Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Review : Hobo with a Shotgun ( 2011 )

When I grow up I wanna be a HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN...

A wandering hobo hops off a train and enters Fuck City, a wretched hive of scum and villainy if ever there was one. Surrounded by violence, rape and corruption, our hobo hero purchases a shotgun, and sets about dispensing his own brand of justice..

Director and co-writer, Jason Eisener is one to watch closely. He knocks it out the park. If your looking for a bat shit crazy, gory as hell, utterly offensive and hilarious exploitation flick, look no further. HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is the real deal, folks. Its a perfect storm of bad taste, brilliant performances and sheer lunacy that's irresistible to anyone with a taste for grindhouse cinema. From what I gather, it went down a storm at Cannes Film Festival, and its easy to see why. There will be those who find it unconscionable, of course, in fact certain scenes are tailor made to upset and offend the more conservative viewer, but why the hell are you guys watching anyway?! GONE WITH THE WIND may be more to your taste.

Grindhouse is a tough sub-genre to get right. Rodriquez's MACHETE pulled it off with aplomb last year, (Tarantino showed us how to fuck it up royally with DEATH PROOF in the not too distant past), but with HOBO its filthy beauty is taken to a whole new level. Its visionary in its abandon.

In HOBO, the legendary Rutger Hauer, is afforded a long overdue lead role. For genre fans this in itself is all sorts of brilliant. And as the titular pissed off hobo, he's a revelation. You'll care for him, feel his pain and sympathise with his plight. Hes a force for good. A simple man who just ain't taking the worlds shit anymore. His performance alone is reason enough to see this film. So often in the horror genre, especially when dealing with the dirge Hollywood churns out, your left feeling cold by the characters lack of depth, but with Hauer spitting out endlessly quotable dialogue while righteously slaughtering all comers. Your left in awe. How often do you enter an exploitation flick expecting to have tears in your eyes? Never, that's how fucking often! With HOBO you may well shed a few for the big mans plight. Somebody just buy the guy a fucking lawnmower already!
The characters Hauer's hobo trades bullets and blood with are a cavalcade of the weird and wonderful. From over the top 80's disco gangsters, a prostitute with a heart of gold, (and some very fresh death dealing techniques), to best of all, 'The Plague'; two armor clad hired assassins who pretty much defy description. The larger than life characters act as a perfect balance to Hauer's totally convincing lead. A film this excessive could easily spin wildly out of control, but thanks to Eisener savvy direction and Hauer's utter devotion to his heroic hobo, it never happens.Together they keep the whole wild trip just as grounded as this sort of film needs to be.

What you have here is a near perfect marriage of great writing, searing acting and brilliant directing. And HOBO looks incredible. Bordering at times on psychedelic. Its world is a neon lit hellscape where nothing is sacred and life is cheap, and it oozes sleaze. And yet there's moments of real heart. A simple written note left by the bedside speaks of real warmth.
As to the writing, its effortlessly funny and cool with it. Razor sharp, filthy and often poignant. Look to the scene where 'The Hobo' stands over all the newborn infants in a maternity ward, and waxes lyrical about what life will have in store for them. It'll raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Its instantly iconic and damn near poetic.

I could rant on for hours about the brilliant cinematography, totally authentic pulse pounding soundtrack, awesome levels of gore and depravity on display, and how hilarious the whole thing is, but I'm not going to. You know why? Because its a film with Rutger Hauer playing a hobo with a shotgun. And that's really all you need to know....

9.5 Hungover Hobo's out of 10

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