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By David DiCerto
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Indie film distributor Lions Gate must have made a New Year's resolution to sink to new lows in packaging dehumanizing brutality as entertainment.

From the company that made a killing by pandering to moviegoers' baser appetites with bloodbaths like "High Tension," "Saw" and "Saw II" comes "Hostel," a nauseatingly vile horror flick about a trio of sex-crazed backpackers (Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson and Eythor Gudjonsson) traveling through Europe.

Lured off the beaten path by promises of carnal pleasures, they find their way to a hedonistic hostel in Slovakia, where they fall easy prey to a pair of temptresses and wind up in a chamber of horrors where wealthy sadists pay top dollar for the most depraved thrills.

Director Eli Roth ("Cabin Fever") serves up a steady stream of soft-core sex and hard-core gore, as gratuitously pornographic as it is mindless.

The film's stomach-churning factor is extreme by even the barrel-bottom standards of Quentin Tarantino, who is credited as one of the movie's executive producers.

"Hostel 2" is already in the works. Now that's really frightening!

The film contains excessive grisly violence, including bloody scenes of torture and dismemberment, strong sexual situations with nudity, lurid and erotic images, drug content, a suicide, the debasement of women, and pervasive rough and crude language, as well as lewd humor. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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DiCerto is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Copyright (c) 2006 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
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