Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Angry Rail-Riding Homeless Gentleman With a Pump-Action Long-Barreled Firearm

Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)

Short version: If you grew up with 1980s VHS action-gore-trash, you’ll love Hobo With a Shotgun.
I would have preferred a more straightforward gritty semi-realistic 1970s vibe, though.

Hobo owes SO MUCH to Street Trash—the flick’s pretty bad in an intentionally campy way—but not as smart or deranged as its many influences. It’s clever, I get it—and seeing extreme splatter on the big screen is always fun—but Hobo just didn’t quite click for me.

Hobo With a Shotgun (great frickin’ title, though—and wicked cool font; see below) was a spoof of a certain type of 1980s action-slash-horror movie—it looked a lot like a Nick Zedd film actually—And I had a lot of problems with all its very obvious influences: the aforementioned Street Trash, early Sam Raimi, Asian gore flicks like The Story of Ricky, and so on.

And I am getting a little sick of tribute/mash-ups/homages—I have seen enough where it really needs to grab me, to be more than just a reference—it needs to be worked into context. (Or else be really funny or smart.)
Honestly, though, right now I cannot think of a counter-example.

But Rutger Hauer, the coolest white man EVER, was great—every second he was on screen was riveting—really!
(And I did enjoy that one of the bad guys was named “Ivan”….)

While I have already criticized the film’s script, I will say that all of the Hobo’s dialog is classic: angry Zen retard brilliance. Highly quotable.

Overall, I think if I’d seen Hobo With a Shotgun at home, with a six-pack or other intoxicants, I would have enjoyed it much more. But the $13 ticket cost and the $6.50 for a small popcorn (WTF?!?! I really should’ve said “no”—but I was hongry…) made me watch this movie with a shotgun-toting-hobo-sized chip on my shoulder.


  1. I've always loved the sort of b-movies that this one draws inspiration from. I haven't seen this one but the grindhouse movies and machete are probably of a similar ilk. They've got really awesome directors though, and I think if people start making too many movies like this we'll end up getting s*** directors making a bunch of s*** movies. The best movies of this kind didn't have s*** directors, they had s*** budgets so they were trying to make the best movie they could with limited resources. Adds a certain power to them.

    Of course, some of them are always just going to be s***, but that can be fun too.

  2. My problem is that a gazillion factors can influence my movie-going experience, so I cannot simply just watch a flick (this isn't as much a factor in the controlled environment of the Ivanlandia Imperial Biodome). Of course, the weltschmertz (sp?) of the moviegoing experience can be aided by the actual theater location and audiences (case in point: seeing Frankenheimer's Island of Dr. Moreau with an inner-city audience was an ultimate HOOT!). Had multitudes of bonghits been offered, I think my Hobo With a Shotgun experience would be remembered differently.
    Thanks for the comments!

  3. HEY you've been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. Enjoy!!

    Lazarus Lupin
    art and review

  4. Great coverage here Ivan! Glad to see someone tackle Hobo. Rutger is indeed one of the coolest white men ever. I agree. He ranks in the top 10 along with Lance and a few others.

    And seriously is king corn just out freakin- rageous my friend?!


  5. Yeah, movie theater popcorn is trouble, nothing but.

  6. FUNNY, FUNNY post. And the site you link to for STREET TRASH has a comment, the first one, wherein Roy Frumkes is mentioned. He was a screenwriting teacher at SVA when i was there. He was OK, but he was always referring to that movie, and it got to be a bit much. The commenter also refers to Gary Cooper, an editing teacher, as "the most vile person." I liked him. He gave me an A. He required a lot of students and that's perhaps why that person didn't like him!!! (those Rutger Hauer pics are hilarious)

  7. Otto: Back in high school, I always hated the teachers who tried to be our "friends" or "cool." I liked the mean old geezers--who demanded that you left the class knowing *something.* Crusty old bastards, most of 'em vets of WWII. But I still can't imagine you getting an "A" in anything....

  8. Lazarus! What does the Versatile Blogger Award entail?