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HOSTEL: PART II NEWS:

'Hostel Part II' Unrated on DVD in October

July 28, 2007 -- Sony will be releasing a director's cut of "Hostel" and an uncut version of "Hostel Part II" on October 23. No idea what the 'director's cut' of "Hostel" will be or what a more uncut version of "Hostel Part II" will look like, but it will definitely be a day to save up some money for. Both titles are hitting Blu-Ray as well the same day.

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More Commentary on 'Hostel Part II' and Why Horror Is About to Hibernate Again

June 21, 2007 -- Here are more of my thoughts on why "Hostel Part II," a very good fear film, bombed so badly at the box office. Simply put, the "novelty" of R-rated horror was worn off again. It's worn off before, and it's wearing off again. But more importantly, our society is changing. We're going from right-wing to left-wing. That's happened before too.

Way back in October of 2006, I wrote the following:

For the first time in a long time, Democrats appear likely to actually win an election. Some of today's horror movie fans couldn't even drive a car the last time the party of Nancy Pelosi had any real clout in Washington. The last six years – under a Republican President and, for most of the time, a Republican Congress – has seen a major upsurge in the quality of horror films being produced, from "The Devil's Rejects" to "Frailty" to "The Passion of the Christ."

But will the coming Democratic sweep of both Houses of Congress – and a possible Democratic takeover of the White House in 2008 – stop the horror movie winning streak?

It's likely. When Republicans took back Congress in 1994, a horror movie famine came to an end. Very little horror hit screens in the early Clinton 1990s, when Democrats controlled every branch of government. But Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" improved things. Less than 12 months after Gingrich took over as Speaker of the House, Wes Craven's "Scream" hit theaters. After years of living in direct-to-video hell, the horror genre was reborn.

As Republican support continued to edge forward through the late 1990s, horror support improved too, until by 1999 the most successful independent film of all time, "The Blair Witch Project," was released. Clinton's impeachment and the inevitable ascendancy of George W. Bush saw continued improvements to the genre: "Dog Soldiers," "Freddy vs. Jason," "High Tension," etc. Abu Ghraib seems to have influenced the genre as well, clearly serving as inspiration for Eli Roth's excellent, now-classic "Hostel."

In 2006, however, we've seen Republican support slide, and not coincidentally the year is turning out to be the worst one for the genre since the Clinton Years. Case in point: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning."

It's no surprise. Under Eisenhower, we saw the release of the most seminal horror film of the past 50 years: "Psycho." Then under Kennedy and Johnson, not quite so much in the way of edgy horror to speak of. Then, when Nixon took over, "Night of the Living Dead" began playing on screens across the country, another one of the greatest fear films ever made. The Nixon/Ford years saw "Last House on the Left," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Black Christmas" "The Exorcist" and countless other ultra-classics of the genre. In fact, 1972 was one of the most prolific years the genre has ever seen. Yes, the Carter years beginning in 1977 were good too ("Halloween," "Dawn of the Dead," "Alien"), but not as good as the Nixon years, and certainly not the Reagan years.

The Reagan era saw the rise of the slasher genre, a genre that stays with us to this day. The "Friday the 13th" series had its run during the Reagan/Bush years, as did most of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. This was an age when horror films became truly gut wrenching ("Nightmare," "Maniac," "Re-Animator"). Unrated films were box office smashes. But the genre's popularity once again began to wane during the last years of the George Bush Sr. Administration, as Republican popularity sank into the toilet as a result of the economy and the savings-and-loan scandal, then the genre fell into a Depression under Clinton. The first term of the Clinton Administration may have been the worst days the horror genre has ever seen.

We've seen these shifts over and over again. As the nation turns away from Republicans, it turns away from horror. The genre suffers as a result. Fans are forced to rent the old movies. As Democratic victory appears to be a guaranteed certainty in 2006, no doubt executives at Lion's Gate Entertainment, New Line and Rogue Pictures are shaking in their boots with the fear that another horror movie gravy train might be coming to an end.

All I can say is, I told you so. Expect more Democratic victories in '08 and expect to see the horror genre sink into an early 1990s-style coma. It happened in the late 1980s, and very early 1990s. Horror was dead by the time Clinton took over the White House. It didn't bounce back until Newt Gingrich took over Congress. Mark my words. It's happening again. Something is seriously up when two excellent horror films hit screens -- mainly "28 Weeks Later" and "Hostel Part II" -- and nobody shows up, even if they were released during the summer. What's up is called: Democrats taking over, completely.

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Box Office Blahs: 'Hostel Part II,' '28 Weeks Later' Disappoint

June 12, 2007 -- Despite great reviews from fans, "Hostel Part II" and "28 Weeks Later" were big disappointments at the box office, which has many in the industry worried that the horror genre is on life support. From the New York Times:

Moviegoers put a nail in the coffin of a dying horror boom this weekend, as “Hostel: Part II” opened to just $8.8 million in ticket sales, far behind the crime caper “Ocean’s Thirteen” in a three-day period of relatively soft box office performance.

“Ocean’s Thirteen,” with a cast of stars led by George Clooney and Brad Pitt, ranked first with $37.1 million, slightly underperforming its predecessor, “Ocean’s Twelve.” That film took in about $39.2 million when Warner Brothers released it in December 2004 and went on to collect more than $125.5 million in domestic ticket sales.

Meanwhile “Hostel: Part II,” a torture-theme thriller from the director Eli Roth, placed No. 6 for the weekend and did less than half the opening business of the original “Hostel.” That movie made about $19.6 million in its first weekend when Lionsgate released it in January of last year and helped feed a wave of horror releases that have often come up short.

In the last few months the Weinstein Company’s “Grindhouse” failed its own hype as a hip event, Fox Atomic’s higher-browed zombie film “28 Weeks Later” undershot its predecessor, and a long string of less ambitious horror pictures sputtered as the audience for bigger, family-friendly pictures like “Spider-Man 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Shrek the Third” led a broad surge in ticket sales.

Lionsgate, although it releases films in a variety of genres, had done especially well with relatively low-budget horror in the recent past. Its “Saw III,” for instance, took in about $165 million at the worldwide box office last year, while the original “Hostel” had about $81 million in ticket sales around the world.

“It’s kind of like that Mark Twain quote, ‘Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,’ ” said Michael Burns, vice chairman of Lionsgate. “Everything takes a breather.”

Mr. Burns attributed the weakening performance of horror to a marketplace glut rather than to any growing revulsion to the genre’s excesses or a backlash against violence in the wake of the Virginia Tech killings, as some have suggested. He said his studio, which is co-releasing “Captivity” with After Dark Films in July and has a fourth “Saw” scheduled for October, had already de-emphasized its reliance on the genre because of too much competition.

Total business for the weekend’s Top 12 films was down 9.1 percent from the comparable weekend last year, when Disney’s “Cars” opened, according to the box-office reporting firm Media by Numbers. Disney’s “Pirates” fell 52 percent to finish second with $21.3 million for the weekend and a total of $253.6 million; Universal’s “Knocked Up” was third with $20 million, down 35 percent, and a total of $66.2 million; “Surf’s Up,” a new release from Sony Pictures, was fourth with $18 million; and “Shrek the Third,” from DreamWorks and Paramount, was fifth with $15.8 million, for a total of $281.9 million.

“We did our share,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Brothers’ president for theatrical distribution, noting that the year-to-date box office remains “very strong.” Revenue, thanks in part to higher ticket prices, is up about 5 percent — a significant amount — to almost $4 billion so far. Attendance meanwhile is up about 1 percent.

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Gigantic 'Hostel Part II' Poster

April 22, 2007 -- We'll see how in the mood is America is for "Hostel Part II," what with all the real violence happening in the world today. Here is a giant JPEG of the new poster for the film. Click here for it. It's gigantic, direct from the film's PR company, so expect a bit of a download.

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Download the 'Hostel II' Trailer in Uber-clear Quicktime

April 4, 2007 -- For a limited time, the "Hostel Part II" trailer can be downloaded as a Quicktime file right to your computer. Watch it on the road or whereever. It's the highest quality file available! Click here for the long download.

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Official 'Hostel Part II' Trailer Live Now

March 29, 2007 -- MTV today posted the official full-length trailer to "Hostel Part II." Click here for it.

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Eli Roth All Over the News

March 28, 2007 -- "Hostel Part II" director Eli Roth chatted up MTV about the state of horror and believes horror films should have no ratings. "I'd love to see us get to a point where you can go to theaters and see movies unrated and that people know its not real violence. It's all pretend. It's all fake." Meanwhile, he had this to say to Moviesonline.ca about his trailer for "Thanksgiving" screening with the double feature "Grindhouse": "Honestly, when I shot that trailer for Thanksgiving I really thought there was no problem with anything. It just shows that genuinely out of touch I am. It was a girl with a full frontal labial shot at the camera landing on a knife which seemed like no problem to me. It's an exploitation movie. It's my job to exploit. If I don't exploit this girl I have failed as a director. These guys are expecting a lot from me. We showed it to the ratings board and that trailer wound up getting more comments than Death Proof and Planet Terror combined, but the ratings board was great and we said we still want to have the moment. So what if we scratched the film sort of like a scratch ticket and literally take out the full frontal nudity, just kind of clever editing so it actually isn't there but kind of cut together with trick photography, and they were great about it. And they even let me keep the turkey sex. It's not having sex with a turkey, it's a cooked turkey. It's not having sex with a live turkey. That would be gratuitous, but someone having sex with a turkey with a decapitated head on top of it, so it’s more of a turkey/human hybrid really."

And he talked to SciFiWire.com about his upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's "Cell":

"My first question when I adapted it was, 'Can I deviate from the book?'" Roth said in an interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 25 while promoting Grindhouse, in which he has a small part. "It's Stephen King. Am I going to piss off Stephen King? He was mad at Stanley Kubrick [who adapted King's The Shining], I don't want him mad at me. And, finally, Stephen King was like, 'Do whatever you want.'" Of King's bestseller, he was a little critical. "I love the opening [scene]," Roth said. "But I also want to keep, ... not necessarily that same chaotic tone, but I want to keep the tension of the opening 40 pages of the book going throughout the whole film and introduce other elements. Because I think the book, for me, where it loses tension is where suddenly you don't feel like the phone crazies are trying to kill them. ... I find that it's finding other ways to make it so you still feel the tension that any second you could get killed [and] carrying that throughout the whole film."

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New Clip from 'Hostel Part II' -- Plus New 'Hostel' DVD

March 21, 2007 -- A new clip from "Hostel Part II" just landed today. Check it out below.

Meanwhile, on his official blog, Eli Roth pontificated on an upcoming special edition of "Hostel" on DVD.

"I was putting together a lot elements today for the Hostel special edition DVD. Sony wants to do one and my feeling is I'm all for it, but it has to be great and have so many extras people really feel they got their money's worth and that Sony didn't double dip. It's gonna be awesome. But watching all those deleted scenes made me sad. I missed them. I missed filming with them. With Jay and Derek and Eythor and Barbara. There's a lot of great shit that got cut for time that I still love. I wish I could soot that film again. It was one of those magical experiences where everything came together. Seems so far from me now. And yet I'm still in it in a weird way. Crazy."

"Hostel" actually had a totally different ending before test screenings, when the new ending was tacked on. Expect to see this alternate ending somewhere on the upcoming DVD.

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New 'Hostel Part II' Images, Poster

March 13, 2007 -- The new 'Hostel Part II' poster combines the 'meat' teaser with the 'nude' promo poster. Meanwhile, three additional photos from the much-anticipated Eli Roth sequel have emerged. Click here for a gigantic JPEG of the new 'Hostel Part II' teaser poster.




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Heads Up: Clear 'Hostel Part II' Poster

February 26, 2007 -- A clear view of the nudity-laden poster for "Hostel Part II" has just been posted online.

"Head" on over to it here at Roth's MySpace page.

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First One Sheet for 'Hostel 2'

December 14, 2006 -- A weird poster for "Hostel Part II" cropped up at IGN. Whoa.

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Roth's 'Hostel Part II' Moved to June

December 12, 2006 -- We'll have to wait a few months longer for Eli Roth's "Hostel" follow up to hit screens. According to DreadCentral, the film will be hitting theaters in June.

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Eli Roth: 'Hostel II' Has Wrapped

December 4, 2006 -- Eli Roth's official blog reports that "Hostel Part II" has officially wrapped. He writes about the end of filming, and work he did on an apparently fake trailer for "Grind House." "Grind House," of course, is the Tarantino/Rodriguez anthology horror film due out in theaters in April. Roth writes: "My flight back was good, but I'm totally jetlagged and feel like I'm a weird Los Angeles daze. Gabe and I watched a great Luciano Martino sex comedy on the plane called LA DOTORESSA in the Military that my friend Riccardo gave me, and we fucking loved it. Edwige Fenech was just so fucking beautiful in those films, and I can't believe I was lucky enough to direct her in HOSTEL: PART II. Isn't it annoying that I write HOSTEL: PART II instead of just writing HOSTEL 2 or H2? Why do I do that? It's like some weird superstition or something. ..."

"The last few days in Prague were really fun. With Jay Hernandez in town we really blew it out, HOSTEL-style, and rocked out with the KNB guys at Harley's Bar, which became our favorite hangout spot during the shoot. There was a lot of going crazy to AC/DC and MOTORHEAD, and Mike McCarty from KNB became so friendly with the DJ he was actually making mix CDs for them to play. And they actually played them. So we got to go crazy slam-dancing (that's early 80's moshing for anyone under 30) to Misfits and Devo and the music we wished people would play at bars more often. Prague goes all night and we pretty much took advantage of every minute of that once we wrapped. After HOSTEL DEUX wrapped we went right into shooting the GRIND HOUSE trailer which was absolutely fucking nuts. It's seriously the most fun I've had shooting anything since 7th grade. My friend Jeff came over from Boston and we got to film this thing we've been dreaming of shooting since we were 18 years old. Gabe produced it and everyone who was in town made cameos in it. We basically had 2 days to cram in as much sex, violence and silliness as we could, and we just fucking went for it. It was honestly the most fun I've ever had shooting anything. HOSTEL was a blast, as was HOSTEL PART II, but with the GRIND HOUSE trailer there were absolutely no rules. No continuity, no character development, just pure unadulterated, unfiltered violence and insanity. My D.P. Milan Chadima shot it, and he busted out lenses from the 1970's! It was too fucking cool. I really want it to look like the trailer for THE PROWLER or MANIAC, and we shot it with the old school camera and lenses."

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Variety: 'Hostel III' Is 'All But Signed'

November 27, 2006 -- Variety reports today on the shoot of "Hostel II," and confirms that "Hostel III" is likely to follow Eli Roth's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Cell" Here's the story:

"Eli Roth, who just wrapped 'Hostel II's' Prague and Iceland shoots, ventured into more than a new threshold for gore on the project.

"The energetic, prankish helmer returned to the Czech Republic for the seven-week production, bringing his Raw Nerve company into partnership again with Prague's Intl. Production Co. because, he says, 'They know how to put the money on the screen.'

"The four-year-old Prague-based venture run by American Dan Frisch and Brit Philip Waley was recommended by 'Pink Panther' editor George Folsey, Roth's friend, after its work on the laffer, involving 27,000 extras in the town of Teplice. The recommendation, along with the country's 'beautiful rotting buildings,' won over Roth for the first 'Hostel' shoot.

"IPC also helped secure financing, which didn't hurt on such a risky project. All part of the plan, says Frisch, who conceives of his small production company as a boutique business, taking on a select few clients and offering them production guarantees and line producing in addition to the typical production services.

"The four-year-old Prague shingle, which moved beyond servicing work after doing 'Running Scared' in 2004, typifies a Czech trend in which service providers are assuming more responsibilities and involvement.

"Prague's Stillking has just taken on packaging and financing for Ehren Kruger's adaptation of the novel 'The Keep,' but has been co-producing pics from 'Casino Royale' and 'The Illusionist' to 'Everything is Illuminated' and 'Van Helsing.'

"Prague's Milk and Honey outfit has also moved into financial guarantees and other involvement, says prexy Tomas Krejci, both to remain competitive and to tap into government funds. In the absence of film incentives from the Czech government, production service companies must get their clients VAT refunds of 22% on goods and 5% on services. In order to qualify, he says, real financial responsibility must be shown. 'It's necessary that the company in Prague be in ownership of the material.'

"Although Roth's budget more than doubled with 'Hostel II' and Sony has kicked in $19 million in P&A, his first outing spent just $2.2 million on production in 38 days.

"Czech shoots can't compete dollar for dollar with Bulgaria or Romania these days, but Frisch says, 'We don't sell cheap; we sell value.'

"Roth, for his part, has ramped up the creepiness in 'Hostel II,' which carries on his tale of kidnapped backpackers sold off to sicko businessmen for dismemberment with a custom built train car, a bigger torture complex ('We've got actual theme rooms') and more locations in derelict buildings around Bohemia.

"This time around, the victims are college girls in Rome (Lauren German, Bijou Phillips and Heather Matarazzo) who foolishly take the advice of an exotic Czech woman, who recommends a lovely spa vacation in Bratislava, Slovakia.

"Slovak tourist authorities were already annoyed by the gory 'Hostel,' and this time around, Roth cast former Slovak culture minister Milan Knazko as one of the heavies.

"Roth is clearly thrilled at auds' recent taste for torture. Roth, an NYU grad with an encyclopedic knowledge of his craft, points to the greats of American horror from the 1970s, like 'Jaws,' 'The Exorcist' and 'The Shining,' and says 'I felt American horror had gone soft. I wanted to amp it up.'

"More fresh visions are on the way, says Frisch, such as psychological thriller 'Site 9' and a WWII true story set on the soccer field, 'Baker's Dozen,' which IPC is developing.

"'Hostel III' is all but signed as well, to possibly follow Roth's next shoot, Stephen King's 'The Cell,' although 'Hostel II's' release date will affect timing, Roth says."

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Images from 'Hostel Part II'

November 8, 2006 -- The first official images from Eli Roth's "Hostel" sequel have surfaced. And here they are:



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Roth's 'Hostel Part II' Goes to Iceland

October 30, 2006 -- Eli Roth spoke with MTV, to comment on the filming of "Hostel Part II," which will be "more disturbing" than the first. He said of the filming in Prague: "After what we've shot here, there's no question that this movie will be far more disturbing than the first one."

Here's his description of the actors and the various locales and plot of the film:

"Heater Matarazzo -- she was in 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' and 'Princess Diaries' -- she plays this girl who's a bit of a space cadet, who is in her own world, but she plays her with this wonderful manic energy that has these extreme highs and lows. ou just know she's on some kind of anti-depressant. And Bijou Phillips -- I think people know her more for her reputation than they do for her acting, even though she has been in 'Bully' and a number of films -- she's so unbelievably funny and so sharp and so tough; it's horrifyng watching horrible things happen to her. Then there's Lauren German, who most people don't know by name, but they know her as the girl who blew her head off in the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake. She's actually really funny, and so sweet and so likeable and vulnerable. But then she gives a performancce that is at that level, even more intense than she was for those five minutes she was in 'Chainsaw' -- she's like that for 45 minutes here. ...

"What is actually happening is that the girls are in Rome in the beginning of the movie, and they're getting harassed pretty badly by guys, and so they're lured away by the allure of beautiful spas in Slovakia. It's a safe haven from guys, and all the harassment and near-date-rape expereinces that they're having while in Italy. And let's just say they would have beena lot better off staying at home. ...

"The film is also following two guys who go through this experience to kill somebody. And we know them really well, and they are very, very likeable and they're very normal. It seems like there's nothing psycho about them, except they are are looking for some excitement in their life because they are bored. ... That's going to be a parallel story. We see it from the girls' perspetive and we see it from the clients' perspective. We inter-cut both stories until they all meet in this horrible place. So we're going to learn everything about the organization, all the minutiae of it."

The "Bubblegum Gang" of kids is also back from the first film: "The kids play a big part of this movie; it just gets really sick and dark with the kids."

Jay Hernandez is also back in the film, although his scenes have yet to be shot: "He's in. We're definitely doing it. We're wrapping in Prague now, and then we're going to Iceland, and then I have to wait until Jay has a break -- which could be THanksgiving -- and we'll have a blcok of time where we can shoot the scenes where we need Jay." Click here for MTV's complete story.

Meanwhile, Windows Media files of the trailer have been posted by Lions Gate. Check them out below.

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Teaser for 'Hostel Part II' Live Now!

October 28, 2006 -- The teaser trailer for "Hostel Part II" is up now and looks great! Check it out here.

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First Photo From 'Hostel II' Set

October 13, 2006 -- The first photo from the set of "Hostel Part II" has been posted. It's a shot of Eli Roth directing actress Edwige Fenech. Click here for it.

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'Hostel: Part II' Official Synopsis

October 5, 2006 -- Lion's Gate has provided ComingSoon.net with an official synopsis for "Hostel: Part II," starring Lauren German, Bijou Phillips, Roger Bart, Richard Bugl, Vera Jordanova, Heather Mattarazzo, Stanislav Ianevski and Milan Knazko. Here is how the studio describes the film: Last January, writer/director Eli Roth terrified moviegoers with the blood-drenched "Hostel," which catapulted to the top of the box office charts and became the first Number One film of 2006. One year later, Roth takes us back to where it all began, and deeper into the darkest recesses of the human mind.

In "Hostel: Part II," three young Americans studying art in Rome set off for a weekend trip when they run into a beautiful model from one of their classes. Also on her way to an exotic destination, the gorgeous European invites the coeds to come along, assuring them they will be able to relax and rejuvenate.

Will the girls find the oasis they are looking for? Or are they poised to become victims for hire, pawns in the fantasies of the sick and privileged from around the world who secretly travel here to savor more grisly pursuits?

With "Hostel," Eli Roth cemented the cutting-edge credentials he earned with his debut feature "Cabin Fever" (2002). In "Hostel: Part II," Roth invites fans to take another frightening trip where suppressed urges – once unleashed – have chilling consequences.

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