November 6th, 2007


Eli makes me wroth

As you may recall, I really didn't care for Hostel at all. More recently, I've seen the sequel, as well as another Eli Roth film called Cabin Fever. While I didn't think these other two were QUITE as bad, they had some of the same general faults. Chief among them might be the fact that Roth seems to feel the need to use more than half of the movie establishing that the protagonists: 1) enjoy sex and drugs, and 2) have the approximate cognitive ability of dried corn meal. Yeah, I guess that's kind of typical of horror movie victims, but how much time needs to be devoted to showing how unlikeable they are? It's not like they're even INTERESTINGLY unlikeable. I guess Hostel Part 2 got into the actual plot somewhat more quickly, perhaps because even Roth didn't feel a sequel needed a long setup. It still suffered from some rather desperate writing, though, as evidenced by this exchange that isn't actually in the movie but might as well have been:

Evil Foreign Nude Art Model Chick: I know you were planning on going to Prague, but why don't you go to Slovakia instead?
American Female Protagonists: Why?
EFNAMC: It will advance the plot.
AFP: Oh, okay, sure! We totally trust you, after a few brief, unsettling encounters with you!

The trend of characters doing stupid things for no real reason is also in evidence in Cabin Fever, in a scene where one of the interchangeable female protagonists shaves her legs to reveal rotten, peeling flesh underneath. I've heard that this has been deemed one of the creepiest scenes in film history, but it seems totally out of place in the plot. I mean, when your friends have been infected with a flesh-eating virus and you think you might be too, why would your first thought be, "Oh, I think I'll shave my legs!"? Maybe if they'd established that leg-shaving is this character's way of relaxing, but I'd still find that kind of hard to swallow, because who actually ENJOYS shaving?

I also remember seeing some list of "reasons Hostel II will mess you up," and one of them was something about violence against women always being sexual. Uh...what? Is there any way to construe this statement that ISN'T blatantly sexist, and nonsensical to boot? The IMDB also credits him as having said, "Failure, in my book, is someone who lives in the safety of their laptop taking shots at those who actually achieved what they have been unable to do." Now, there's no source given for this quote, or even quotation marks around it, so I'm not sure how authentic it is. But assuming he really said that...have I mentioned before how utterly moronic the "don't criticize something unless you could do better" argument is? (Answer: Yes, I have, on several different occasions.) Not to mention that the page goes on and on about how this guy is rolling in dough and awards, and Quentin Tarantino is his very best friend. So why does he care if there are people who don't like his work? Is he that insecure? I suppose he's not talking about me anyway, though, since I have a desktop. {g}
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