Little known fact: Paul Thomas Anderson loves Eli Roth’s Hostel movies, calling them “slam dunks”. He thinks Part II is better than Part I, and he’s right.
But many critics and, crucially, the paying public disagreed, seemingly wrong-footed by Roth’s mischievous change of direction, with much of the gore kept off-screen (apart from a ripped-off cock being fed to dogs, that is) and the implicit campness of all this operatic torture embraced to make the movie as much send-up as sequel.
Hostel: Part II bombed. Roth hasn’t directed a movie since (though he did produce the effectively scary The Last Exorcism). And Hostel: Part III, inevitably, debuts on DVD and Blu-ray...
Directed by Scott Spiegel, the guy responsible for From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, this third instalment is neither as cheap nor as grotty as you’d expect, the action shifting to Las Vegas as the Elite Hunting Club incorporate high-roller betting into their strapping torture shows.
We follow a stag do of obnoxious thirtysomethings as the expected horrors unfold and power-drill hangovers take root. The extravagantly silly death sequences are straight out of Dr. Phibes; the action descends, predictably, into a long-winded escape-chase, and the political intent brandished by the first movie has been summarily gouged out.
But there are a couple of smart twists, production values are high and anyone bemoaning that torture porn is sooo 2005 should remember it’s been with us since 1934’s Black Cat. Spiegel and star Kip Pardue deliver an effusively bland commentary.