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Hostel offends Slovakian officials


Story by Jack Foley

OFFICIALS in Slovakia are concerned that hit horror film Hostel tarnishes the reputation of their country.

Eli Roth’s gore-spattered shocker is due for a UK release on March 24 having previously topped the US box office. It follows a trio of backpackers as they unwittingly become the victims of a torture ring in Slovakia.

They are lured to Slovakia on the promise of illicit sex and are lured by two Slovakian women to the torture ring, where they are systematically mutilated by high-paying enterpreneurs.

Aside from being set in Slovakia, the film also depicts many of its everyday citizens as being either unhelpful or just plain weird, while also using a gang of brutal young children as potential threats to the heroes’ safety.

But after seeing the film, MP Tomas Galbavy, a member of the parliamentary culture committee, said he was ‘offended’ by its content, adding that all Slovaks should feel offended too.

Referring to the film as a ‘monstrosity’, he added that it ‘does not at all reflect reality’ and predicted that it could ‘damage the good reputation of Slovakia’.

He was backed by Linda Heldichova, of the Slovak culture ministry, who asserted: “We are unanimous in saying that this film damages the image of our country.”

Ironically, the film, which boasts Quentin Tarantino as executive producer, was shot in the Czech Republic and shown unedited in Slovakia.

Roth maintains that he selected Slovakia as a setting in a bid to show Americans’ lack of knowledge over the existence of the country.

“My film is not a geographical work but aims to show Americans’ ignorance of the world around them,” he argued.

But Slovakian newspaper SME accused Hostel of portraying the country as ‘a backward country, where our beautiful young girls are the lowest whores’.

While Slovakia’s main travel agency has even invited Roth to come and visit ‘the day-to-day reality’ of life in Slovakia for himself – all the director is reported to have no plans to do so, according to the BBC.

To stoke up the controversy, Roth is even planning a sequel which is also due to be filmed in the Czech Republic.

He maintains that the inspiration for Hostel came from a website he found in Thailand that offered people the opportunity to shoot people for $10,000.