Sunday, November 17, 2019

Brocation Survival Kit

Hidey ho, peoples! Welcome to another WTFHM!

So, what do you get when you mix three horny bros on a trip to Amsterdam with some drugs, sex, a sprinkle of racism, and a dash of homophobia and then put it all in a blender? 

I’m not going to spend this blog ranting about why Eli Roth’s brand of horror is not my cup of tea. Okay, maybe I’m going to rant a little.

You know how people who don’t watch horror movies say that horror movies are full of gratuitous sex and violence? Well, okay, that’s actually true.

The trouble with Hostel and just about every Eli Roth movie I’ve ever seen is that everything is gratuitous. The violence. The sex. The characters. Everything and everyone is a caricature or a stereotype. There’s no sense of anything connecting actual things that actual humans might do. It’s like…you ever talk to someone about sex who’s never had sex before?

Yeah, kind of like that. I never thought I’d say that I thought a horror director’s work was juvenile, but, well...

This week's Movies!

The Hostel Series starring Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jana Kaderbkova, Keiko Saiko, Takashi Miike, Petr Janis, Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Patrick Zigo, Milda Jedi Havlas, Kip Pardue, Brian Hallisay, John Hensley, Sarah Habel, Chris Coy, and Sklyer Stone.

So, I’m not going to do a breakdown for these movies. Why not? Well, if you really want one, here you go:

Part I

Bros go to Amsterdam looking to get high and get laid.

Bros get told about a place where they can get high and get laid.

Bros go to high/laid place (a Hostel, if you will).

Bros get kidnapped and tortured.

One bro lives long enough to take revenge and ride off into the sunset.

The end – Lesson? Women are messed up.

Part II

Bro from the first movie lives long enough for a recap of the last movie.

Art student Basics go on vacation in Prague to get high and laid.

Basics ride a train full of predatory men. Literally, full of predatory men.

Basics get told about a place where they can get high and get laid.

Basics go to high/laid place (same hostel)

Basics get kidnapped and tortured.

One Basic lives long enough to take revenge (via gelding one of the main bad guys with rusty hedgeclippers) and buy stock in the killing business

The End – Lesson? Men are messed up.

Part III

Same thing as Part I except one more bro and it’s in Vegas.

The End – Lesson? Everyone’s pretty messed up.

Now, that’s out of the way, so, let’s do a Dos and Don’ts for the whole shebang. This way if you happen to be a Bro, maybe you’ll avoid being kidnapped and tortured while you’re Bro-ing up overseas. Consider this Bro Public Service Announcement.

Take your best buddy on a vacation

I’ve said this before. Vacations are a great thing and should be taken as often as possible – especially if you have a good friend to travel with. Our ten main characters all decide to get away to somewhere new and exotic and by all means, you should definitely do so, however…


Go off the beaten path.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but no good can come from exploring any place where there’s no GPS or cell service. In two of the Hostels, the bros and the basics are told about a little town in Slovakia where they can party up instead of sticking to large cities and safety (in the third, the four bros are taken to a warehouse party in the back alley of a sketchy neighborhood).

I know finding new adventures is exciting, but then so’s being chased by dogs down a long dark hallway. How you spend your vacation is really important. Choose wisely.


Have responsible friends.

Look. I realize that you’re bros and everything, but you have to keep a healthy ratio of responsibility to bro at all times. That means you need more than one friend to talk some actual sense into you. However, if you are that unfortunate friend trapped in a den of bro-sephs…


Hang with your bros when they do something stupid.

You know how when you were a kid and got caught doing something dumb with your friends and your mother asked, “if they jumped off a bridge would you do it, too?”

All I’m saying is don’t follow your bros off a bridge. You will all die. All of you. Probably into a pit of spikes.

Make friends

While you’re in Amsterdam or Prague or wherever, be friendly! Make some new buds. Have a little sex, drink a little booze, etc. You never know. You might actually need them to help you escape crazy psychopathic millionaires, but…


Go back for your friends.

Another one I’ve said before. The bottom line is just that you cannot help your friends if you are dead too. If you have a way out, take it. Do not go back for your friends. Don’t do it. As we learn in the Hostel series, no good will come from it and, in fact, they’ll probably end up dying anyway. Speaking of your friends…


Call the police when someone turns up missing.

In all three movies, someone in the friend camp pops up missing and no one calls the cops. In fact, it doesn’t even really come up until the third movie. One of the characters says that people go missing in Vegas so often that the cops don’t even bother calling them missing for at least a week…which is just lazy writing.

Now, to be fair, it is insinuated that the police might be in on the whole thing, but 1) that’s never really verified as anything more than paranoia and 2) WHY WOULD YOU NOT CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY IF THEY GO MISSING?

My dudes, this is not the Hangover. You will not have a fun time gallivanting all over Europe if your friends go missing. Even in a real-world scenario, losing your bud while you’re on a trip is a terrifying experience. Just call the cops. And while you’re at it…

Let someone take you to where they are.

In all three movies, some sketchy person says, “I know where they are, let me take you there.” It does not end well for that person and why would it? You’re riding in the back of a car of a person you just met and are pretty sure had something to do with your friend’s disappearance. Does any part of that sound like a smart move? No, it doesn't. Hang your head in shame.

And finally, the most important thing to remember on your bro-cation,


Arm yourself.

It’s like I always say, if you find yourself about to be murdered by psychopaths, zombies, or scarecrow monsters, find the first weapon you can get your hands on and USE IT. Use it as often and as liberally as possible. The one bright spot in this movie is how readily all the survivors could smash heads in when it came down to escape. I suppose that’s a sort of commentary on how we’re all monsters? I think? Probably not.

Okay, so, as expected, I did not like these movies. The first movie I’ve seen before this and watching it again was so much worse the second time around. Unlike a lot of horror sequels, this one does not get better as they go along. I’m only thankful of the reminder of why I don’t particularly like torture porn. 

So, let’s have a great big Bronx Cheer for the Hostel Movies.

Next week, we’re taking on The Innkeepers! Yay, I know nothing about this movie!  

See you next week!


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Horredy...I'm making it thing

Hidey-ho, horror nuts! Welcome to another edition of Will Twerk for Horror Movies!

Okay, so, I want to take a second to wax poetic about comedy-slash-horror movies. Like every movie that I’ve got in my brain, the category of horror movies that make me laugh is safely tucked in a very small file.

I’m saying, it’s a very short list. Not that I don’t like Horredies (I have no idea if that’s a thing, but I’m going to make it one. I like the word ‘horredy’), I do...when they’re well done. I mean, Shaun of the Dead, Army of Darkness, even the Dude Bro Massacre thing I watched last week-ish were all pretty good horredies. I’ve come to realize that horredies really only need to live up to two requirements. Be funny and still be a horror movie.

It’s harder than you might think, apparently.

Anyway, this week’s movie!

Housebound starring Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Waita, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes, Ryan Lampp, and Mick Innes.

So, first off, this movie kind of plays like a really elaborate lie. Not that that’s bad, in this case. It’s just...well, let me demonstrate.

All right, so, once upon a time, Kylie Bucknell(O’Reilly) and her buddy try to rip off an ATM machine. I say attempted because, well...  See, her friend tries to break into the machine with a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer hits him in the face and knocks him unconscious. Kylie uses a crowbar and pries the money out, drags her friend into the car and tries to drive away, but the car gets stuck on a speedbump.

Needless to say, she gets caught.

The judge decides that since she’s a repeat offender and has been to every criminal rehab place in town, she should spend the next seven months with her parents....whom she hates.

So, Kylie spends her time at home with an ankle bracelet, courtesy of her parole officer, Amos (Waru) eating all the food, hogging the tv, and generally being a burden on her parents. Until one night she hears her mother call into a radio station and talk about the ghosts in their house.

She confronts her mother and tells her, there’s no such thing as ghosts and to quit telling people that BS.

Later on, Kylie gets woken up by the sound of her phone ringing...with the most annoying ringtone ever created. (play at your own risk)

Yeah, so she follows the sound to the basement where a hand comes out of the wall and grabs her foot. She panics and runs screaming up the stairs where she runs into her mother on the stairs. She tells her someone is in the house and at that moment, they hear someone in the house…

Kylie grabs a blunt object and jumps the shadow lurking around the house and beats the crap out of him. Her mom turns on the light…

And it’s Amos. Amos showed up because while creeping around the basement, Kylie’s ankle bracelet went off. Sooo, being the probation officer, he had to come running.

Kylie explains to him that there might actually be a ghost in the house. Lucky for the Brucknells, Amos ghost hunts in his spare time. He agrees to set up some equipment in the hopes of catching some ghosts.

All right, so this leads us to what is, for me, the funniest part of the movie. Kylie’s sleeping and all of a sudden, an old Teddy Ruxpin like toy is sitting on her nightstand and has started talking to her in an eerie voice. She beats it up, then tosses it in the fire when it doesn’t shut up.

The next morning she’s taking a shower and, lo and behold, the demon teddy bear has returned. She freaks out and throws it out...again.

She tells Amos and he blows her off, more or less. And after talking to the court psychiatrist, Dennis (Rhodes) and reviewing the tapes he puts around the house, they suspect that Kylie and her mother are delusional.

While trying to be...fatherly, Kylie’s stepfather accidentally reveals that the house used to be a mental ward...and that a teenage girl was murdered there. 

This gets Kylie’s interest and she starts investigating what happened through clues around the house, books marked with the hospital’s logo, an old antique brooch, and a retainer. From this, she deduces that the crazy old neighbor must have attacked and murdered the girl for the brooch and now her soul is in a state of unrest.

Yeah, I know it’s a stretch. It gets better.

So, she gets with Amos and they plan to sneak into the crazy old neighbor’s house and steal his retainer. I know. How could a plan like that go wrong?

Right, so...

Kylie sneaks in, looks around the dirty house, doesn’t find the retainer. She tells Amos through a window that she’s going to take a look around because...why not?

She finds the neighbor asleep, with his mouth open. She decides, hey! This is a good opportunity to pull the retainer right out of his mouth while he’s sleeping. Surprisingly, the plan doesn’t work.

The crazy neighbor wakes up and she runs out of the house. She and Amos try to get away, but Amos gets caught in a bear trap (as would, of course, be hidden in the grass of a crazy neighbor). Kylie hides Amos under an old car cover and runs for it. When she gets to the house, Amos calls her and warns her that the crazy neighbor is heading for her house, with a gun.

Panicked, Kyle grabs some hedge clippers and hides. When she hears someone coming, she jumps out and starts stabbing. It’s too bad her stepfather, Graeme(Harper) has chosen that moment to come walking into the room.

So, while Graeme’s in the hospital, Amos decides to go back to the crazy neighbor’s house. He finds the retainer and old magazines surrounding the teen’s murder so many years ago. The crazy neighbor finds him and decides to tell him what really happened to the girl.

The reader’s digest version is pretty simple. His adopted son, Eugene (Lampp), was in the mental ward, not him. He’s not for sure that he killed him, but he thinks it’s possible. He disappeared years ago. There’s only one thing...Eugene didn’t like to leave the house.

I’m willing to bet some of you are ahead of me, here. Yeah, so, Kylie very soon after finds a hidden door in the house, which leads to a hidden room, where she finds, you guessed it, Eugene. Nope. No ghosties. Just a crazy recluse living in the walls. I feel like I’ve seen this plot somewhere before...I can’t quite place it…

So, anyway, Eugene chases her through the house because...I don’t really know. He’s a recluse? Anyway, she runs out of the house and runs to the police station and tells them, quite hysterically, that there’s a crazy person living in the walls of her house.

Amos shows up a little while later and corroborates the story, however, and the police come and investigate. They find nothing and call the court psychiatrist who manages to convince Kylie’s mom that maybe she should consider putting her away. When he talks to her, she realizes that he, too, wears a retainer and therefore must have something to do with the teenager’s murder.

She buys herself some time and goes to the basement to look at old files. Sure enough, the good doctor’s name is written down in an incident where the girl embarrassed him many years ago and nearly ruined his career. She and her mother confront him and he goes all crazy-eyed and attacks them both. He chases them through the house before they escape through one of Eugene’s hidden rooms.

From there, we learn that Eugene is just a nice crazy guy...even though he was just chasing Kylie through the house two scenes ago.

Yeah, so Eugene wants to help, but he’s quickly stabbed through a door by the crazy psychiatrist. He chases the some more, knocks Kylie out and starts strangling her mother. Fortunately, Eugene isn’t dead! (Don’t know how that possible as he was impaled, but whatever). He wakes Kylie up and gives her a big chord where she stabs the psychiatrist in the neck. Eugene throws a switch and Dr. Crazy Pants’ head explodes.

And they all live happily ever after.

I mean, basically. Seven months later, she gets the ankle bracelet off and Eugene, somehow, is still living in the walls.

Was this a proper horredy? I mean, it was pretty funny. And, it’s just barely a horror movie, really. So, okay. I guess it gets a jewel. I’ve seen better horredies, though. Maybe a pink jewel this time.

Okay, so, next week, unfortunately, I have to cover the Hostel series. Yes, I’ve seen the first one. I never bothered with the others because, if you’ve never heard me mention it, I’m not an Eli Roth fan. But *sigh* no one can ever say I don’t honor my commitments, so…

See you next week,