Hostel and Hostel 2Hostel & Hostel 2 – Double Feature
Director: Eli Roth

Cast (part 1): Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson
Cast (part 2): Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips
Review by: Brian M. Sammons

Ah torture porn, the horror sub-genre that has come and (thankfully) now gone. Can’t say I was ever a big fan, but I didn’t rail against it either. At least not at first. Movies like Saw and yes, the first Hostel, at least got some points from me for doing their own thing. Trying, and sometimes succeeding, to be original. But by the time Hostel 2, and especially by the time Saw 7 hit the screens, that fad had long overstayed its welcome. So now we got a two for one Blu-ray pack for the two Eli Roth directed Hostel flicks from Mill Creek. The direct to video third installment is absent here, but you’re not missing much of anything good. Is this a killer Blu-ray to die for, or just a case of cheap and dirty thrills best not spoken about? Well grab your choice of mutilation tool and let’s get depraved.

The first Hostel was about a pair of douchebag Americans and their douchebag European buddy taking a drug and sex fueled tour of The Continent. Along the way they hear about a town in Eastern Europe where the girls are plentiful, good looking, and loose. So naturally the guys head out to the former Communist Bloc country only to find out they’ve been tricked. In this land where life is cheap, rich, decadent deviants pay top dollar to torture and kill people for kicks. And the people worth the most money to the sadists are naturally Americans.

U.S.A. U.S.A. We’re number one! We’re number one!

Cue the extended scenes of gratuitous and gory torture which are the true stars of the show here. Hey, these flicks are called torture porn for a reason, you know. Before you can say ‘eewwww’ the trio of tourists is cut down, literally, to a single guy desperate to survive his turn in the warehouse of pain.

And without giving the twists away, and this movie actually does have a few good ones, that’s pretty much all there is to Hostel.

So what about Hostel 2? Well change the three guys in the example above to girls and that’s about it. Yeah, Hostel 2 is pretty much a textbook example of ‘more of the same.’ Sure there is a subplot showing what kind of sick freaks would want to pay to torture and kill random strangers, and it has more bloody and creative ways to kill people, but neither does much to alleviate the feeling of déjà vu this flick inspires on anyone that’s seen the first movie. It not a horrible movie, assuming you have the stomach for torture porn, but it’s just sort of meh.

But hey, at least there are some cool extras on this no Blu-ray. Oh wait, no, no there’s not. There’s not a single special feature to be found on this disc anywhere for either one of these movies. Now the previous DVD editions had extras, but here? Nope. I hate, hate, HATE when new editions of a movie don’t include the extras that previous editions had.

But hey, at least the movies look great in HD. Oh wait, no, no they don’t. While the video quality looks a little bit better than the previous DVD editions, it’s not a big improvement. The colors look dull, the details are muted, and there’s a whole lot of grain still on the screen here.

So can I recommend this one? Yes and no. If you’re a Hostel fan and already have both of the previous DVD releases then you really don’t need this new Blu-ray. It brings nothing new to the table, not even a much improved picture. If you don’t own one or both of these films and you want to change that, and you don’t care a whit about special features, then this two pack will do that for you at a very reasonable price. So for a bargain torture porn fix, look no further than this new release.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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