Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hobo with a Shotgun

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
 
Hobo with a Shotgun - 4 out of 5

Give the movie some credit, it promises a hobo with
a shotgun and it gives you a hobo with a shotgun.
The name says it all, Hobo with a Shotgun is a exploitation film that heralds back to the days of grindhouse films with a hint of a Troma feature thrown into the mix.  The film is based on a fake trailer that won a contest held by Robert Rodriguez when the Grindhouse double-feature was on its way to the theaters.  After winning the contest, it was shown in areas of Canada with the film and was then produced into a feature length film.  In doing so, it proved that films based on phoney trailers have the possibility to actually be entertaining--something Robert Rodriguez's Machete wasn't able to prove.  Then, the film also threw it in Rodriguez's face as it proved to be a better example of what a grindhouse film is suppose to be and look like.  Apparently Tarantino was too busy acting in Planet of Terror to show Rodriguez that simply putting film scratches in your movie doesn't make it a grindhouse feature--things like big budgets and grandious special effects are the exact OPPOSITE of what it means to be grindhouse.  At least Tarantino provided like a boss with Death Proof.
 
Eccentric characters?  This movies got 'em!

He looks like he's going to heal you with faith...
Hobo with a Shotgun is about...wait for it...a hobo (played by Rutger Hauer) who rides into a city named Hope Town (but known as Scum Town) on the rails and discover that the city and the cops are all run and owned by a demented man who has the vague appearance of a cheesy big tent faith healer named Drake with his two equally demented kids by his side.  Under Drakes reign of terror Scum Town is filled with drugs, torture and murder around every corner.  This filth and disease gets to our hobo friend and he starts to dish out justice with...wait for it...a shotgun.  Along the way he learns the depth of Drake's control, the eccentric cast of lackeys he owns and forms a friendship with a local prostitute.
 
Look out, 80s Tom Cruise has a gun!

Hobo with a Shotgun isn't going to win any awards and has the real danger of people judging this film entirely by its title.  The reality is Hobo is actually a very witty film that, at the same time, is a parody and an homage to low budget, blood-enriched violent films of the 70s and 80s.  Everything from the opening title sequence to the lighting and overall look of the film appears to be something that easily could have been in your local seedy theater for midnight showings during the days of disco.  Add to the fact the film is very amusing and the fact Rutger Hauer is amazing as the hobo, fans of the grindhouse and fans of film in general will enjoy how smart this silly movie really is.
 
Did I mention this film contains a hobo with a shotgun?

Wait a minute...Drake had a pet octopus monster and
this is the only screen time it gets?
The film is unapologetic with its amounts of blood and gore as our hobo savior deals out justice one shell at a time and its even more unapologetic with the amount of profanity the movie dishes out as dialogue.  The reality is, it's easy to write off Hobo with a Shotgun as a bad movie for these aspects however, this is an onion of a film.  Believe it or not, the movie has layers and when you look past all the rich blood flow and the river of F-bombs, what you find is a film that was cultivated and shaped by individuals who really know how to make a movie and know more than a little about film history.

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