Now here's a clever little marketing trick from the fine folks at Lionsgate Films: the studio has confirmed to us that if you decide to go see their Ashley Judd / Michael Shannon thriller Bug when it opens on May 25, you'll also get to see the first five or so minutes of Eli Roth's Hostel: Part II. Since they feel confident enough to let this intro stand on its own, there must be something pretty major that happens to start things off, but we wouldn't expect them to give that away. It seems like Hostel and Bug have different target audiences, though -- fans of suspense and fans of bloody mayhem -- so if you're going to see Bug because you like William Friedkin, gritty psychological thrillers or surprisingly intense acting performances, you might want to skip the pre-show appetizer of splat.

If, on the other hand, you feel that "psychological thriller" is just another sub-genre under the almighty banner of Horror and you have a stomach for Mr. Roth's patented brand of knife-twisting nastiness, then you'll be pretty psyched to catch the early footage. Again, no word yet on what sequence we'll be sloshing through, but considering the marketing techniques employed by Mr. Roth and his Lionsgate pals, it'll probably be something dark and sticky that cuts out just as it's getting to the good stuff. I don't know if the free appetizer will help sell all that many extra Bug tickets, but I guess it couldn't hurt either. Ryan and I have seen Bug and we both definitely recommend it, but the only thing it presumably shares in common with Hostel II is a distributor. As a random footnote, after the recent press junket for Bug, Ryan ran into William Friedkin in the elevator and asked him if he had ever watched any of the Exorcist sequels. His response -- "Why would I?"