18 August 2011

Hobo With A Shotgun

Hollywood brought over the great Dutch actor Rutger Hauer about thirty years ago--and never knew what to do with him. He’s had more lame roles in more lames movies, well over a hundred, than just about anyone. Yet he has played two of the greatest and most charismatic villains in screen history: Roy Batty in the sci-fi classic Blade Runner and John Ryder in the cult classic The Hitcher. I was hoping Hobo With A Shotgun would offer Hauer a similar cult role to shine in, but. . .no. Hauer is good, but not even he is good enough to make this terrible, cheaply made Canadian attempt at a Grindhouse/Machete ‘70s exploitation-type homage thingy watchable. The Canadian actors are awful, a screeching, lumbering cast of Nova Scotian oafs, all about as subtle as a hundred pounds of spoiled back bacon. Hauer plays a hobo who rides into a lawless town run by a deranged crime family addicted to decapitation, mutilation and head crushing. Initially Hauer’s hobo tries to lay low and mind his own business, but his growing fondness for a prostitute (supposedly with a heart of gold, but acted by somebody named Molly Dunsworth with a heart of chocolate gold coins) inspires him to clean up the city. It’s a thin, dull vigilante script shot in garish neon hues and punctuated every couple minutes with Asian Extreme gore. Ha, Hauer’s actually TOO GOOD in this horseshit movie. He makes the hobo a real character. . .a real character interacting with a set full of blood-stained mannequins. The only passable scenes are like the one shown above. . .Hauer alone, giving a monologue. . .or looking pensive in a box car. . .or conflicted as he surveys the mayhem around him in the corrupt town. A miserable little movie, dumb minuscule plot, lifeless characters, Asian Extreme gore without the Asian attitude (it’s Tokyo Gore Police by way of the Hoser Community Players), a bizarre, anti-climatic ending featuring robots and a giant octopus (?!?!)--and yet somehow this Whoopee Cushion of a movie got generally decent reviews, with only the old school queer Rex Reed getting it right, concluding his review as follows:

Quite the most appalling piece of junk I have seen lately, Hobo With a Shotgun just lies there like an autopsy.


  1. ***I get tired of watching shit-ass movies; more so the indulgent ones with stupid, pointless violence. Sat through 'Inglorious Basterds' on streaming Netflix...probably one of the most tasteless and downright hateful flicks I've seen. The old lady was just as disgusted -- especially during the baseball bat scene. Brad Pitt don't make for a very convincing Hillbilly. I know Tarantino can do better than that. ***Most of the stuff I really dig is older. Argento's earlier films are pretty satisfying: I'd rank Suspiria and Phenomena in my top ten. Lynch is alright, too. I liked the quirkiness of Blue Velvet. Kinda on the fence about Lars von Trier. Thought 'The Kingdom' was brilliant, but 'Antichrist' was a little much. The assholes at Cannes really gave him the business about the whole 'Hitler' mess. I always thought Cannes was supposed to be some kind of celebration of artistic and personal freedom. Guess you still gotta have the "right" opinions to play ball. *** Silas

  2. Actually, I think I like him a little bit more now that he sabotaged himself at Cannes. Can't wait to see Melancholia. ***Silas

  3. Tarantino flamed out years and years ago. . .his best movie wasn't even directed by him. . .it was his screenplay somebody else made, *True Romance.* The *Kill Bill* movies were awful turds. . .l-o-n-g, so fucking tedious. *Inglorious Basterds*--wtf!! All I can think is Tarantino has been hanging out with too many of *that kind.* Come to think of it, *Reservoir Dogs* hasn't held up very well, either. Got to give him credit for *Jackie Brown,* though. That's more than most can do.

    *Antichrist* was a real disappointment. I actually fell asleep half-way through it. Watched the second half the following night. . .Charlotte Gainsbourg nude, that's all there was. I have high hopes for *Melancholia,* though. Von Trier has made too many good ones to give up on.

    I can't believe people are still offended by *Hitler.* Ridiculous.

    I prefer the TV series now to the movies. . .real quality stuff now on the idiot box. . .*Dexter,* *Sons of Anarchy,* *Big Love,* *Breaking Bad*. . .*Breaking Bad*--sensational.

  4. No matter how low modern cinema sinks, today's movies are still better than watching Nancy fucking Grace. Ever see that chick on TV? What a friggin battle-axe; pretty much parrots the opinions of every Diet-Coke and Funyuns addicted housewife in America. There's a true champion of lynch-mob justice.

  5. Tarantino makes awful shit now which is a shame. This is preaching to the choir but we know he can do better.

    Jackie Brown was his greatest. Max Cherry as the old white guy with the beastly Negro assistant, Winston, who's job it is to "find people. It's what he does."

    Jackson as the Negro gun peddler and DeNiro as a washed up crook and Fonda as the beach-bum stoner chick that can't fuck very well? Then Keaton as the cocksure cop who got played by the Injun-Negress who let Keaton think he was saving her?

    It was based on an Elmore Leonard book, sure, but Tarantino played it well. He developed the characters and mixed in a more honest racial component than most PC entertainment purveyors either lack the sensibility to make or won't make because it doesn't fit their narrative.

    And then Tarantino threw it away with Basterds. I did like Kill Bill 2 mostly because it captured some elements of old Spaghetti Westerns. I wanted to see Madsen's character on the screen some more. What was the scene where Madsen told his brother, Bill, that he sold his sword at a pawn shop? Ha ha ha! And the line about deserving revenge? It was well-played.

    Kill Bill 1 was awful.

    Pulp Fiction holds up. Res Dogs unfortunately does not, which is surprising. I tried to watch it a couple months ago and could not get through it.

    True Romance still holds up. It's too bad Slater was unable to do more stuff in that era worth a damn.

    "It ain't white-boy day is it?"
    "No boss, it ain't."

    Basterds is not worth a mention except that it may free Tarantino up to make good movies again by providing cover from Hollywood producers because he made an unapologetic flick about avenging Nazi abuses by. . . . being inhumane.

    Tarantino may now be free to make flicks that deal honestly with race and be funny at the same time.

    Or it may signal that he's run out of the creative legacy lifted from Roger Avary.

    He may have run out of ideas.

  6. Yeah, Bridget Fonda was great in *Jackie Brown*. . .she was a very under-rated actress, and had a great body. I give her a lot of credit, she stopped acting while she was still good-looking, didn't hang around playing old ladies or teen heart-throbs moms. . .