In the first part of our visit to the sets of Hostel: Part III, we took you through the cavernous halls of Detroit's Masonic Temple, which for the purposes of the latest installment in the franchise, serves as a mobile torture facility for the Elite Hunting Club stationed on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Today we speak with the cast of Hostel III from set to shed some light on the direct-to-video sequel, which releases December 27th.
The film starts off as your standard party flick. A group of best buds hit the least original bachelor party locale for a night of reckless fun before their pal Scott (Brian Hallisay) ties the knot. But when the group is seduced into a very special, very exclusive club on the outskirts of town, the night gets wilder in ways they never expected. Extreme torture and death tends to sober one up real quick.
"To me it's very reminiscent of The Hangover except everybody dies," says John Hensley, who plays one of the boys from the bachelor party, Justin. "I think that's the story. That's my short way to describe it. I tend to be a little apprehensive about sequels in general, but when I read Hostel III, while it certainly [keeps] the elements of having the Hunting Club, the grotesque and gruesome killings, story-wise it's a real departure from the other two."
Fans of the franchise won't be terribly surprised to learn that many of the lead characters don't make it all the way through to the closing credits. With that said, we'll get the requisite spoiler warning out of the way. While the cast was careful not to reveal too much, it's pretty tough to talk about a Hostel flick without finding out how some people bite the dust.
"Hostel III is actually quite funny in many ways," says Hensley. "Maybe I just have an insanely dark sense of humor, but I think there's some funny s***. I mean, I'm not gonna lie. While it's horrible and awful, it's kinda funny to me when my character gets shot in the nut sack with an arrow, you know?"
Hensley's character is sort of the odd man out of the group of buddies, but he's also the first of the group to sense that things don't seem quite right. "He's got a condition where he has to walk with a crutch. And it's sort of plays on the fact that while he's one of the guys, he's not one of the guys. He's the one who's got a more cynical eye to everything that's unfolding. He's the first one to be hesitant about going down this dark road that they all seem to go down when Mike (Skyler Stone), one of the four, disappears early in the movie."
As the storyline of Hostel III plays out, many characters aren't what they seem. Chris Coy plays Travis, a character the boys meet up with in Vegas who seems like just another likable party dude - right up until the point he knocks you out and drops you off at the kill chamber. "Travis is kinda manipulative, a collector of unlucky souls I guess," Coy says of his character. "I'm the guy that's sent out to lure people to the hostel, knock them out and load the bodies or whatever. Once in the hostel, I'm kind of like the garbage man insurance policy. If shit goes bad then I take everybody else and get the hell out of dodge."
Travis works for the hostel's manager and chief torture specialist, Flemming (Thomas Kretschmann), a character with a vaguely reminiscent Eastern European accent that seems to be one of the links to the first two films. "He is an incredible actor," Coy says of his on-screen boss. "I'm like his number one henchman or whatever."
And Travis is far from the only character with a secret agenda. As the plot evolves, it becomes increasingly obvious that the group's perilous situation isn't a coincidence. We don't want to give away too much, but Hostel III shifts beyond the blood and guts to a bit of a revenge scenario.
Kelly Thiebaud, who plays bride-to-be Amy, isn't involved in the Vegas portion of the film. She's kind of watching from the sidelines, but her character figures prominently into how the story ultimately plays out. "I am wishing Scott off to his bachelor party, and things kinda get a little crazy," Thiebaud tells press. "And then there's a twist at the end, and I can't give that away. I can't tell you what it is. But yeah, I'm part of a little twist at the end. I'm only doing the beginning and the end. They go off to their bachelor party and I'm not around, of course. So I'm not a part of any of the like slaughtering or anything like that, until the end! Then I get to have a little fun, you know? Finally!"
As much of the cast points out, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. It turns out Scott has slipped up before, but his forgiving fiancé is giving him another chance. "He has cheated on me before," she says with an evil grin. "I was very suspicious and kind of worried with him going off for his bachelor party. And he gets tempted…he gets tempted. But hopefully he doesn't cheat. You can only forgive a man once. A second time around, you've gotta kick him to the curb."
Along with the twisting storyline, the presence of director Scott Spiegel at the helm was a draw for the cast. "I've been a fan of horror for a long time and I've been a fan of Scott's," says Coy. "They kind of go hand in hand. The Intruder is this great horror film that he made years and years ago. It's one of the greatest slasher films ever, if you ask me. Of course Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, those are his babies. So it's a dream, he's a total actor's director. He'll give you a direction like, ‘This is where I want you' and you have all the freedom in the world within that realm."
"He's a really funny guy," adds Hensley. "He very much serves for me as a constant point of just sheer enthusiasm. I don't think I've ever worked with a more enthusiastic or physically energetic director. It doesn't matter if it's seven in the morning or the end of another day, he's sort of constantly moving, constantly engaged. He had a very definitive idea of what he wants to do with this film. He's steering the ship, you know? And it's nice to be able to say that about a director…sometimes that ain't the case."
Along with the security of Spiegel at the helm, the cast consistently referenced the draw of the story, scripted by Michael D. Weiss (Butterfly Effect 2, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer). Along with plenty of unexpected twists and turns and the requisite amount of gore, Hostel III takes the franchise in some very new directions.
"This is in no way another torture porn movie," says Coy. "The other two were kind of straight to the point, straight to the torture. This one definitely has it's share of torture in it, but there's a good story going on too. I'm kind of tooting my own horn for being in it, but it really is good. It's a good story, it's a good film. It's going to be awesome."
For Hensley, who actually auditioned for the Jay Hernandez role from the first Hostel, the new film appealed to him beyond the usual thrills and jolts of a horror movie. "Hostel III is very reflective, I think, on the sort of decadent nature of Americans in particular at this point. I think it's no mistake that it takes place in America. Not just for a change of venue and location. I mean, in this movie we're introduced to the concept of people betting on when another human being's going to die. Or when another human being is going to start begging for their family. There's an actual betting room where people can play the odds of when this poor bastard who's getting his face peeled off is gonna start screaming for mercy. To me, that's a legitimate comment on where we're going. If you turn on your television, it's stomach-turning the bulls*** that's packaged for entertainment today. It's decadent, you know? And decadence, historically speaking would run the risk of [being] one of the biggest symptoms of a society's collapse. I think that its own way, Hostel III is making a comment on that."
Hostel III releases on DVD and Blu-ray December 27th, 2011.