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Also opening: Gore and grandma

Published January 5, 2006

It's a gory new year at theaters with two slash-and-gash flicks that weren't shown to critics in time for Weekend reviews.

Hostel (R) is endorsed by Quentin Tarantino, who took director Eli Roth under his wing after Roth's debut Cabin Fever had audiences retching. Roth pitched the idea, supposedly based on a Web site, about vacation packages including the opportunity to torture and murder someone. Tarantino reportedly called it the sickest idea he had ever heard. So now it's a movie.

Two American tourists (Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson) in Slovakia take the offer. Their vacation reportedly involves 150 gallons of fake blood, nearly three times as much as Roth splashed in Cabin Fever. For fans of these films, that's the same as getting two thumbs up.

BloodRayne (R) has the distinction of being directed by Uwe Boll, whose previous films Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead are rated by Internet Movie Database users among the worst 100 films of all time. BloodRayne is already No. 60 on that shamed list and it hasn't even opened. A horror movie maker is doing something drastically wrong when even gore hounds don't like his work.

This one stars Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) as Rayne, half-human, half-vampire and all worked up about her mother's rape by Kagan, the bloodsucker king. The fact that Oscar winner Ben Kingsley plays Kagan almost makes this one worth seeking out. BloodRayne co-stars Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, Meat Loaf and Udo Kier, a grand slam of slummers.

A different kind of horror arrives in the form of Grandma's Boy (R), a comedy boasting Adam Sandler among its list of producers. Sandler doesn't even stoop to this kind of material any more but he likes helping out friends, which explains why Rob Schneider is still working.

Grandma's boy is really the world's oldest video game tester (Allen Covert) forced to move into his grandmother's home. She's played by Doris Roberts, proving an armload of Emmys for Everybody Loves Raymond can't guarantee good roles. Somehow Shirley Jones (The Partridge Family) winds up bedding the boarder. Danny Bonaduce must be so proud.

[Last modified January 4, 2006, 11:17:07]

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