CON: Hostel 2

There is a certain type of mood when you find yourself at a convention, especially any kind of film or television convention. So going into Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors I felt the excitement from the crowd, a group of people who love blood, gore, darkness, and everything evil all in the name of horror. But what makes this special is the amazing camaraderie of folks who love this genre.

Inside, there were several vendors selling t-shirts with The Tall Man, Michael Myers and even Tom Atkins. A few horror vets had booths selling photographs including the great Tim Thomerson, Kelli Maroney from the cult classic NIGHT OF THE COMET and and Irwin Keyes from HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. Yet with all this talent, I was here for one thing. The upcoming sequel to Eli Roth’s hit HOSTEL. Yes Lionsgate was kind enough to invite us to get a sneak peek alongside Eli’s fans for more Slovakian horror with HOSTEL: PART II starring Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips and Laura German.

But truth be told, I also found out that Heather Langenkamp was going to be live and in person, so I also had ulterior motives. Come on, Nancy from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was somewhere in this building and I had to see her. More than any other horror vet. In my humble opinion, she is one of the great scream queens alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, Amy Steel and Deborah Foreman… so I’m a bit old-fashioned. And truthfully, I hadn’t seen the schedule of events aside from the HOSTEL 2 panel and I would only be there for a few hours, chances were slim to none I would find my way to Mrs. Langenkamp…but I digress, back to HOSTEL 2.

The crowd was thrilled as two men came out on stage ready to torture some poor soul. The two actors were in full Hostel gear and they stood next to the chairs brought out for the guests of honor. But first, we were treated to the theatrical trailer of HOSTEL 2. Most horror fans have probably already caught a glimpse, and found that American girls are very expensive in Slovakia . After the trailer, when writer/director Eli Roth came out, he seemed genuinely thrilled to be there, even mentioning his excitement in a literal way by saying, “Do you guys know what a f*ckin’ boner I have right now for being at the Fangoria Convention actually with a horror movie? I’m loving it.”

He stood on stage and proceeded to introduce two actress’ involved in the film, Bijou Phillips who looked so thin and fragile, although still quite pretty. And then he introduced Vera Jordanova…man he has a way of finding super hot foreign chicks for these films doesn’t he? The audience was excited and full of energy hearing Eli speak, even asking him such questions as why do you f*cking kick so much ass… no wonder the guy was lovin’ it.

One thing I learned from Mr. Roth and I do believe it’s true, is the communal group that horror filmmakers are, he praised this with, “I gotta say that this really is a community; that we are all in it together and that, if a film does well, then it helps everybody. As you’ve seen, you know, “House of 1000 Corpses” helps “Cabin Fever”. “Cabin Fever” helped “Saw”. “Saw” helped “Hostel”. “Hostel” helped “The Hills Have Eyes”. It all feeds each other.” I find this to be true, at least in theory, and it‘s good for everybody, including the fans.

After all, really great horror filmmakers are fans. They aren’t the ones hired by the studio to make a PG-13 remake of a Japanese film which will eventually become an UNRATED DVD Collector’s Edition. They wanna scare the shite out of people, generally because they dig being scared too. It’s a thrill ride, at least for me and I expect for many of you that love the genre.

When it came to talking about making a sequel he said, “If I’m gonna make a sequel, I can’t just f*ckin’ phone it in…  It’s got to be “The Road Warrior” or “Aliens” or “The Empire Strikes Back”… You know, I saw “Saw 2” and really, “The Devil’s Rejects” and I went, ‘F*ck man, Rob Zombie just took it to another level.’” With that he claimed he wanted to make the scariest ride in the theme park. One of the moments he was most proud of in the original also came up as inspiration. “…that scene with Rick Hoffman, the American businessman; I mean that scene scared people more than any other scene in the movie. I mean people would say I wanna see a movie about that guy. Alright, let’s see what happens when we have young women going through it.” Although, if people wanna see a movie about that guy, then bring it on…make a prequel… Rick Hoffman is the man!

Even though  this was all about HOSTEL 2, there was no way Eli could avoid a certain holiday. Yes, Thanksgiving came up with a massive applause. On this subject he said, “Thanksgiving is an idea I had since I was eighteen with my friend Jeff who is the guy f*cking the turkey… I would love to do a “Thanksgiving” feature and in fact I talked to Edgar Wright about it. ‘If you do Thanksgiving, I’ll do “Don’t”’ and we told the Weinsteins about it.

But right now, obviously, they were disappointed with the box office of GRINDHOUSE and figuring out how to release it internationally. They’re not that eager to talk about GRINDHOUSE 2 but Quentin and Robert are totally down with the idea so I think that it’s something… If I did it, I’d want to make it like Dogma 95 rules… Like Dogshit 95… You have to basically say, if we’re gonna  do this, we have to shoot it in a week or ten days and do it for like a million bucks. Like we set limits on ourselves in like Roger Corman kind of way. “Thanksgiving” was the most fun I ever had filming anything.”

He also brought up a certain Stephen King project called CELL and a couple other works roaming around in his twisted brain. “I’m going to be doing an adaptation of Stephen King’s “Cell”. And I’m gonna do a whole movie of fake trailers like “Thanksgiving” called “Trailer Trash”… I’ve got one for Bijou, I’ve got one for Vera, I’m gonna do like twenty-five of those “Thanksgiving” kind of trailers. Totally ridiculous like JACKASS or BORAT; completely silly, totally sophomoric and absurd, it will be like developmentally fifteen steps backward for me but really f*cking fun.”

At the end, we were treated to a sneak peek of HOSTEL 2. Now, keep in mind, I was one of those who loved HOSTEL. I thought it was fresh and a pretty sick little rollercoaster ride. But as for what I saw, Bijou being prepped to be… well, tortured. She fights back by biting her captor and running through the dark, damp hallways of a certain hell. But before she can escape, large metal doors slam shut in front of her and in her weakness, the bad ole’ sadomasochists bring in the dogs.

I liked the scene, but frankly, I’m only marginally excited about the film. I didn’t see enough to really get pumped for another torture film but at the same time, it didn’t look bad. But the idea of switching sexes seems like an almost too obvious move. Yet I’m hoping that I’m surprised and that the ending will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before, which is sort of what Eli promised. So chain me up and hopefully we won’t get the bad end of the drill.

And as I mentioned, with my hopes and fears in the balance as I count the days for what I hope to be a major ass-kicking sequel, it was my secret mission…my goal… the reason for my being… Heather Langenkamp happened to be the first panel, right before Eli and the girls came along, with a special appearance by Michael Madsen with a quick hug for Eli. But forget Eli, forget Michael and even Bijou and Vera. There was Nancy, right before my eyes… and all was good with the world.

And just in case you were wondering, she is taking a break from film and working with her husband for a special effects company. Hey, at least she’s still part of the horror community. I’m just saying… get back on the silver screen Heather; it’s been much too long. And don’t forget HOSTEL: PART II coming June 8th to a theatre near you.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to [email protected].



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