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The F*cking Black Sheep: Hostel: Part II (2007)

Apr. 25, 2013by: Ryan Doom

THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!

Hostel: Part II (2007)
Directed by Eli Roth

“Hostel: Part II didn't get the love or the respect that it deserved.”

Like all film genres, horror has always had quite a few subgenres. Some last, some don’t. I think it’s a safe bet that perhaps the most controversial of all horror subgenres – torture porn – had its moment in time. Kinda like Grunge. Or jean shorts. But everything comes back in style.

Unlike splatter films, torture porn is defined by lingering on the death of the sucker, the "enjoyment" of watching them suffer in a near fetish way giving it oddball sexual overtones even if sex ain't a part of it. When Jason or Michael Myers kills, its brutal but the story doesn't center around just him killing. Here, memorable, not even likable characters rarely exist. Hell, just the name “torture porn” makes soccer moms cry because even the damn term sounds sadistic as hell. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If it isn’t your thing, good, move on because good horror is good horror no matter what label is attached to it. Sickly entertaining horror pushes boundaries so far that everyone should feel its mighty bitch slap. With that said, Eli Roth made a hellva splash with Cabin Fever and Hostel, but was the third time the charm with his sequel to Hostel?

Hostel: Part II didn't get the love or the respect that it deserved. Why? Perhaps it was overshadowed by the Saw franchise, which released a new flick every...single...year and defined this new incarnation of splatter. Perhaps Hostel’s lack of not having a marketable or memorable killer limited the franchise. Perhaps people just didn’t get the thing. After all, the movie is beyond brutal, with all sorts of horrendous death and despair (along with lots and lots of hot nude women). But that's sorta the point, right? If that's the point, then you gotta just roll with it as writer/director Roth pushes the acceptable/ethical taste so far that it's impossible not to laugh at the thing. And I'm pretty sure we’re supposed to laugh. Roth's violence is so over-the-top that its damn near stupid. Just when it seems like it's too much, it pushes it into absudity. It seems that producer Quentin Tarantino gave his some good notes.

What I dig about Hostel: Part II is that Roth doesn’t attempt to recreate the mystery of what’s happening. There's no mystery left after the first film. Roth smartly tied the Jay Hernandez character from Part I to give some sort of connection/conclusion (he loses his head within five minutes), but his character doesn't really matter. Without the mystery of who killed off tourists, this film becomes all about the kill, which means Roth avoids sticking to a formula. While there’s pounds of horrifying action, Roth makes sure that no one takes it all too serious.

For Part II we’re given a new batch of victims, the three girls who went out for a Euro vacation, all who are doomed for kidnapping by Euro thugs. But this time Roth has more fun with the “clients”, those who entered into contracts for the experience to kill. It does annoy me that the Hostel films lack a definable villain, but I love the bad dudes in this movie, the two American dopes. One is your typical, jockish asshole who continually amped while the other acts like the moral center. Well, as moral as someone can get who went on a paid slaughter. However, that change is enough to give the film a little drama beyond the victims since we don't care as much because the surprise is gone. If anything, I think the movie would have been more effective and more compelling if the American killers would have been the main characters. That would have been a different movie obviously, but interesting all the same.

Now, since this is a pornographic torture movie, it seems right to name the best sequences. Best (near) kill? The asshole American client having a good time by taunting his victim when he accidentally hits his victim with a handsaw. It’s messed up, but funny. Most painful kill? I’ll just say a dude loses his manhood by a pair of snips. Worst...thing...ever...to...see.

GET HOSTEL: PART II DVD HERE

GET HOSTEL: PART II BLU RAY HERE

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11:57AM on 04/27/2013
Lauren German at her finest, she also looked great with black hair.
Lauren German at her finest, she also looked great with black hair.
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10:01PM on 04/25/2013

I thought Part II was the superior entry.

I loved the second Hostel film back when it was released. I thought it took a very interesting approach. Maybe it's been a standard in horror for decades, but I loved how in this entry, they focused a lot on the organization and how these victims are chosen and bid on. It was great to see that vision fully realized, and it was just... satisfying to see all of that happening.

I also appreciated that despite having an all-female main victim cast, they didn't resort to rape. It is such a
I loved the second Hostel film back when it was released. I thought it took a very interesting approach. Maybe it's been a standard in horror for decades, but I loved how in this entry, they focused a lot on the organization and how these victims are chosen and bid on. It was great to see that vision fully realized, and it was just... satisfying to see all of that happening.

I also appreciated that despite having an all-female main victim cast, they didn't resort to rape. It is such a tired trope and even if the point is to disturb, that takes it too far for me. It's a breath of fresh air that they didn't do a rape scene, like some other writers/directors would opt for. Well, there's almost a rape, but you already talked about how that didn't end so well for the male.

Even after all these years, the one thing that stands out for me about this one is the unbelievable turn in the elevator. I forget the guys' names, but we'll say the one that is all gung-ho about the killing is A and the one who is hesitant is B. For the majority of the movie, A is seriously going crazy... he is itching to kill someone the entire time, and even gets his buddy to go with him. B is extremely reluctant. But then this classical music starts playing and we see the two characters in the elevator on the way to their "prize", and you can see it in their expressions... the tables turned completely. A is now terrified, B is now excited. It was so amazing, and to this day I still think that is among the best horror scenes of all-time. I know, I know, that's ridiculous... but I loved it so damn much.

As for the idea of Hostel needing an iconic villain, I disagree. While it would maybe be good for the box office, I think that goes against what my interpretation of this series was up to that point. The villain isn't a specific person; it's supposed to represent all of us. The villain is supposed to be mysterious. Who among this crowd is the killer? That sort of thing. We are all capable of doing terrible things, as Hostel shows. I think it was created originally to be a satire on today's entertainment industry. It isn't real, like back in the Coliseum days, but we revel in the blood and gore sometimes. We want to see people get ripped up in this movie, so who are we to say the villains are sadistic? We are just as sadistic, but we have the self-control to never even dare to do anything like that.

...I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well enough. But I'm basically saying, having a specific and iconic villain would ruin the message of Hostel.

Anyways. To me, Hostel is all about the gratuitous gore and atmosphere, and a little bit of the satire/social commentary. The second one, however, really hammers this message home, and I believe it to be the absolutely most artistic and cinematically relevant entry in the series. Part III I liked, too, but nothing about it was memorable at all, and aside from the twists, it honestly wasn't all that great.
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3:05PM on 04/25/2013
THANK. YOU! This is the first time I've EVER heard anyone say anything positive about Part 2. I love part 2. The first one was trying to be multiple things but failed as a horror movie whereas this is a creepy, uncomfortably realistic horror film. The atmosphere is chilling and the gore is great. This movie is great!
THANK. YOU! This is the first time I've EVER heard anyone say anything positive about Part 2. I love part 2. The first one was trying to be multiple things but failed as a horror movie whereas this is a creepy, uncomfortably realistic horror film. The atmosphere is chilling and the gore is great. This movie is great!
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2:09PM on 04/25/2013

100% agree

In terms of a horror sequel, this had all of the right elements: it was bigger badder, and a higher body count. Plus it delved into the organization and its functionality. Part II > Part I any day of the week.

Plus the Ms. Bathory kill was absolutely brutal
In terms of a horror sequel, this had all of the right elements: it was bigger badder, and a higher body count. Plus it delved into the organization and its functionality. Part II > Part I any day of the week.

Plus the Ms. Bathory kill was absolutely brutal
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10:03AM on 04/25/2013
The first one was bad, overrated and the second was awful.
The first one was bad, overrated and the second was awful.
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9:59AM on 04/25/2013

not a fan

I loved the first Hostel, I guess I just didn't care what the sequel offered. Hostel II was Hostel with three girls. It seemed like they tried to make a plot but it still ended up being like the first film. Not going to lie though, i yelled in the theater watching that dudes balls get cut off and fed to dogs
I loved the first Hostel, I guess I just didn't care what the sequel offered. Hostel II was Hostel with three girls. It seemed like they tried to make a plot but it still ended up being like the first film. Not going to lie though, i yelled in the theater watching that dudes balls get cut off and fed to dogs
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