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Elite Hunting is a fictional criminal organization and the major antagonists in the horror films Hostel and Hostel: Part II. The organization operates a worldwide clandestine murder-for-profit business, offering sadistic wealthy men and women the opportunity to torture and kill kidnapped backpackers staying at a hostel in Slovakia.
Hostel and Hostel: Part II reveal little details about the origins or individuals responsible for establishing the Elite Hunting organization. In the audio commentaries for the Hostel DVD, writer-director Eli Roth suggests that the organization was actually created by the Russian Mafia, which inserted itself into the Slovakian village and secretly intimidated or purchased the local authorities and purchased the derelict factory as its primary facility. Roth notes that "[he] really wanted to feel like it was the Russian Mafia that had just kind of gone to this area of Slovakia and sort of taken it over."
Several hints in Hostel support Elite Hunting's ties to Russian organized crime, specifically their business card, which contains the email address email@example.com, linking it to a Russian web domain (although in reality this domain zone does not exist, and russian sites use .ru domains instead). Hostel: Part II however shows several organization members speaking Slovak, hinting at the organization's alleged local origins but also highlighting the members' inherent multilingualism from operating in Slovakia. Furthermore, the Russian Mafia is known to have several offshoots in Eastern Europe.
Hostel: Part II introduces the character of Sasha, is the alleged founder and highest ranking member of Elite Hunting. Axelle says she operates an auction business, neglecting to mention that she auctions people to be tortured and murdered. Sasha is wealthy, living in a beautiful villa in a wooded part of the Slovakian village and is a respected figure in the community, either through his popularity or the inherent fear the villagers have for him and his organization. Sasha owns two bloodhounds, who serve as part of the Elite Hunting logo and as the model for the countless bloodhound statues that adorn his villa, hinting at his possible involvement in the establishment of Elite Hunting. Sasha's relationship to the Russian mafia remains undeclared, though it's speculated that he is either a member or a business associate of the group.
In Hostel: Part II, Elite Hunting's bidding procedures mirror those of popular consumer online bidding websites like eBay. A photograph scanned from the victim's passport by members of the hostel staff is uploaded to the organization's exclusive-membership website and posted. The clientèle can access the website via any internet-capable computer, cell phone or PDA. Usually a special notice is sent to all members notifying them of new potential victims on which to bid. The client who places the highest bid within a limited bidding time "wins" the victim.
Hostel shows a (possibly incomplete) list of prices handwritten on the back of an Elite Hunting business card, with some nationalities demanding higher prices than others.
American: $25,000 European: $10,000 Russian: $5,000
These prices, in correlation with the bidding system of Hostel:Part II indicate either a revision of Elite Hunting's pricing scheme following its modernization or expansion, or the presence of minimum bids, as written on the business card. One of the Japanese victims was worth $50,000 in Hostel, and several American victims in Hostel: Part II reached $75,000 to $90,000, far beyond the original prices listed on the card.
As demonstrated in Hostel: Part II clients who win their victims are responsible for their own travel to the location, a small and picturesque village in the Bratislava Region of Slovakia, where they are booked into rooms in the local Dvořák Hotel. Clients are given a pager bearing the Elite Hunting bloodhound logo to notify them when the session can begin. The duration of the wait varies, depending on the time it takes for Elite Hunting to secure the purchased victim. In Hostel, an American businessman waited nearly a week to be paged, though the pager system may have only been implemented in Hostel: Part II following its modernization.
The small size of the town makes it possible for clients to see and interact with their victims prior to their capture, with the victims completely unaware of their fates. In Hostel, a Dutch businessman who has purchased a young man, Josh has a personal conversation with the victim in a local bar. In Hostel: Part II, an American businessman, Stuart has a conversation with his purchased victim, Beth at the town's local cultural festival.
In Hostel: Part II, the victim is secured in a detention cell, chained and gagged alongside other potential victims. Once the victim has been secured and prepared according to the client's requests, the client is paged and then driven to the facility.
At the facilities, clients are shown to an equipment room to choose their preferred implements, themselves numbered for ease of selection (and to ensure that none can go missing). All implements are securely locked in display lockers until they are selected. A majority of the selection includes bladed weapons (kitchen knives and other utensils, scissors, swords, scythes, etc.), blunt weapons (bats, hammers, mallets, etc.), surgical tools (needles, scalpels, clamps, etc.) industrial tools (chainsaws, circular saws, hand-held blowtorches, power drills, bolt cutters, etc.), and firearms (which are not issued with full magazines, since three rounds are considered sufficient to kill a victim without bringing unnecessary risk to the client or facility personnel). A client can request for his room to be equipped with as many implements, of any type, as he wishes before they are brought to his cell. The equipment room also contains a range of clothing for both the client and the victim, all of which are also numbered for inventory purposes and kept secured in display lockers until selection. The selection of costumes include period costumes from various national histories, character-costumes, fetish costumes, lingerie, and special items such as masks, all available upon request.
While the client's room is prepared for his use, the client is escorted to the changing room. The client stores his own clothes in a locker and changes into his killing outfit. Apart from any requested costumes, the most common outfit - and presumably the most practical - is a simple and functional red jumpsuit with a removable knee-length leather apron, gloves and boots. Hair covers, goggles and surgical masks are optional. Once the client has changed, he is asked to wait in a small lounge until the room is prepared. A liaison will notify the client when his room is ready and escort him to the elevator, where a guard will take him to the killing floor.
Cleaning and disposalEdit
When a client has finished torturing and killing the victim, the client is escorted back outside and driven to the hotel. The victims' bodies are transferred to a dolly and moved to a side closet, while the room is completely washed and props and implements returned to the storeroom. The film Hostel introduces one of the facility's custodians, a hunch-backed butcher, and establishes that the dolly of bodies, once filled, is transported by elevator to a separate floor, containing a furnace-equipped disposal room. The bodies are cut into smaller parts and then incinerated. The film Hostel: Part II shows that the victims' personal belongings - their clothes, backpacks, and other personal effects - are collected from the hostel, checked for any valuables - currency, jewelry, credit and debit cards - and then also incinerated.
Everyone joining Elite Hunting must agree to the non-negotiable terms of a contract before his or her torture and killing session. He or she must also be tattooed (the client chooses where to have it inscribed) with the organization's bloodhound logotype. In the contract, they agree that they must kill the victim after torturing him or her, and not leave the dungeon until having done so. This policy is essential to the protection of the organization; a client cannot then inform the authorities of the organization's activities without thereby confessing to murder. This policy is seemingly non-negotiable, and it is strictly enforced. In Hostel: Part II one client, an American businessman named Todd, refuses to kill his victim, so a guard unleashes dogs that chase Todd, tear him apart and kill him. Beth castrates her attempted torturer, who subsequently bleeds to death, and is thus permitted to leave.
Victims can be anyone from around the world who stays at the hostel. The price will vary because it depends on which nationality the client wants. Most of the victims are young backpackers who are on vacation. In the first film the victims are Oli, Josh, Kana and Paxton, who escapes but is killed in the second film. In the second film the victims are Lorna, Whitney, and Beth who manages to buy her way out with a large inheritance left to her by her mother.
Elite Hunting tightened security after the escape of Paxton in the first film. Before that, their security was minimal. Now there is a steel gate at the entrance, guard dogs, guards with guns, personalized access codes on all doors, and video surveillance.