Speak German? If not, you won’t be able to understand the trailer for “Hostel Part II.”
It’s not the first time Lionsgate has used an unusual marketing ploy, but the decision to make the promo in German breaks one of Hollywood’s strictest rules — English only, please. Even trailers for foreign-language films typically have an English voiceover.
Trailer debuts tonight on MTV and bows in thousands of theaters on Friday with the release of “Saw III.”
“Hostel II,” which bows sometime next year, will be in English and is set in Prague, where Czech is the language of choice. So why German?
“German is more guttural and harsh,” said Lionsgate co-prexy of marketing Tim Palen. “I think a lot of people will be taken aback, but with the success of the first ‘Hostel,’ there will be no confusion as to whether the movie is in English.”
Palen said the trailer makes the pic seem more European and exotic. It’s also a nod to the anti-American sentiment sweeping Europe and beyond. (In both “Hostel” movies, American victims draw a higher price.)
“For the discerning horror fan, it will separate ‘Hostel II’ from the typical kids-stranded-in-the-middle-of-nowhere horror film,” Palen said.
Lionsgate will bow “Saw III” on 4,800 screens, providing broad exposure for the “Hostel” trailer.