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USA 2005
produced by
Chris Briggs, Mike Fleiss, Eli Roth, Scott Spiegel (executive), Quentin Tarantino (executive), Boaz Yakin (executive) for Next Entertainment, Raw Nerve
directed by Eli Roth
starring Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasák, Jana Kaderabkova, Jennifer Lim, Keiko Seiko, Lubomir Bukovy, Jana Havlikova, Petr Janis, Patrik Zigo, Milda Jedi Havlas, Martin Kubacák, Miroslav Táborský, Paula Wild, Vladimir Silhavecky, Barbora Oboznenkova, Daniel S.Frisch, Radomil Uhlir, Jan Sanbauer, Mirek Navratil, Vanessa Jungova, Katerina Vomelova, Lubos Vinicky, Petr Sedlacek, Drahoslav Herzan, Daneila Bakerova, Martina Kralickova, Ota Filip, Jakub Habarta, Philip Waley, Mark Taylor, Nick Roe, Roman Janecka, Natali Tothova, Petra Kubesova, David Baxa, Gabriel Roth, Miroslav Hanus, Christopher Allen Nelson, Josef Bradna, Takashi Miike, Rick Hofman, Lubomir Silhavecky
written by Eli Roth, music by Nathan Barr, special effects by K.N.B.EFX Group, Precinct 13 Entertainment, Pacific Title and Art


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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American backpackers Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (derek Richardson) and their Icelandic friend Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) travel to Slovakia to fuck some cheap European pussy, but after night one, Oli is gone. Josh and Paxton realize there's soemthing wrong and want to leave the very next day ... but this night its partying with their new girlfriends Natalya (Barbara Nedeljakova) and Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova) - and they are both drugged and pass out. When Josh wakes up, he finds himself strapped to a chair, with some weird Dutchman (Jan Vlasák) operating on him - not out of necessity, only because he enjoys doing surgery without having ever actually learned it. Need I say, Josh dies soon enough.

Upon waking up and finding his friend gone, Paxton searches the whole village for him, without any success. So he hooks up with Natalya who claims she can lead him to Josh who is at an old factory - and soon enough, Paxton finds himself tied to a chair as well, with some pervert hovering over him with sharp knives and the like, soon enough cutting off two of Paxton's fingers. Bzut somehow, Paxton manages to defend himself and soon he can overcome his torturer ... and the guard as well.

After having seen the places body storage cum incinerator full of corpses, Paxton can somehow sneak into the factory's locker rooms and there he learns this is actually a highly illegal place where rich people can buy themselves living humans to cruelly torture and kill. Paxton steals some fancy cloths (obviously, despite missing two fingers he has no problems binding a tie) and makes good his getaway ... almost, because when already out, he hears a girl, Kana (Jennifer Lim), who is presently tortured, scream, and so Paxton reenters the factory, kills her torturer and takes her with him.

The couple's escape doesn't remain unnoticed for too long, which is double problematic since the local police is on the organisation's payroll, but somehow Paxton and Kana make it to the next trainstation ... where Kana looks into a mirror, sees her face horribly difigured from the torture and throws herself in front of the next passing train. (Now here the film has completely lost me ... what ? This ungrateful girl just escaped certain death, and now she worries about her disfigured face ? Who writes this king of shit ?)

Paxton however takes the next train ... where he suddenly spots the mysterious Dutchman. When the Dutchman exits the train, Paxton follows him and when the Dutchman enters a toilet, Paxton is there too and brutally murders him out of revenge ... which comes as kind of a surprise, because in the preceeding film it was never established that Paxton knew about the Dutchman's involvement witht he organisation ...


Oh boy, what a load of shit !!!

The premise of the film might be interesting, an organisation that sells humans to rich people to torture and kill, the rest of the film though is anything but. First off, the storytelling is totally off: The film takes half an hour to establish just two things: that our heroes are backpackers and go to Slovakia - now dear Eli Roth, I don't know if you read this, but if you do, there is a more economic and less boring way to do this: show the guys carrying backpacks and have a title saying Slovakia ... much cheaper and much less tedious. And even after everything is finally established, the story does everything to not surprise the viewer: When our heroes are drugged, you immeditately know something will happen and the girls are somehow involved. And guess what, Josh finds himself tied to a chair at the wrong end of a sharp knife, and a short time later Natalya really sells Paxton to exactly the people who have killed Josh. Later, Paxton somehow gets away from his torturer, but is he looking for a way out ? No, he's looking for (and finding) the lockers. Now that's actually quite a clever thing to do, but it's highly unlikely that someone would have the nerve to act like that. Later, in perfect disguise (including tie, actually), freedom is already in his immediate reach, then he hears a girl scream and suddenly turns all-American hero and saves her - and she later thanks him by inexplicably throwing herself in front of a train.

So ok, the script of this film is atrociously bad, but the film could have been saved by a decent direction job. Unfortunately, the director of this flick is Eli Roth (who also made the atrocious Cabin Fever), and he seems to avoid creating some badly needed creepy atmosphere like plague, instead he goes for an uninspired mix of gore and vomit (bot doesn't show a fraction of the panache Herschell Gordon Lewis showed when showing gore) in indifferent shots as well as a few horror icons like all kinds of knives and that old genre fixture, the chainsaw (now why is everybody still so hell-bent on showing chainsaws when the penultimate chainsaw film - Texas Chansaw Massacre - was already made more than 30 years ago ?) ... which all gets dead boring after a short time.And the finale, instead of giving horror one last try, is just a tired and sloppily directed chase scene, with a revenge-killing at the end - now that's not very inspired, is it ?

All in all, don't watch it, there is so much better stuff around, and only because the ads say Quentin Tarantino presents doesn't mean it's any more interesting than your average teenage slasher - in fact it's less so. Tarantino, it seems, doesn't care too much about his reputation these days anymore ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD