Dinner And A Show, And By Dinner, I Mean Torture: Hostel Review

3 Apr

Why, hello, ladies and gentlemen and those who don’t fit on that gender binary, and welcome… TO OUR 800TH POST ANNIVERSARY!

Holy HELL, that is a big number! Now, I figured, for such an impressively big number, it’s time for me to sit around, talk about politics, drink some tea, maybe do some yoga!

… Oh, come on, are you kidding me, you did READ the title, right? It’s time for Hostel, motherfuckers!

CHUG, CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!

Directed by Eli Roth, who is famous for his work on the Hostel series, as well as acting in a couple of old Troma films, and produced by Quentin Tarantino, who… you know, probably did some stuff. I dunno, never really heard of him, but he’s probably important.

Hostel is notorious among horror fans, a horror film about the terrors of going to any country other than America, because that’s just how America works! It’s kinda cute, really, like a teddy bear in a KKK suit. (Let xenophobia be our watchword!) Not only have professional critics called it “torture porn”, but people have even connected it to Nazi exploitation films, AND it pissed off the entire country of Slovakia! Damn, even I haven’t managed that.

[Editor’s Note: I… wait a second, you just read the Wikipedia entry on this-]

ANYWAY HAH HAH LET’S DIG IN.

Ahem!

We open with a title card saying that this is a Quentin Tarantino production (seriously, who is that guy?), before fading to various unclean things. Could we have some lighting on the set, please? I have no idea what the hell I’m looking at, except it looks a hell of a lot like chocolate sauce.

I’m pretty sure it’s not chocolate sauce.

After… THAT, we cut to three obnoxious teenagers walking out of a hostel and talking about how they came here to Amsterdam to smoke pot. OUR PROTAGONISTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Oh, and if you’re not convinced that they’re assholes yet, we cut to a bar where the Icelandic one of the trio is handing the American ones an emotionless teenage girl, who they complain about because “we’re not allowed to rail comatose girls, even in Amsterdam”.

Hah hah hah, it’s funny because RAPE.

Hee hee hee, I just KNEW there was no place where I couldn't use this picture!

Hee hee hee, I just KNEW there was no place where I couldn’t use this picture!

After some more pot smoking (yay, way to establish character, I’ll really be heartbroken when all these characters fucking die), we cut to the trio in a nightclub. And, of course, while the two Americans are off embarrassing themselves in the club, the Icelandic one… is boinking some woman in the bathroom! Because, you know, THAT was really necessary. Hrm, considering that Amsterdam is in the Netherlands, how long do we have to wait till Dr. Von Nazistein tries to turn them all in to Human Centipedes?

Cue more embarrassing shenanigans, until the tourists get kicked out. So, does that mean we’re free from the terrible dialogue, utter racism, and unbelievable sexism? Oh, wait, they’re going to the Red Light District. Apparently in Amsterdam, Dutch hookers are loaded in to little action figures cases and line the streets, like the toy aisle at Christmas time, only this time around, you’re stuffing their stocking!

[Editor’s Note: You’re terrible.]

And yet, not nearly as bad as this movie.

They go inside, and while Iceland and the Jerky American double-team a hooker (… is that a thing people do?), the Dweeby American interrupts a BDSM session. Is… is this actually a HORROR movie, or is it the latest Seth Rogan buddy comedy? Because, in that case, SIGN ME UP FOR THE CENTIPEDE.

His buddies, now done with the hooker, head off to go spectate the BDSM session, while Dweeby goes to rendezvous with the hooker. Yes, yes, sex EXISTS, quit acting like you invented it. Fortunately, he can’t go through with it, leaving her all high and dry, which leaves US without a sex scene! Oh, thank god, I- oh, wait, I forgot about the next scene. Okay, never mind, take up self harm.

The hostel gets closed for the night, so Paxton, the jerky one, Josh, the dweeby one, and Oli, the Icelandic one, end up staying at some Amsterdam Good Samaritan’s place. Which yes, features two high people fucking in the corner. Man, does every house in Amsterdam have one of those?

Paxton and Josh try to explain to their mysterious benefactor, Alex, what a clitoris is, because this movie hates me specifically, and Alex claims that he can hook them up with all the Hot Women. (Trademark pending.) According to him, and the filthy sex photos he has which I TOTALLY DID NOT NEED TO SEE, you can find them in Slovakia. QUICK, TO THE HOT WOMEN MOBILE!

Pictured: Slovakia?

We get to see their train ride, which is mainly composed of asshole antics, them judging the random guy who’s sitting across from them for not being a vegetarian, and him getting a little too friendly with Josh, until they scream at him and force him to leave. I swear, you could just rename this movie, Fuck Americans!

They make it to Slovakia, which comes complete with Dramatic Music Of Plus Ten Scariness, despite the fact that, A, every single person they talk to has been perfectly nice, and B, this place isn’t even slightly spooky! I swear, Winnipeg looks scarier than this place! Although, to be fair, we come complete with a class four viral facility, the highest murder ratio in the country, and Life Of Deaths. You can’t prove to me that we don’t live on a hellmouth.

Our trio of jackasses make it to the hostel, which comes complete with wall-to-wall vaginas, and a smattering of Tarantino references. (Whoever that is.) They’re disturbed to discover that the rooms are semi-private, which means they’ll have room-mates… which, if you’ve been paying attention thus far, of course means that they’re rooming with cock hungry lingerie models with absolutely no qualms about public nudity WHO INVITE THEM IN TO THE COMPLETELY NAKED STEAM ROOM BECAUSE- BECAUSE- BECAUSE- BECAUSE- BECAUSE- BECAUSE- BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE-

ERROR.

ERROR.

ERROR.

REVIEWER IS OFFLINE.

EXCESS HEAT TO THE OFFENDED VALVE.

VENTING.

PURGING HARD DRIVE OF SEXISM BULLSHIT.

PLEASE HIT ANY KEY TO REBOOT.

(Y)

REBOOTING.

… aaaaand we’re back! I’m sorry, what just happened? And why does everything taste like pissed off?

Oh, god, I wish I could purge this whole damn thing.

We cut to a party, because this sexist piece of crap is trying desperately to eradicate all enjoyment ever, and blah blah dancing blah blah drugs blah blah jackass DON’T CARE! NEXT SCENE!

Eventually, Josh too is driven away from the party, because I’m not the only one who fucking hates every single fucking person in this fucking movie, and outside, he… gets mugged by a gang of little kids?! Oh my god, it’s… the least threatening gang ever! Seriously, THESE are your big baddies, Slovakia? A squad of reverse Batmans?

He’s saved by Train Guy from earlier, and he takes Train guy inside to thank him with a drink. Josh apologizes for earlier, Train Guy starts talking about his family, and HELLO, WASN’T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE A HORROR MOVIE?! WHAT PART OF “HORROR MOVIE” MADE YOU THINK I WANTED TO SEE “PORNHUB PRESENTS AN AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL”?!

[Editor’s Note: Hey, man, calm down!]

Ugh… how much longer is this?

[Editor’s Note: Erm… about an hour.]

*twitch, twitch*

[Editor’s Note: Are you okay?]

I HATE ANNIVERSARIES.

AND YOU CAN JUST FUCK RIGHT OFF.

Okay, if you’re anything like me, you just took a couple hours off to eat some tacos and wash your soul. Welcome back! And no, you’ll never feel clean again! Anyway, Josh starts banging one of the friendly neighbourhood lingerie model, while Paxton goes off to boink in the spa, because this movie is engaging in a never ending quest to make me pathologically loath my own penis.

We get to watch as everyone has sex (oh my god, I loath this movie), and in the morning, everything’s all afterglow and cupcakes. Or, at least it is until they realize Oli isn’t there. In fact, he checked out entirely! Does… does that mean the plot is finally starting? We’re 30 minutes in and the plot has FINALLY FUCKING STARTED?!

Oh.

Yay.

One of the guests at the hostel says that Oli went off with her friend, which doesn’t make any sense, because “Oli doesn’t even like Asian girls!”. Hey, don’t blame me, they said it. Paxton and Josh head off in to town, and as they go, they… begin actual character development?! What the hell, did this become an actual MOVIE all of a sudden?

They get ambushed by the gang of toddlers, and by the time they’re through that, they spot Oli wandering in to a torture museum. Which is actually more of a haunted house, with iron maidens and spiked chairs and skeletons and WHY DON’T I GO HERE?!

It turns out that Oli wasn’t actually Oli, and they get a text from him, telling them, “I go home”. Along with a picture of a face, because things are so much more convincing with a disembodied face. And we cut to a torture chamber, completely with a guy dressed like the Repo Man, taking said picture of Oli’s dismembered head, and heading off to go murder somebody else while he whistles a jaunty tune. Damn, he IS the Repo Man.

We cut to Josh and Paxton making plans with the Asian girl who said Oli left, named Kana, to leave. Oh, what’s that? A female character who ISN’T treated merely as a convenient vagina? Why, it’s almost as though this movie is growing up- oh, those two lingerie models show up to offer to boink them, never mind.

Josh turns them down, but Paxton convinces him to go hang out with them anyway, because hey, Oli may be missing, but orgasms still exist! A sentiment that really, I think everyone can get behind. Well, except me, of course, because these party scenes are UNBAREABLE.

Fortunately for the universal society for “me not killing everyone”, Josh gets a headache and excuses himself from the party. He’s looking sicker and deader than… a really dead, sick thing, I guess, and the girl at the front desk, the one who took Oli away for the evening, takes Josh to a bed. Oh, and the ominous music starts playing, just in case you couldn’t tell this was less than positive.

Over with Paxton, he’s sitting around as the lingerie twins yammer in Russian, but whatever kind of drug Josh was on hits Paxton too, because when he goes to the bathroom, he accidentally ends up locking himself in a broom closet by mistake. Well, we’ll chock it up to the drugs, but it’s possible Paxton just isn’t very bright.

And back over with Josh, he wakes up in the torture chamber of the Repo Man, who, while Josh swears up a storm, plays voodoo doll with a power drill. Man, I must be getting pretty jaded. Watching someone get perforated with a power drill is barely worth a raised eyebrow nowadays, when 6 months ago, someone getting their hand squished kept me screaming for hours.

It turns out that the Repo Man is actually Train Guy, who explains that he’s doing all this… because he’s bored. Which, really, is a motivation I can get behind! Josh begs to go, so the Repo Man lets him… after severing his tendons, of course, because he’s nothing if not a gentleman!

Gentlemen slice open tendons, right? I’m pretty sure they do.

But there’s nothing that says a gentleman can’t also drag him back after Josh gets a little distance away, which the Repo Man does! And we cut to Paxton, who wakes up to discover that the books all say he was “checked out”, and more importantly, Kana is gone! Well, maybe if we’re lucky, she went off to star in a much BETTER movie!

When Paxton wanders back to his room, he sees two completely different lingerie models, who say the exact same lines as the last ones. Which… is weird, I’ll admit. Maybe this is all a dream and you’re secretly on the set of Human Centipede 2, Slovakia Edition?

He gets a run in with the gang of little kids, and then checks with the police, who just shrug their shoulders. Yeah, seems keeping track of the random asshole Americans who wander to and fro isn’t exactly the cop’s top priority. AND IT AIN’T MINE EITHER.

Paxton sees the old lingerie models in a bar, giggling together, and when he demands to know where his friends are, they just say a vague series of creepy things. Oh, and they keep insisting that he has a drink, because demanding that he takes, as Nazistein did, THE RAPE DRUG, is just a tad too obvious! They tell him that his friends are at the “art show”, and as they drive him to a disused factory, they insist on trying to force him to take “gum”.

Or, in other words, DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS RAAAAAAAAAAPE.

Once at the factory, there’s a bunch of shady guys saying that Paxton could lose all his “money”, the lingerie model he’s following keeps telling him to go ahead, the ticket booth says “for you, it’s free”, and generally a bunch of other things that could not make it more obvious that this is a fucking trap if Scooby-Doo was singing about it!

Yes, that was a thing that happened.

In the art show, Paxton sees the Repo Man disembowelling Josh, which… is understandably upsetting, and Paxton gets grabbed by your friendly neighbourhood thugs and dragged through the factory, where he sees the entire building is filled with Repo Men, torturing people! Man, the whole “torturing people” industry is so INDUSTRIALIZED lately, I heard they’re even outsourcing the nipple clamps to Asia!

Paxton is strapped to a torture chair on loan from Exorcismus, and left in the dark for a while. Eventually, a Repo Man and a big angry guy in a black suit come in to check his accent. See, it’s to check for any international super powers. If they’re Norwegian, French, or Nigerian, they’re let go because they’re so badass, they’d just kill everyone. German people are offered a job because they have a +5 to any mad science, Dutch people are just flat out immortal, the Japanese get “incredible strength when cornered”, but Americans? All they get is an extra feat every five levels, that’s how they master every profession ever.

The Repo Man snips off a lock of hair and then starts hacking at Paxton with a garden tool, and we get to hear that this particular Repo Man IS actually German! See, told you they get a +5 to mad science! Paxton says something to him in German, which gets him so miffed, he gets the angry guy to fit him with a ball gag. Ooh, yeah, I had a high school teacher who did the same thing.

And then… the Repo Man fetches a chainsaw! Ah, it’s like mom always said, it’s not cheap horror until they OFFICIALLY rev up a chainsaw. He doesn’t actually CUT Paxton, just freaks him out till he vomits. Again, had a high school teacher who did the same thing.

But hey, you can’t bring out a chainsaw like that and NOT use it, so he hacks off part of Paxton’s hand, and when he tries to get a running start with the thing, slips on the ball gag and hacks his own leg off. Wow, it’s Klutzy, the GOOFY serial killer!

Paxton pops a cap in his ass, from the gun he found on the table, and when the angry guy comes running, shoots him too! Man, most people need a minute or two to cope with murder, but this guy? “Thank you, sir, may I have another!”

Pictured: Paxton. If he were a clown.

He dresses in the butcher gown and scary gas mask that he found on the wall, and goes to hide in a little spare body cupboard. Dude, when you’re dressed like THAT, you’re officially not allowed to hide in a cupboard, sucking your thumb. Somebody heads in to pick up a cart of bodies, so Paxton decides to tag along, because… I guess he’s hoping they’ll just Fed-Ex him out of there!

The body cart instead takes the elevator downstairs, and while our resident humpback is chopping up some body parts, Paxton is left to stare at his dead friend. “Hey. Um. How’s being dead going? Pretty cool?”

It turns out that the humpback is loading all these pieces in to an incinerator, and after he tries to toss Paxton’s fingers in too, well, this means war! So, he boffs him on the noggin and makes for the elevator. Up there, he finds… what looks like a perfectly normal flat, to be honest! Pretty much the only thing off here is the tacky bed spread! Oh, and the blood soaked sheets. Those too.

Paxton takes the opportunity to dress himself in the fanciest “totally not escaping a cabal of serial killers I don’t know what you’re talking about” clothes, and on his way out, he sees one of the other Repo Men. Turns out… the Repo Men aren’t getting paid to kill people, these people are paying to kill people!

Oh, I’m sorry, DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN!

This particular Repo Man explains the allure of getting to kill someone, as opposed to just the allure of sex, which I think is the conversation they had behind the scenes at the time! Paxton talks with the… increasingly unhinged madman, until he somehow convinces the looney to go torture somebody ELSE, and leave his gun up there. Well… normally, I’d count that as a win, but considering that you had to talk to THAT fucker to get it, let’s just say you break even.

Paxton makes his way to a car, which even has keys in the ignition, because some times the universe is just nice like that. But he hears Kana screaming, so he runs back to go save her from that fucking maniac. Which means you win! I mean, her eye is dangling out of the socket, but eh, I’m still counting it.

She’s too manic to do anything right now, so he decides she’d think a lot better if he cut that makeup off her face, which, seeing as she’s fine in the next scene, apparently worked! Never discount the value of prescription eye gouging, kids.

Kana and Paxton make it to the car and drive away, the goons in hot pursuit, with your industry standard James Bond music blaring in the background. And, during their get-away, they find the two lingerie models, AND the guy who told them to go here, all at the same place! Man, some times the universe just GIVES you one, you know what I mean?

One vehicular homicide later, their next obstacle is that gang of little kids, but Paxton bribes them with bubble gum to slaughter the baddies when they come through. Damn, that’s surprisingly forward thinking for a horror movie protagonist! What’s next, not breaking a heel?

Pictured: Cinema’s greatest killer.

Next is a police checkpoint, where they’re beating the hell out of anyone who they damn well feel like it, but instead of just trying to bluff their way, Paxton and Kana play the “fuck this I’m out of here” card! Wow, that’s… okay, things are clearly going to well, something terrible needs to happen soon.

At the train station, Paxton decides they should hide in a box to escape the cops, but Kana sees her mangled self in the mirror, and leaps in front of a moving train. Overkill, to be sure, but in all fairness, NOBODY wants to look like an Asian Female Two Face! (Except for Kazumi Dent, of course.)

Paxton doesn’t stick around, and once he’s finally on the train, he can relax… until he hears Train Guy in the next car. Well. Time to get old testament on his ass! Once the train stops, Paxton follows him deeper in to the train station, and after flipping the “out of order” sign to “out” in the bathroom, moves in for the kill.

Oh, this will be goooood.

*grabs popcorn*

Paxton hacks a couple fingers off, eye for an eye, hand for a fuck you and all that, then he starts giving him a swirly. A swirly of DOOM! Oh, and also, he slits his neck. But mostly the swirly thing. Swirly’s are a DANGEROUS weapon.

So, that was Hostel! How was it?

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRGH! 

This… oh my god, this movie. Half of it is people being fucking MORONS, and the other half is torture porn! Oh, wait, no, that’s GENEROUS. Torture porn is barely a FRACTION of this plot, which is a real shame, because it’s the only part of that’s FUCKING INTERESTING!

[Editor’s Note: Did… did you just advocate the torture part of the plot, instead of the character dynamics?]

Oh, GOD, you’re right! This movie is breaking me! BREAKING ME I SAY!

[Editor’s Note: Do you need a moment?]

Oh god oh god oh god make the sex scenes STOOOOOOOOP.

[Editor’s Note: Well… Happy Anniversary, everybody, and we hope to see you for many more reviews-]

OH LORD I MAY HAVE TO KILL AGAIN.

[Editor’s Note: Goddammit, where do you keep your pills?!]

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2 Responses to “Dinner And A Show, And By Dinner, I Mean Torture: Hostel Review”

  1. Tim Hurley April 7, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Happy Merry Belated Congrats on the 800th! That is… a very large number.

    The ‘Hostel’ films are shit, but I actually like Roth as an actor. His character made Inglourious Basterds better, but Tarantino probably had a lot more to do with making that work than he did.

    On a side note, man, Scooby-Doo has changed from what I remember it as.

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