I did say with our last Face-Off
that Rob Zombie always brings out the opinions... and ya didn't disappoint. Although it seemed that the majority of you agreed with me that Devil's Rejects deserved to take top honors over House of 1000 Corpses, some nice respect was still thrown House's way on account of its zany over-the-top horror. I enjoyed reading through everyone's comments, so keep 'em coming!
Today's Face-Off takes its cue from another fine horror filmmaker, Mr. Eli Roth, whose new series Henlock Grove just went up over at Netflix. It's time to take a trip to torture porn town and see which dream vacation Roth did best as we put HOSTEL up against HOSTEL PART II.
It takes some time before the bodies start to hit the floor here, however once those sharp instruments go a-stabbin' we get some nice instances of death! There are some nasty throat slashings, a gushing mishap with a chainsaw, and several others involving vehicles of transportation. Though, the object of Hostel is for people to die, we aren't actually treated to a huge number of actual kill scenes.
Engaging the typical rule of horror sequels, Hostel Part II ups the kill scenes nicely. I've always thought this sequel had balls and killing off Paxton of Part I in the beginning provided some nice shock. From there, we got a beheading, a death by ravenous dogs, an absolutely gloriously horrific kill by blood-letting, and one more beheading that leads to a hilariously sick soccer match!
Jay Hernandez does a fantastic job as "Paxton", the cool and fun-loving, yet sympathetic lead. He goes through hell when captured, however upon discovering the slightest glimpse of escape, capitalizes on it brilliantly. Once free, he basically becomes "the man" and had me gleefully cheering him on as he heroically decides to GO BACK into the Hostel of Hell upon hearing a young girl screaming for her life. His bad-ass awesomeness continues as he violently evens the score with all those that made him and his friends end up in the hands of Elite Hunting.
Lauren German's "Beth" is a tad less developed when compared to "Paxton", but still brings her A-game in terms of a strong, but caring lead. Her true amazingness shines through in the final scenes of the flick where she has her back up against the wall. Her ingenuity and resourcefulness really heighten her appeal considering how she handles her negotiations for freedom. Let me just gently touch on the issue of her escape: she chops her captor's dick off. Oh, and she also chops the head off the bitch that f-ed her over in the first place. But all this happens in the last 5 minutes.
The bad guy hunter that kills Paxton's friend, Josh, gets a nicely fair demise courtesy of the Pax-meister: two cut-off fingers and a harshly slit throat in the toilet. To me though, the coolest comeuppance comes when the two dirty bitches that seduced and then f*cked over Paxton and Josh are both brutally run over by the P-man himself. Bonus point for running them over a second time just to make sure.
Castration. That's all I mother-f*cking have to say. Castration. The little douchey guy that finally decides he wants to kill the woman that reminds him of his wife has the tables smartly turned on him by Ms. Lauren German. Dude ends up with his johnson between a pair of sheers and any fan of this series can clearly comprehend that this is going to end painfully. Extra high five to Ms. German for throwing the amputated sausage to the dogs as she walks out.
The first half of Hostel is essentially a college kid sex comedy. Three bumbling dudes looking to live it up in the Slovakian red light district. That foreign dude, Óli, constantly deeming himself the "kind of swing" never gets old. And Rick Hoffman's brief, but inspired bit as the "American client" who is overly pumped to get his first taste of Elite Hunting is ideal for a chuckle. Even the violent "bubblegum kids" elicit morbid chuckles.
The trio of chicas that Part II centers on also brings about some nice laughs in the beginning. Although, their jolts of humor don't quite reach the depraved depths of their Part I male counterparts. Still, the interaction between Roger Bart and Richard Burgi that offered an inside view of what some of Elite Hunting's clients go through had its fair share of humorous moments. And, yeah, Lauren German throwing the dick to the dog made me laugh.
Eye-carumba! I still remember scrunching way back in my movie theater seat the first time I watched Paxton rescue that poor, tortured Asian girl only to realize that her eyeball had been burned out of its socked... and was dangling before her cheek by its last nerve strand. Yeah, that was f*cking gross, but then Paxton has to slowly, surgically snip the little bugger off. And after he does so, this milky puss oozes out from the incision. AAAHHHHHH!!!!
Speaking as a guy, I have to say that any type of harsh violence directed towards the genital region is always the worst thing one could sit through. And I do remember crossing my legs hard while watching Lauren German hold that sharp set of sheers around poor Roger Bart's peesh. However, the amount of violence actually shown as well as the aftermath does not compare to what went down with Part I.
Well, hey, the original won. I know it's tough for a sequel to out-do its original and I also know that many horror fans have disdain for Part II, however I just don't see it. To me, both these flicks complement each other nicely. I loved Hostel and if a sequel had to be made, I'm very satisfied with what Eli Roth concocted for Part II. I just don't get where all the hate for the sequel stemmed from. And I'm only saying this in anticipation of any comments that come stating how Part I should obviously be the winner. So, now that your juices have been stirred, go forth and spit them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org