Reel (3:30): These are fun and it adds an air of lightness to the gruesome violence. Bonus: Several outtakes from the “member” scene.

Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Gorehounds will surely get a kick and a stab out of HOSTEL PART II, but anyone who expects a little more from their “horror” movies will probably be left disappointed. If you’re in the former category, the extras on this DVD will probably satisfy your cravings.

Extra Tidbit: I got through the entire review and didn’t mention the term “torture porn” once! Somebody give me a cookie.
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