Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Muerte Las Vegas: Hostel III Review

You know what Scott Spiegel? I love Evil Dead II! It’s my favorite in the series. And while we’re talking about your previous endeavors let me just say that I thought Intruder was hilarious. I’m not sure I’d give it the super duper rub down treatment that some folks bestow upon it, but it’s good. Real good. Hostel III… well I think it’s a step in the right direction despite having a couple minor flaws. Let’s discuss.

Synopsis (from the IMDB... which makes me lazy):

While attending a bachelor party inLas Vegas, four friends are enticed by two sexy escorts to join them at a private party way off the Strip. Once there, they are horrified to find themselves the subjects of a perverse game of torture, where members of the Elite Hunting Club are hosting the most sadistic show in town.

Well that’s a step away from the original ain’t it? No more youth hostel in Eastern Europeto visit. The ridiculous torture porn esque kills happen in your own backyard or inAmerica’s adult playground at least. It works. Where else on Earth would you imagine the depraved, alpha dog group of Elite Hunters to show up. Vegas would be my guess. Maybe New Orleansif we needed a second place answer. I’d also go for Alaska because who knows what the fuck happens inAlaskaduring the winter.

Ever been to Las Vegas? No? I went their on my honeymoon in 2010. I adored every minute of it save for the price tag. The food and performances are simply delightful (and yes Cirque du Soleil is well worth the price of admission despite the chiding of our group of victims).  The hotels are beyond your imagination inside and out. The classic tourist shots. The fountains at the Bilagio, The Volcano at the Mirage… they’re great, but there’s nothing like getting inside one of these places and seeing what it means to be comfortable, to have anything you could want at your finger tips including but not limited to  seedy goat sex. That’s right. For all the gambling, the food and the partying there is most definitely an underbelly to this oasis. Just take the sidewalks on a Friday night. Walk the strip. See how many pamphlets advertising the finer offering ofSodomyou encounter… you’ll know that this is clearly not your family vacation destination. I will never go to Vegas on a weekend again or at least I will try to desperately to avoid leaving my hotel. It’s a real eye opener. A creep out.

As you’ve most likely heard and I would at least partly agree with, this movie is like the Hangover Jr. I’m not entirely sure that there’s intent to capture that movie’s fire anymore than it is the design of the Spiegel to capture the essence of the first two films. A bachelor party is an excellent jumping off point and gives way to the debauched in the only way our American, Puritanical culture allows. I don’t fault this film for taking a common reason for traveling to Vegas and turning the whole thing TP. At least they didn’t have shotty cameos of the actors from The Hangover or scene for scene rip offs. Once you’ve put our four horsemen in Vegas under the bachelor party banner and digs in you lose the “three best friends” vibe right quick.

Previous installments have seen some fairly talented actors go up against the Elite Hunting Club both in acting ability and body sculpting. While I’ll say that Kip Pardue, Brian Hallisay and John Hensley due not live up to their predecessors acting ability, they aren’t a step off the deep end either. This film is less dark than the previous entries, Vegas more fun, and as I’ll mention shortly, the gore has been toned down. Why make this film feel a little more fun. A little more, Vegas. You never expect Oscar nominated performances from this brand of film anyway. At least it isn’t a Saved By the Bell class reunion.

Watching a Hostel film or any other T.P. (that’s the torture porn… and I love that label if for completely differing reasons that the media and critiques love to use it) film means that you expect something. From the Hostel series it means you expect someone to be placed into a room, worked over with extreme gory prejudice usually preempted by gratuitous female nudity and then ending with the near triumph of the protagonist. Hostel III delivers this formula with its fun Vegas/game twist. It’s enough of a deviation from the original film and sequel to warrant having been made, and it takes the series in a new direction. The term “hostel” may be abused slightly, but since the Elite Hunting Club has become a name brand killer not unlike Fred Kruger, Voorhees or Jigsaw we can let the name slide.

The question on everyone’s mind is did Hostel III deliver the gross out of the previous two entries? No. It was tame in comparison. The suspense leading up to the kills was lacking and someone forgot to eat their brain food. The creativity was lacking. The gore was amateurish with moments of playfulness. You could blame that on the fact that it’s the third installment in the series and can lack on the novelty, but that’s a cop out. Expect more from your gore folks! I’d like to see a Hostel IV with a new twist and more of a face given to the hierarchy for the EHC, but filmmakers take note… you must, you must, you must increase you guts!

Side note(S):

-Nice variation on the Elite Hunting Club tattoo.

-I adore the Elite Hunting cocktail waitress uniform. It’s ever so Night Porter.

-Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches aren’t scary. I touched one. That’s how I know. No more Mummy rip off effects, okay guys?

It’s not my favorite installment in the series, but it moves the series forward. You might find a few former Hostel haters find this film more easily accessible. The series definitely needs fans to keep it moving. We got friggin’ seven Saw movies and only three Hostels? We need to get a few more on the books. Eli Roth did such a nice job the least we can do is try to honor his intriguing creation. Hell, get Roth back in for a Final Chapter if it puts the asses in the seats. Hostel vs. Saw? There’s a crossover to consider.  Until next time, happy elite hunting.

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