Region 2 DVD available in UK June 18th
Jay Hernandez as Paxton
Derek Richardson as Josh
Eythor Gudjonsson as Oli
Barbara Nedeljakova as Natalya
Jana Kaderabkova as Svetlana
Jan VlasÃ¡k as The Dutch Businessman
Jennifer Lim as Kana
Lubomir Silhavecky as Alex
Paula Wild as Monique
Lubomir Bukovy as Alex
Petr Janis as The German Surgeon
Jana Havlickova as Vala
Vanessa Jungova as Saskia
Directed by Eli Roth
Hostel Dissected multi-part documentary
Kill The Car featurette
KNB EFX featurette
Music & Sound featurette
Set Design featurette
Hostel Dismembered featurette
An Icelandic Meal featurette
Takashi Miike interview
It’s generally considered scripture if a film’s sequel is just about due for release the studio will scramble to film cans from the original’s DVD release and see what was left out of the mix the first time ’round that can be tacked on to a newly re-jigged release.
Sometimes you’ll get the requisite extended cut or in “Hostel’s case – which has naturally been pegged for a DVD retrofit thanks to, wait for it, “Hostel: Part II” – you get a wedge of new extras. Normally shoehorning a second disc into a package can be a bit of a cop out; studios sometimes think by adding an additionally pithy in-length doc and a collection of trailers is enough. In this case, the second spinner is a welcome one.
If by chance you’ve been holed up under a ginormous rock for the past couple of years then allow us to reiterate on the fear fable that is “Hostel.” It’s a tale of two halves that sees three backpackers (Jay Hernandez Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson) head to Slovakia in search of booze, broads and all manner of hedonistic candy. This is a horror movie so naturally all is not well in Eastern Europe and the trio of boyos get unknowingly wrangled into being chopped, sliced, diced and generally f**ked up at the hands of thrill-seeking businessmen bored with sex and now in search of man’s most darkest of meals: murder. The flick divided folk right down the middle for it’s booby overloaded first half that then radically shifted into snuff cinema or gore porn or torture porn or whatever the hell folk are calling it these days. Love it, hate it, or just haven’t f**king seen it, Roth’s terror tale launched itself straight to number one in the box office when it hit screens in January of 2005 and a new breed of horror was born. Of course, the sequel was inevitable, which brings us to this double-dip disc set.
Sony and helmer Eli Roth’s brother Gabriel have pooled together a wedge of material that’ll have your interest ebbing and flowing. Thankfully the slightly dull featurettes aren’t too long so you won’t have to suffer inexorably through the brief history of some bonkers instrument composer Nathan Barr pulled out of his collection in the “Music & Sound” featurette to help scare the bejesus out of us in Roth’s gut cruncher.
Of course if you haven’t snagged the first edition then you’re in for a surprise, you’re treated to all the original extras that made it on board including the plethora of chatter tracks that’ll have you buzzing. From Roth’s commentary with Tarantino (by far the best of the foursome of commentaries) to his mic booth natter with Ainitcool’s Harry Knowles (who turns up on the second spinner’s doc “Hostel Dismembered”). Throw in the cast-off multi-angle “Kill The Car” piece that serves really as nothing more than disc one padding and you’re left with the cracking, spliced up triple-part doc “Hostel Dissected” that sticks a lens into everything from the shoot in Prague, the effects and pre-production, all with a tasty helping of offbeat interviews with the cast, crew and Roth. Plus there’s even more of a chance to take a peek at some additional T&A if “Hostel’s first half nod to the late great Bob Clark’s “Porky’s” wasn’t enough for you boob beasts out there.
For the most part disc two offers up the best of both worlds. The real stars of the flick, KNB EFX, get their own minute but interesting nod in the featurette that sees the dynamic duo Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero lay down the backstory to the Oscar winning kings of gore, as well as show us plenty of behind the scenes stuff with Berger and his awesomely bearded wing man Kevin Wasner on the set of Prague. Cracking stuff. The slightly snoozy featurettes that dance around “Hostel’s score and set design aren’t too long and definitely warrant at least the one viewing before you flick to the best doc of the bunch, “Hostel Dismembered.” Here, everyone from Roth to editor George Folsey Jr. through to Tarantino and Harry Knowles chip in on the film’s evolution from a conversation between Knowles and Roth about weird and warped websites right through to the film’s release and the apparent debates it went on to spark about audiences’ new-fangled blood lust for torture cinema.
If you’re interested in checking out a pretty damn gross looking dish then stick around for Eythor Gudjonsson’s lesson in an âAn Icelandic Mealâ which is essentially him wolfing down on a sheep’s head for a few minutes. If that’s your thing and fancy that with a side order of fries and a diet Pepsi then by all means keep watching. This writer’s gut just churned all the way through so there’ll be none of that at this scribblers’ dinner table. Ever.
Last up is a really great interview with the emperor of extreme cinema, the mighty Takeshi Miike who dishes it all in this short but genuinely engrossing interview where he takes us through his beginnings in cinema as an assistant director in Japan to his thoughts on upping stakes and moving out to America to make films and his appearance in “Hostel.” Short but filling stuff.
Essentially what you have here in the second disc are the full versions of snippets of interviews that appear on the first discs’ featurette “Hostel Dissected,” and quite frankly, no one here is complaining about that. Is it worth your hard earned cash? If you’re a fan of the flick and craving more behind the scenes bonanza bits then, by all means fork out for it. It’s not a cheap excuse for a Special Edition, Sony has put some good stuff on here. If you hated it, then surely you would have stopped reading by this point.