Sunday, March 27, 2011

Box Office Review - Hobo With A Shotgun

I remember seeing the original faux trailer of Hobo with a Shotgun before Grindhouse and being impressed. Now years later, it is the second of the fake trailers to get the full length treatment. I went in hoping for a Grindhouse experience, but I didn't get it. Hobo is not a bad film, it just isn't the type of film I am interested in. Hobo is not a send-up to Grindhouse films. It is a send-up to Troma films. There are people who are going to love this film, because of the Troma similarities. I have no interest in Troma, so I was disappointed with the majority of the movie.

Hobo with a Shotgun has a very nasty sense of humour. Absolutely nothing is off limits. Grindhouse films are often credited as being filled with shocking things. Usually though, the shocking elements were a way of getting people into theatre seats. The majority of Grindhouse films contain long scenes of dialogue that more often than not, become tedious. The reason for this, is people making Grindhouse pictures couldn't afford to do much with action, or special effects. Hobo is nothing like that. Sure, there are slow dialogue driven parts in the movie, but 70% of the film is extreme violence. The first act of violence features Trailer Park Boy Rob Wells with his head stuck in a manhole cove. A barbwire noose is then placed around his neck and attached to a truck. The rest is blood geyser history. This scene, like all the violence in the film is unrealistic and played for laughs, and I will admit I laughed at the ridiculousness of it. The joke gets old very quick though, and I grew tired of how the film revels in blood shed. The film promises to be extreme, and it is. I wish though that there was more than just this.

Of all the Troma esque elements in the film, the most apparent is the setting and characters. The movie takes place in Scum Town, a world that is filled with bright neon greens and other similar colours. Law and order is non existent and morality plays no part. Take the sons of head boss Drake. Coked out of there minds, the two brothers run wild killing hobos, and getting teenagers addicted to drugs. They even take a flame thrower to a bus load of school children in one scene. When they first appear on the screen, My thoughts turned to Bozo and Slug from Toxic Avenger. Together with their lady friends Wanda and Julie, they terrorized the streets of Tromaville by running down kids in their car for sport. I am sure that Bozo and Slug would love it in Scum Town, and would find kindred spirits with Drake's sons.

Hobo with a Shotgun does not fail on delivering an extreme, and bombastic viewing experience. The films final act is what I enjoyed most about the film, and that is mostly do to the inclusion of The Plague (best part of the film) and the impressive hospital scene. Being that I enjoyed the ending, I didn't walk out of the theatre hating the movie, but I can't recommend it. This film is well made, well executed, and director Jason Eisner will have a long and successful career. Hobo with a Shotgun will find a loyal audience, just don't call this film what it isn't, a Grindhouse film.

Banana Peel

(I like this trailer a lot, but it is tonally different than the film)

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