Our Daily Trailer: HOSTEL: PART II

What a weenie.

For Scared Stiffies week, my choice was fairly easy. There's one wiener in horror that, um, stands out as my favorite appearance, and that's in Eli Roth's Hostel: Part II. It's rare that a sequel is superior to its predecessor, but Roth flips the script in the sequel and answers the criticisms lobbed at his first film for objectifying and terrorizing women by delivering a story about three independent female friends on a European vacation, who get targeted and kidnapped by the enigmatic hunting club -- in particular, two vacationing men who purchase a couple of them to murder for funsies.

These men (hilariously portrayed by Roger Bart and Richard Burgi) embody the struggle of American men to project masculinity in modern society at all costs, even if that cost is the life of a woman. Here we have Stuart, who is emasculated by his more successful wife and desperate to use the hunting club as a therapy exercise, and Todd, who is basically an overgrown frat bro, egging his buddy on.

In an effort to even the playing field, Roth objectifies men from the start: an early art class the girls are attending in Italy has them painting while ogling a nude model, but Roth also asserts that these women (Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo and Bijou Phillips) aren't to be fucked with -- they're not as gullible as the guys from the first film.

The stiffy in question comes later in the film -- if you haven't seen it, here's your spoiler warning.

The climax of the film is the best fucking part of the whole thing, and it's such a glorious moment. Lauren German's Beth has been tied down and dressed to look like Stuart's wife, but she strokes his ego and plays to his bruised masculinity, seducing herself free and tying him down instead. She gets the attention of the people in charge (the organization is also headed by a woman!), and offers a larger amount of cash for her life.

As the shady folks come in with their guard dogs to escort her out, she's reminded that no one leaves without killing someone, so she takes Stuart's cock, cuts it off and feeds it to a dog with a shrug and not so much as a look back at the pathetic loser who almost murdered her.

It's not so much that the greatest reveal is the cock-chopping, which is pretty stellar, but the way that Beth uses her wits and manipulates this guy, and the way she takes agency, refuses to be a victim and demands that this organization listen to her -- she tells them that she has so much damn money that she could buy and sell everyone in that place twice over. And she's not full of shit. The money she has, as her friend explains earlier in the film, doesn't come from some trust from her daddy -- it came from her mother who passed away, and Beth gives her dad an allowance every month. That's how much of a boss bitch she is.

The cock reveal and subsequent cutting off is amazing in that moment for so many reasons. It's a woman refusing to be a victim. It's a woman taking agency and saying "Aw hell no." It's a woman demanding to be heard by people who see her as little more than a toy to be batted around and thrown in a dumpster when they're done using her parts. They fucked with the wrong woman.

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