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The Major Horror Cameo You Missed In Hostel

The Major Horror Cameo You Missed In Hostel

The 2000s were a complicated time for horror movies. That’s mostly because, in the wake of the blockbuster success of the “Saw” franchise, torture porn ultimately became the genre’s go-to narrative approach. However you feel about that particularly nasty sub-genre, most can agree it produced a lot of not-so-great horror films. Eli Roth’s “Hostel” was arguably one of the exceptions. Released in the early days of 2006, the film followed three post-grad travelers (Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, and Eythor Gudjonsson) as they traverse the European continent in search of sex and drugs, and, well, more sex and drugs.

The group’s hedonistic adventure takes a turn for the deadly when they detour to a small Slovakian city, and they promptly find themselves trapped inside the walls of the Elite Hunting Club. If you’ve seen “Hostel,” you know how all that plays out. You know as well that the film pushes the torture porn motif into shocking new territory. It does so in decidedly Hitchcockian fashion, however, which elevates Roth’s entry into the sub-genre well above the similarly themed work of most of his genre contemporaries.

You may not realize it, but one of those contemporaries actually cameos in “Hostel.” And while you may not have recognized his face, you likely know his name as he directed a genre masterpiece many (including Quentin Tarantino, according to a 2011 Sky Media interview) regard as an all-time great horror movie.

Famed Japanese shockteur Takashi Miike made a memorable appearance in Hostel

That all-timer is 1999’s slow-burn shocker “Audition.” The director behind that cult-favorite flick is legendary Japanese provocateur Takashi Miike. And if you’ve seen the gruesome masterwork that is “Audition,” or really any of Miike’s films, for that matter, you know it’s not entirely surprising he’d turn up in a film like “Hostel” as it’s not far removed from his own boundary-pushing ethos.

Regarding Miike’s brief appearance in “Hostel,” he turns up roughly mid-film, and just outside of the infamous house of torture dubbed the Elite Hunting Club. He also has a brief interaction with Jay Hernandez’s protagonist Paxton. As far as what transpires between the two, Miike offers a warning of sorts to the American tourist, telling him to English to “be careful” in that place because “you could spend all your money in there.” It’s an ominous enough warning even if Paxton doesn’t yet know the stakes. Unfortunately, he finds out soon enough when he becomes a prisoner of the ghastly murder club. Either way, Miike’s cameo is about as cool as it gets.

He wasn’t the only famous auteur to appear in the film, however. Per GameSpot, Quentin Tarantino (a longtime champion of Roth’s work and a producer on “Hostel”) actually turns up early in the action for a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo as a shirtless partier screaming out of a hotel window. And yes, Roth himself even makes an appearance as an American tourist in a local coffee house, making for a fierce triumvirate of cameos.

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