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Hostel - Part III

01/03/2012. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Hostel - Part III in the USA - or Buy Hostel - Part III in the UK

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Blu-ray: pub: Sony Home Entertainment B005XZR3KW. 1 Blu-ray 88 minutes film with extras. Price: $11.99(UK)) cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Kip Pardue, John Hensley and Barry Livingston .

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You can't be serious, a famous tennis player once said and this movie is a bit of a racket as well. It's the third part of a horror series and many suspect the continuation of the theme is just a method of making more money. That's possibly true but the movie itself, despite the critics, isn't all that bad. In many respects, it could be better than the first two. Some people would shout out in horror at the suggestion but taken in isolation, with a different setting and an almost comical black horror aura to the proceedings, it's certainly a movie in a class of its own.

The first two ‘Hostel’ movies were set in Europe. This time it's in Las Vegas, a sinful city in the sand where anything can happen at the spin of a wheel or the turn of a card and where everything has a price. Sodom and Gomorrah with a futuristic setting? Some people will gamble on anything, even a couple of beetles crawling along the floor and, if sufficiently rich and bored with the normal methods, they will go to the depths of depravity and gamble on the life and death of real people. How much sicker could you get than that? Now, that's the theme of this movie. What else could you get in Las Vegas? It simply wouldn't have the same impetus if set in Europe!

The plot is rather simple with four guys on a bachelor night out meeting a couple of hookers. What they don't know this that they are being lured into the horrific clutches of the Hunting Club, a group of sadistic Americans who bet on the death of their victims. That's it, folks, in a nutshell and the rest is just superficial. Nevertheless, it is teased out to last almost ninety minutes during which you will see people put to death in various ways, all designed to be rather shocking and squeamish. That was the intention but the movie is so ridiculous that it turns out to be comical in many respects. It loses its grip on reality about five minutes after the beginning and following that it's on another level entirely.

Set on this level and unencumbered by the images of the first two movies, it's something completely different. Perhaps it should have had a different name? This isn't really a ‘Hostel’ movie as such but taken in its own right it's quite good and shouldn't be downcast in comparison to the others.

Directed by Scott Speigel, the main actors were Thomas Kretschmann, Kip Pardue, John Hensley and Barry Livingston. ‘Hostel 3’ did not appear in cinemas because it probably didn't have sufficient economic appeal for mass audiences. It went straight to DVD in January 2012. This Blu-ray edition comes with excellent quality of picture, as you would expect, plus extras which include a commentary involving many of the people associated with the movie.

There are quite a few twists and turns to the plot. This is what you expect from a movie of this type and you are also left wondering who is who. Basically nobody can be trusted with everything being left rather uncertain. People are killed, sad to say, with the manner of deaths being the subject of gambling from members of the club. There is no real hope for anyone involved in the massacres, despite the illusory lifelines being thrown in from time to time. The outcome is obvious and the ending is rather curious to say the least. Without having to give anything away, it's the ending that makes this a comedy. You can't be serious!

Perhaps the most horrific thing about this movie will be some of the watchers! Like customers of the arena in ancient Rome, they will want more and more blood in even more horrific settings. Their appetite for blood will be ravenous. I'm afraid if that's what they expected they will be disappointed. I mean, how much more blood would you want? ‘Hostel’ one and two were enough for anybody. This movie takes you on a different track, to the absurd and ridiculous. One is almost reminded of Vincent Price movies of the past.

‘Hostel 3’ will not win an Oscar. It's unlikely to win any other award in the movie business but it is reasonably good entertainment for someone who likes this sort of stuff. I would certainly bypass the critics who have generally condemned this film because it is not sufficiently bloodthirsty. It also claimed that the characters are not likeable enough for us to care about their living or dying during the proceedings but these are supposed to be ordinary guys out on the town just like many of us out there. This sort of thing could happen to us! That's the message they are trying to get out but everything is so absurd that in reality this could only be the subject of a drunken bar room discussion.

Recommended? A reasonable yes to that question but if you are going to Las Vegas in the near future, I would watch what you are doing!

Rod MacDonald

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