31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: HOSTEL – PART III

 

CAST

Kip Pardue (Thirteen)
Brian Hallisay (Bottom’s Up)
John Hensley (Nip/Tuck)
Sarah Habel (Whip it)
Chris Coy (Banshee)
Skyler Stone (Waiting…)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Zulay Henao (Takers)
Barry Livingston (Argo)

This film starts with a young man, named Travis, going into a hotel room where a Ukrainian couple, Victor and Anka, are currently staying. Anka and Victor fall unconscious after being drugged by the beer Travis gave them. It is then revealed that Travis is a member of the Elite Hunting Club. Victor later wakes up in a cell in an abandoned building, and watches as two guards drag Anka out of her cell.

Scott leaves his fiancée Amy to go to Las Vegas with his friend Carter for Scott’s bachelor party. There, they meet up with their other friends Mike and Justin. The four go to a nightclub, where they meet Kendra and Nikki, two escorts Carter secretly paid to have sex with Scott. Kendra and Nikki tell the four men about a “freaky” party they could go to, and the four men take a cab to an abandoned building. At the party, Kendra makes a move on Scott, but he declines and tells her about how he previously cheated on Amy and almost lost her, and doesn’t want it to happen again. Scott wakes up the next morning in his hotel room with Carter and Justin. The three wonder where Mike is, as he isn’t picking up his phone.

Mike awakens in a cell and starts panicking. Two guards strap him to a chair in an empty room. One wall is made of glass, and Mike is on display to be gambled upon by wealthy clients. A doctor enters the room, and Mike pleads with him. When the doctor cuts Mike’s face off, the audience gives a round of applause for the show. Worried about Mike, Scott, Carter, and Justin travel to Nikki’s trailer but don’t find her. Kendra arrives and reveals that Nikki is also missing. Meanwhile, Nikki wakes up gagged. She is brought into the same room as Mike and strapped to a table. A ‘doctor’ then releases a jar full of cockroaches onto Nikki, which crawl into her mouth and suffocate her.

Scott, Carter, Justin, and Kendra get a text from Mike’s phone, sent by Travis, to meet him and Nikki in a hotel room. When they get there, everyone is kidnapped by Travis and wake up in individual cells along with Victor. The two guards take Justin away, and Carter calls the guard, telling him that he is also a client. Justin gets strapped into a chair and Carter, Flemming and Travis watch as a woman shoots crossbow bolts into him. The main event starts and Scott is strapped in the killing chair. He asks Carter why he is doing this, and Carter reveals he wants Amy for himself, as they were in a relationship before she ended up with Scott. Carter says he was disappointed that Amy stayed with Scott after Carter told her about Scott’s infidelity. He says that once Scott dies, he will comfort Amy and she will want to be with him.

Flemming orders Scott to be let go from the chair. Scott and Carter fight, and Scott ends up stabbing Carter. Hidden by special effects smoke Scott then breaks out and flees. Victor kills one of the guards and frees himself but is killed by another guard. Scott calls the cops and frees Kendra, who is shot by Travis. Flemming orders all the prisoners to be killed. Scott and Travis fight, and Scott kills Travis. Flemming sets the building to explode and attempts to drive away, but Carter kills him and takes his car. Carter sees Scott and locks the front gate before Scott can get to him. He drives away while the building explodes with Scott still inside.

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Sometime later Carter is comforting Amy in her house and she invites him to stay the night. Amy tells Carter that Scott is still alive and pins Carter’s hand to a table with a corkscrew. A burned Scott appears and the pair strap him to a chair in her garage and kill him with an electric tiller.

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Hostel III is a bit more polished and stylish. But it sure lacks in gore, brutality, and mean-spiritedness. It makes up for that with humor though and it does have some hilarious and memorable lines. There are some signs of a low budget but nothing distracting. Acting overall is very good. The absence of violence and gore put this movie almost more in a thriller category as all sorts of instruments of death are just presented but never used, it’s the threat of it and the anticipation that make you cringe more than the actual death scene. This movie deviates from the tone set by the first two, but it’s not an unwelcome change.

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REVIEW: TEETH


CAST

Jess Weixler (The Lie)
John Hensley (Nip/Tuck)
Josh Pais (Younger)
Hale Appleman (Smash)
Lenny Von Dohlen (Dracula’s Widow)
Laila Liliana Garro (The Brave One)

Dawn (Jess Weixler) discovers at a very young age that something is a little different about her. And she quickly represses herself, in part by joining The Promise, a teen abstinence group that stresses purity. That makes it especially challenging when she starts to have feelings for born-again virgin Tobey (Hale Appleman). Their courtship draws parallels to Adam and Eve, ending in tragedy for Tobey after he pushes his temptation a little too far.

And it’s not like Dawn has the happiest home life, either. Her mom is sick, possibly the result of those ominous, phallic nuclear cooling towers that hover behind her house. Even worse is having to live with stepbrother Brad (John Hensley), a tattooed, mutton-chopped bad boy who listens to a lot of heavy metal music, has a pet Rottweiler he keeps in a cage–and has developed an affinity for asses, the result of a painful childhood curiosity for his stepsister that left his finger scarred. Dawn quickly does some research and discovers the myth of vagina dentata (Latin for “toothed vagina”), which springs from a primitive masculine dread of the mysteries of women and sexual union. It’s a myth created by men, playing on fears of weakness and impotence. Men are supposed to take an epic journey back to the womb–the “dark crucible” that hatched them–to become a hero and conquer the enemy. But writer/director Mitchell Lichtenstein turns that myth on its head, and the result is a bloody hysterical jolt of female empowerment.

It’s clear from the opening scenes that this story plays out as a cautionary fairy tale, a self-aware spoof of exploitation films with exaggerated characters and performances, and a plot worthy of Greek mythology. There are a number of influences at work: It’s sort of like Tim Burton crossed with John Waters (think Edward Scissorhands meets Serial Mom), mixed with elements of Carrie and Jaws, with I Spit on Your Grave and Hostel 2 thrown in for good measure.

This is one of those movies you hear about and can’t believe got made,  On the surface, it sounds like a stunt movie destined to fail, but there’s a surprisingly powerful message that creeps through. More importantly, it’s damn funny and perhaps the funniest gynecological exam I’ve ever seen on film.As for the horror fans out there, like myself? It’s gross, for sure, with just enough bloodletting to make you cringe, but this is a comedy first. So don’t watch this expecting to be scared…unless the sight of severed penises is enough to make you scream.