Hostel: Part II

By Mark Ramsey | 2007/06/11

This time around, Hostel writer and director Eli Roth’s name is above the title although, let’s face it, we’re pretty much all above this title.

But wait, here’s the big surprise: I liked this movie! It’s remarkably well made, and for all its blood and guts there’s at least as much hidden as there is shown. And God knows there’s no shortage of movies which should be hidden from the viewer altogether.

hostelpartii3.jpgEarly on we’re graced with a cameo from Jordan Ladd, daughter of former Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd, and determined to be a star if it’s the last thing she does – and it will definitely be the last thing she does.

Here we are, somewhere in Eastern Europe, where dental care is definitely not covered by insurance and freedom doesn’t extend to your facility with a toothbrush. I can’t imagine how folks could lose so many teeth unless they’re somehow attached to their car keys.

I’ve always said that movies would be better if they included more Slovakian folk dancing, and here’s a movie that delivers. When villagers gather in medieval costumes to do-si-do and promenade they’re one Frankenstein monster and a dozen torches away from a Universal back lot classic. In this part of the world, the middle ages were the day before yesterday – before, as one reveler put it, “the Renaissance ruined everything.”

Welcome back to a vast thrashed factory where well-heeled sickos come to sadistically torture and murder innocent coeds. For this they need a factory? It sounds more like a custom installation, no?

At the cold heart of this scheme is a perverse hunting club that requires you to get tattooed as part of its contract. “Yes,” said Angelina Jolie, “and then we hunt for Southeast Asian orphans.”

hostelpartii2.jpgAnd there’s Bijou Phillips, reputed to be one of the craziest beeyatches in a town that grows them like arrest warrants on Tom Sizemore.

Bijou knows she’s in trouble when she’s in a train car with a guy who is tapping a knife on a photo of a woman in a bikini. “I vant to whittle some balsa vood wit dis lady,” he says with only the faintest whiff of credibility.

Wealthy pervs bid for collegians the way you and I bid for Beanie Babies on ebay. Well, the way I do, anyway. Hey, Thurston Howell, before you bid on a torture-fest for a young innocent in a third world country, first do what the rest of us guys do to hide our inadequacies: Lease a Mercedes.

So what have I learned from Hostel: Part II? That if you awaken hanging naked from the ceiling over a sadist’s tub, you’re not in a life-drawing class. Oh, and don’t try to use power tools unless you’re handy.

You know, folk expressions are all well and good, but this is the first time I’ve ever actually seen someone bite off a nose to spite a face. And I have to say, nothing quite spites a face better than that.

Wait, we’re almost an hour and a half into this movie and somebody in the theater is still eating popcorn. Still?! What kind of popcorn lasts an hour and a half? The kind made for an appetite that lasts for an hour and a half, that’s what kind. Somebody needs to hang naked from the ceiling over a South Beach diet.

When, finally, you slice and dice Hostel: Part II and rinse it in blood, it’s the best movie Eli Roth has made yet. “At least I didn’t give Batman nipples,” said Eli, “but I’d be happy to take credit for giving them to Bijou Phillips.”

In America, it’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” But in Eastern Europe it’s “So You Think You Can Torture a B-level Starlet?” And before you think we in the States are better than that, remember…

We gave the world Screech.

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