Saturday, 14 April 2012

Hobo with a Shotgun

Initially, it was one of the fake trailers shown before the Grindhouse, the movie by nostalgic Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Inspired by the style of 70s, it was an ode to good old times of small cinemas, small screens and bad quality tapes. The trailers that were shown before were the masterpiece themselves. The fake trailers gave rise to two real movies: Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun, fully absorbing the ideology of Grindhouse, yet still being completely different.

To start with, Hobo with a Shotgun is still an ode to good old times. The movie looks like 70s, sounds like 70s, feels like 70s. Only true fans of the style were able to recreate it so close to reality, yet keeping it alive, rather than just a mummy. Movie is captivating, interesting and (sometimes) funny. But don’t get me wrong – there is nothing in the movie itself that is good. It is the atmosphere that it brings along, the characters it lovingly recreates. Take the main antagonists: they are cruel and scary, yet charismatic and charming – in their own way, of course.

The storyline itself is laughable. A homeless played by Rutger Hauer takes on the mission to clear the city from criminals and scumbags, and the only tool that he has is his shotgun that he bought instead of lawn mower. It is pure violence, gore and guts on the streets. Rivers of blood pours from the screen. This cannot be serious, it is trash, purest of them all, made by professionals.

After all, it is very difficult to talk about the usual staff from the movies. Director? Cast? Screenplay and plot? It all absolutely doesn’t matter here. What matters is the adoration of the respective period in the cinematography, and yes, every single one involved in the process of making the movie clearly have very warm memories.

And when you abstract a little bit from what is going on the screen, you immediately get the nostalgic feeling, recalling all those mass-production, clumsy, silly movies. The movies we still love simply because they were one of the first movies we saw. And this is simply priceless.

And another thought came to my mind, pretty sad thought. This whole movie was intentionally done as trashy as possible – lots of blood, zero brains required, silly plot, mindless brutal massacre. Yet still you see some intelligent work behind it, you still feel some ideology and understanding. The sad thing is, however hard good talented people try to recreate absolute trash, they will not even get close to the trash things of this generation. Even Hobo with a Shotgun looks better and smarter than Twilight or Abduction, which definitely were not planned to be such a trash.

Or maybe I am too harsh, and in, say, 40 years we will watch a movie named Vampire with a Shotgun with tears of nostalgia? 


  1. Very interested to see this one.

    I actually almost bought it once, but opted for 13 Assassins. I let my sister decide and I guess only time will tell which one was better.

    Good review. Looking forward to seeing it myself.

  2. Thank you very much for the comment.

    Actually, there is a lot in common between 13 Assassins and Hobo, both movies are nostalgic no end.

    Hope you will enjoy the movie.