Once upon a time… It was early Spring, approaching Easter in fact. A young, handsome, studly gentleman (YHSG for short) sat; he sat while driving, friend in the passenger seat, white knuckle tight, to the nearest Cineplex. “Why are you driving so fast,” she’d say. “You won’t understand,” says I. Inside my body I’m, basically, having sex with myself (somehow). I’m excited, alright? Words came from the passenger seat, but I was in The Zone (not Tarkovsky’s): “Grindhouse opens today. I hear, nor do I see, anything else until the end credits roll.” Rodriguez makes an ‘End of the World’ type Zombie flick? Umm, yes please. What’s this? Tarantino just made Vanishing Point 2.0? “Jesus, does this car not go any faster?” We arrive accident free, and, the theatre is empty; I’m not talking partially empty, but full-blown empty. “F*uck ‘em,” I says. I sat for what was one of the most entertaining 3 hours of my life. After the screening, my friend still shaking her head at me, I drooled over Planet Terror and, like most, didn’t know what to think of Death Proof.
It’s about 4 years later and things have changed. For instance, Death Proof is the far superior film in my mind, Rodriguez has gone onto further grindhouse cinema with Machete (2010), and the climate of North America has been infected with ‘Trash Cinema’ like the cast of Planet Terror with ‘Zombie-Makin Gas.’ What I once thought was a great day for freedom (Floyd wink), turned out to be the start button on an assembly line of shit, literal shit, delivered digitally. Like I mentioned, there’s Machete; but then there was Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010), which won some sort of grindhouse award in ’10. Next, enter a hobo and a shotgun and my departure from the world of recent, ‘trash,’ ‘grind,’ and ‘homage.’
Do you really want a plot synopsis? Is there a need with the title, Hobo with a Shotgun? Christ. Ok, well, there’s a hobo, and all he wants is to buy a lawnmower in order to start his own business. The town he stops riding the rails for is overrun by baddies (who else is he going to shot? Stay dogs?). That dream of owning a lawnmower is soon replaced by a _____ (take a guess, I dare ya!). The, f*cking, end.
Positives? Rutger Hauer is still one mean looking dude. He could revive the Bronson-esque movies of generations past I think. Also, there are actually a few moments when I was forced to crack a smile at some of the humor as, granted, there are a few incredibly absurd lines that contrast with the plot so much that you really have to laugh—wait for the ‘Bear Philosophy’ scene, which is my favorite of the film (movie? trash flick? grinder? Whatever). Oh, and the poster has a vintage 70s style ‘Chill Baby’ attitude with badass visuals.
Negativo? The rest of it. Good night Ladies and Gentleman! Hope you enjoyed the review…
…Ahhh, I kid (about ending the review). Somehow, coming from a small town as I did, I had easy access to 70s action flicks, which I never knew until I was older were classified ‘exploitation.’ Pam Grier kicking ass was just that, along with a few boob shots of course. Once I learned the term ‘exploitation,’ then I sought to become an expert; but as time wore on I realized that I don’t want to be an expert in anything, let alone ‘exploit-house’ cinema. Actually, I lie, I would love to be the expert in getting people to stop labeling films ‘this or that,’ than making ‘this or that’ without a sweet f*ck given to story or any sort of development. Nothing really happens in Hobo. An old guy shoots stuff. Hell, my Dad does that.
I’m getting tired of sentences for this rant. Villains? From another planet. Special effects? They’re special alright. Dialogue? Nevermind. I quit.
I really don’t care what you grew up watching. I watched Fraggle Rock, but I don’t have it in development right now. Do I have my guilty pleasures? Of course I do, or I wouldn’t have went to Hobo in the first place looking to fill said pleasure. These homage films to the days of yore need more than just “Tip ‘o the Hat”moments to other films with no breathing space in between. Shitty moment on top of shitty moment equals? I think what made the old films so visceral was the fact that there was build up to an outrageous scene, and that scene was not intended to be lame. Often due to financial restrictions, however, this crucial moment just turned out different, different from mainstream ‘actioners’ or horror films. The actual attempt at sincerity, combined with a ‘give it all you got physically and financially’ mentality radiated from the screen even if it didn’t necessarily come through the visuals. It was just, different; and at the time, different was a welcomed release for young folk. Right about now, however, I’m ready for a Gone With the Wind remake or something. There’s a joke that Lemmy makes about Rock music that goes something like this: “Hey man, do you like Prince?” to which he snarls, “No, I’ve already seen Hendrix.”