Hostel and Hostel: Part II (Drawing, Review)

August 11, 2008 at 4:16 AM (Art, Movies) (, , , , , , )

I watched both Hostel (2005) and Hostel: Part II (2007) back-to-back, this weekend.  The first movie begins with three friends, Paxton (Jay Hernandez), Josh (Derek Richardson) and Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) heading out to a hostel in Bratislava, Slovakia, in search of beautiful women who will "do anything" with an American tourist.  Once there, things take a turn for the worse when one-by-one, they disappear — we realise later that they’ve been abducted by an underground "Elite Hunting" club, who kidnap tourists and offer them up to rich people to torture and kill in any way they see fit!  The sequel is more-or-less a retread of the first film, except this time we have three female lead characters — Beth (Lauren German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips) and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) who go to the Slovak hostel, and we get to see more of what happens "behind-the-scenes" at Elite Hunting.  Both films also have the appearance of the "Bubblegum Gang", a group of little kids who are very, very dangerous.

Both movies come from writer-director Eli Roth and are executive produced by Quentin Tarantino.  The movies became well-known due to their extremely violent and bloody content — these two, along with the Saw movies are commonly referred to under the "torture porn" genre.  Of course, both are well-done movies and if you like this sort of thing, they’re highly recommended!  I thought the Saw movies were a notch better than this series, though.

I did a drawing today based on Hostel and Hostel: Part II.  It was done with ballpoint pen and I added some colour to it on computer.  The drawing features Rick Hoffman as the "American Client" from Part 1, the Bubblegum Gang leader from both movies, Lauren German as Beth from Part 2 and Jay Hernandez as Paxton from Part 1.  You can click on the images to see larger versions (warning: black and white image large version contains profanity).

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Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Drawing, Review)

August 10, 2008 at 6:06 PM (Art, Movies) (, , , , , )

Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a film from Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto.  It begins with a character called the "Metal Fetishist" inserting rods of metal into his body.  Subsequently, the Metal Fetishist is run over by a Salaryman (an office worker).  What follows is a bizarre sequence of events and images, where the Salaryman apparently starts mutating into a metal creature, with wires and other objects of metal emerging from his body.

This is a nightmarish film that is shot in black-and-white, with very little dialogue and a grungy, decayed look.  Shinya Tsukamoto wrote and directed the movie, and also stars as the Metal Fetishist — which makes one question his sanity!  One could compare this with a David Cronenberg movie, where "metal is the new flesh".  The movie is well made and has some very good effects and visuals, all accomplished on a low budget.  It is one of the weirdest movies I have seen (the weirdest would be David Lynch’s Eraserhead, but this also comes close), and I would recommend watching it if you have a taste for stuff like this.  Beware though, that it contains some explicit content and is definitely an adults-only film.  Shinya Tsukamoto made a sequel to this, called Tetsuo II: Body Hammer which I have not seen.  Rating: 7/10.

And as you might expect, I did a drawing based on this movie which you see above.  It was done in ballpoint pen and shows the Metal Fetishist on the top right, with the Salaryman in an advanced stage of "metal mutation" on the bottom left.  You can click it for a larger version.

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