Fantastic Fest

Monday, June 04, 2007

Alamo Drafthouse Tortures Eli Roth

Sunday at midnight at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin is normally a sleepy time. But on June 3, fans of acclaimed director Eli Roth caused the street to be anything but sedate. A capacity crowd assembled by Ain't it Cool News and the Alamo Drafthouse were literally (and by literally I mean figuratively) frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the sneak preview of Hostel: Part II. The evening began with a live S&M show on stage featuring an impromptu performance by none other than Eli himself. You can download hi-res versions of this photo and others at our Flickr site.

After a few introductory words, a couple vintage trailers and a "director's cut" version of the infamous Thanksgiving trailer (with more details on the "trampoline stab" and final "turkey stuffing" sequences), the feature was underway.

I was a big fan of Hostel, and this next installment is even better. I greatly preferred spending 90 minutes with the lead actresses from Hostel: Part II than the boys from Hostel 1. The photography is lush, the KNB effects are downright artful, and the action is even more inventive without going further in the direction of overt cruelty. I was happy to see the bubblegum gang back with a vengeance, and as Harry pointed out in the Q&A, Eli payed way more attention to the details of the fulfilled fantasies of the killers, one of which featured a welcome cameo by Cannibal Holocaust director Ruggero Deodato.

I am very happy to announce that I can fully and wholeheartedly endorse Hostel: Part II. In a summer that seems to be delivering a deluge of cranked-out, under-cooked, fast-burn big-budget offal, Hostel: Part II serves as a shining example that with care and effort, a summer sequel can be even more inventive and entertaining than the original. Strangely enough, although you probably aren't going to believe me, I'm giving Hostel: Part II my vote as the feel-good movie of the summer!

Hats off to Eli, he just keeps getting better and better! Hostel: Part II opens at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Friday, June 8. You should definitely go check it out, unless you are my mom or my niece and then I would prefer that you don't.


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