In which Gerry Hayes explains why Hostel is pointless twaddle…
Written and directed by Eli Roth.
Starring a bunch of people you’ve probably never heard of.
Presented by Quentin Tarantino?
Hostel wins the award for Most Flagrant Use Of A Tenuous Relationship To A Famous Name To Foist Tripe On The Public. Tarantino was executive producer. His involvement consisted mainly of saying “is it ready yet, Eli?” and “can I have my money now?”
It is entirely possible that I may be the only man in Christendom who, were he to meet Quentin Tarantino, would not fall to his knees and rigourously fellate him. This is the reason that I don’t start automatically drooling like some Pavlovian porn star at the mention of his name attached to a film. Add to this, the fact that I wouldn’t kneel, open-mouthed, on the merits of Eli Roth’s other films and it’s fair to say I came to Hostel with a hint of preconceived bias.
I needn’t have worried. Even if I’d never heard of Roth and Tarantino, I’d still have felt the same numbing emptiness on sitting through this film.
Hostel’s premise is reasonable; three backpackers stumble into a torture-and-murder-for-profit ring. Cue much gory nastiness. So high-concept, so good.
One of the biggest problems, however, is that the three protagonists are so achingly disagreeable that, far from caring what happened to them, I wilfully and fervently wished dreadful harm upon them.
We join our heroes as they attempt to rut their way through a European holiday. They’re in Amsterdam, eagerly absorbing all of the clichés that city has to offer a lazy writer/director. There, they encounter an unconvincing Russian who tells them of an eastern-European, sexual Shangri-La and, horny dogs that they are, they waste little time in getting there.
Once ensconced in the sumptuous, five-star hostel with piping hot girls in every room, much nooky ensues. The three over-excited idiots can’t believe their luck and the last thing they expect is that anyone is for the chop… Or the drill… Or the pointy metal thing from the poster.
As gore movies go, it’s not that bad for about twenty minutes or so. The trouble is that, in getting to that bit, it’s necessary to sit through forty minutes of vapid soft porn. Boobs abound – I watched the DVD during the afternoon and felt like I should close the curtains in case some Jehovah’s Witnesses called and glanced through the window.
If I were to map Hostel, it would be:
– Forty minutes of annoying people trying to touch ladies’ breasts.
– Twenty minutes of, relatively entertaining, bloody grisliness.
– Thirty minutes of ludicrous nonsense.
If that sounds like your thing, or if you’re the sort of person that dreams of mouth-congress with Quentin Tarantino, off you pop and rent a copy – I’m sure you’ll love it.
Read more I Sat Through That? right here.
Gerry Hayes is a garret-dwelling writer subsisting on tea, beer and Flame-Grilled Steak flavour McCoy’s crisps. You can read about other stuff he doesn’t like on his blog at http://stareintospace.com or you can have easy, bite-sized bits of him at http://twitter.com/gerryhayes