Friday, September 9, 2011

Hobo With a Shotgun


Watching the trailer, one might wonder how a trailer so gory, so violent, so grotesque and so tasteless could possibly be stretched out into a 90 minute feature. Not only does it deliver to your disgusting needs, it shoots you in the balls with it. Still interested, sicko? Well, once upon a time in Hollywood, directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino wanted to make a film that would be a throwback to the "classic" grindhouse features, which mainly consisted of exploitation B-movies.  An exploitation film is essentially a genre that one-ups another to the point where if the film could vomit, it would vomit that genre into your eyes forever. So, the two collaborated to release Grindhouse, a double-feature including Planet Terror and Death Proof, directed by Rodriguez and Tarantino, respectively. If you saw the film in theaters, you got a special treat. Before the opening of each film, a series of fake trailers were shown, each offering something more ridiculous and insane than the features succeeding them. What's special about these trailers is that they were significant efforts by some famous names. Such trailers include Werewolf Women of the SS, directed by Rob Zombie and starring Nicolas Cage; Thanksgiving, directed by Eli Roth; Don't, directed by Edgar Wright, and Machete, directed by Rodriguez himself. As you might know, Machete was later made into a feature film, because of the praise received from the trailer. As you might not know, the script for Machete was actually already written several years prior to the release of the fake trailer, which rekindled his interest in finally bringing it to the big screen. The last fake trailer to precede Grindhouse wasn't created by a famous director, but rather a winner of Rodriguez's "South by Southwest" contest. The winner's trailer would be featured in Grindhouse. As you might have guessed, the winner was Hobo With a Shotgun. Obviously, someone must have appreciated the trailer, as it too was later shot as a feature-length.

Directed by newcomer Jason Eisener, the film stays grudgingly close to it's source material (the fake trailer), except for the Hobo himself, who is now played by Rutger Hauer (you might recognize him as cannibal Cardinal Roark from Sin City). Hauer plays his role as convincingly possible someone can play  a homeless man who goes on a vermin-killing spree. If you read the title of the film, you already know it's plot. A pissed off bum runs around with a magic shotgun with unlimited ammo and decapitates everyone in his path with it. The only question, which no one is asking, is why. The Hobo finds himself in a freak show of a town, that is comparable to towns that can only be found in post-apocalyptic films like Mad Max. Only, this is present day, and there are hobos. It's difficult to find a character in the film who isn't a complete scumbag besides the Hobo. So he gets slapped around one too many times, and takes a page from Travis Bickle's book and goes on a bloody, giblet-splattering spree with his ol' reliable shotgun. He meets a whore with a heart of gold, and, huzzah, character investment!

It is highly probable that Hobo With a Shotgun is the goriest film I have ever seen. Admittedly, I am an amateur when it comes to the exploitation genre, but it is extremely difficult to imagine just how a movie could possibly be bloodier than this one, as there is blood present in 99% of the shots. Even when there is nothing particularly violent going on (which is never), the character on screen will still happen to be drenched in someone's blood, as if they have just given up on bothering to grab a sheet of Bounty anymore, because, fuck it, they're just going to get splattered on again soon anyway. If there is one contribution Hobo With a Shotgun adds to cinematic history, it's that it contains some of the most creative, thought-inducing (and immoral) deaths I have ever witnessed. There is stuff here that even Ash Williams will find nauseating. I could tell you about them, but the fun of the movie is experiencing the wretched glorification of violence unknowing what awaits. Also, there is joy in knowing that absolutely everyone who is demolished by the Hobo absolutely has it coming to them (judging by the kill count of the film, the number is depressingly high). If you are the type who enjoys watching  a movie that lacks in plot but makes up for it with blood and people's innards exploding in the air like fireworks, then Hobo With a Shotgun will more than satisfy your creepy, repulsive needs.

REAL trailer: