Eli Roth is obviously a poseur, but on the evidence of Hostel: Part II, he's also kind of a pussy. The sequel to Roth's vile hit Hostel is too goofy to disturb, too silly to scare, closer in spirit (if not in skill) to the cartoon yucks of Evil Dead II than the transgressive classics it so desperately tries to trump. H2 duplicates the original scenario, but flips the gender. So long, frat boys -- it's ladies night! The meat puppets include Lauren German as the nice girl with a trust fund, Bijou Phillips as the slut, and Heather Matarazzo as the dork. En route to Prague, they're lured into a Slovakian snuff club where high-rolling psychopaths bid top dollar for the pleasure of killing. And the violence? Very nasty indeed, if neutered by Roth's pathetic desperation to shock. The most disturbing thing about this implausibly R-rated spectacle is what it says about the double standard of the MPAA. Apparently, you can linger over a cock in close-up so long as it's being cut in half by a pair of scissors. Getting an audience to whoop in pleasure at graphic castration is less an expression of some twisted feminist agenda, as our disingenuous auteur would have us believe, than a dirty little YouTube stunt writ large.
Eli RothLauren German, Bijou Phillips, Roger Bart, Richard Burgi, Vera Jordanova, Heather Mattarazzo, Stanislav Ianevski, Milan KnazkoEli RothChris Briggs, Mike Fleiss, Eli RothLionsgate