Can I Tell You Something About Bears?
Hobo with a Shotgun was one of those movies that I knew I would fall in love with as soon as I heard the title. And guess what – I friggen love this movie. At first, it seems like this movie might be destined for failure, only because it looks like the type that will simply try too hard to be edgy and gross. Personally, I don’t think so.
The story of Hobo with a Shotgun begins with our protagonist, a nameless hobo, entering a wrecked city once known as “Hope Town,” aptly renamed to “Scum Town.” As Hobo trudges through, he is quickly introduced to the depravity and corruption that makes Scum Town ticked, and finds himself outraged that such inhumanity can exist. After befriending a mean-well hooker, Hobo decides to stand up to the injustices of Scum Town, armed with nothing but a shotgun. After the murder of many ne’er do wells, Hobo earns the attention of Scum Town’s overseer, The Drake, a ruthless drug lord. It soon becomes an epic battle royale between our vagabond vigilante and The Drake’s hit-men, The Plague.
I’m not saying that Hobo isn’t absolutely ridiculous, because it totally is. But what makes someone such as myself appreciate such a cultastic piece of film is the amount of thought and effort to be both referential to exploitation films of old while being completely twisted and original. Scum Town isn’t just any derelict city – this place has rules and consequences. Totally messed up rules and consequences, but a system none the less. When subjected to Scum Town’s cruelties, we soon root for this newcomer – its’ a simple formula, but it works.
Personally, I think there’s an undeniable charm to this film, considering the efforts made to reference older goresploitation/cult films such as Mark of the Devil, Cannibal Holocaust and Dead Alive – from themes, to the music – even the color scheme pops out in true technicolor. Additionally, given the performances, you can tell everyone involved were having a blast making this thing, which as we know always plays well onscreen.
Perhaps the greatest moment of this film is Rutger Hauer’s soliloquy – not since Roy Batty’s “Tears in the Rain” speech have I been so moved.
This movie has some really fantastic one-liners – many of which I cannot say in public. Gory, vulgar, what-have-you Hobo with a Shotgun is the type of movie you want to watch when you just want something fun to watch that’s completely kickass. So whenever you’re in the mood for over-the-top vigilante justice, give Hobo a shot – just remember, when life hands you razor blades, you make a baseball bat covered with razor blades.