I'm a massive fan of the Hostel movies, particularly the first film. It seems unfair that so many people write Hostel off as 'just gore' or 'torture porn,' especially when people leveling these complaints have usually never seen the movie in the first place...
Check out 10 fascinating facts about Hostel that make the movie even more interesting for true fans!
1. Love What You've Done with the Place!
The slaughterhouse where it all goes down was genuinely a frightening location; Roth chose the closed wing of a 1910 mental hospital in Prague. The crew found the place so unsettling that Roth hired a soothing string quartet to play between takes, creating a cozier atmosphere.
2. Kids and Drunks
The Bubblegum Gang were real street kids that Roth approached to be in the movie. Despite the saying 'never work with children and animals,' the street kids were much more reliable than the actor playing the Bratislavan cab driver, who was so drunk on set that he had to be replaced!
3. An Icy Reception
Eli Roth issued an official request for a pardon (somewhat jokingly) from Iceland for making their country's people look like sex-crazed drunks with the character of Oli. He told Dread Central:
I got to issue a formal apology to the Minister of Culture for ruining Icelandic culture, which he accepted. [He replied,] 'Well, you know, your character is pretty accurate so I’ll give you the pardon.'
4. Movies in Movies
Remember the guard at the factory watching porn rather than doing his damn job? The film he's watching is Sex Fever, the porn parody of Roth's first movie, Cabin Fever. When Paxton & co. first hit the hostel, a snippet of Pulp Fiction is playing on the TV (very apt, as Tarantino produced Hostel).
5. Hidden Gems
When Josh and Paxton leave the club with the hot girls, the song playing is the Sneaker Pimps' 'How Do'; a cover of the song sung in horror classic The Wicker Man. This is Eli Roth's nod to the seduction scene -- and a historic community's danger to an outsider -- in the horror canon.
For more on Eli Roth as a horror powerhouse, check out the Moviepilot Magazine's hot Halloween FEAR edition.
6. Eye, Eye, Captain!
After she'd sat through hours of make-up for Yuki's blow-torched eye scene, actress Keiko Seiko burst into tears, telling crew around her that the look was so disturbing, she could better understand why Yuki kills herself.
Hostel premiered at the Iceland Film Festival in 2005. While there, Roth and Tarantino took part in a special ceremony where they acquired Viking names. You can now call them Eli Sheldonsson and Quentin Conniesson (if you're a Viking!).
8. Hostel by Numbers
Hostel uses 150 gallons of fake blood and drops the F-bomb 128 times. Paxton, Josh and Oli stay in room 237 in the Hostel in Bratislava; this is a reference to The Shining.
9. Poster Tribute
You may never have noticed that one of the posters used for Hostel is a direct imitation of the iconic poster for 1980 video nasty Maniac.
10. Radio Hostel
The soundtrack features some fab Czech and Slovak hits from the late '80s, such as this absolute banger, a cover of a 1980 Czechoslovakian hit...