Monday, April 25, 2011

Hobo With a Shotgun

Alright then I am back to finish the movie post. I would of completed it then and there but Battletech with friends > this. Feel free to feel honored. Yay Battletech man that game can be fun. I’ll write some more about it later on in a different post that isn’t about movies.

So Hobo With A Shotgun. I am not attached to the internet at the moment. If I were I could tell you exactly what genra of movie Hobo is paying tribute to. It might be Grindhouse but I don’t think so. It is much closer to the Toxic Avenger and movies like that than most of the Grindhouse stuff but whatever. Genraization is not one of those things I enjoy contemplating or writing about. The movie takes some great pains to fit into the sort of 70’s gonzo cinema click. The movie is filmed in Technicolor and it shows it. One of the things the movie made me realize is that I really do like Technicolor very much. Whites seem super bright, red is intense, and the whole world has a strange organgy tinge to it. The hall mark of movies just like this one I think that if someone were to come along they could really make Technicolor sing. Maybe Sezuki will do it before he dies. I don’t really have much hope for that but whatever.

So the basic plot of the movie is that a hobo rolls into this city of moderate size on the rails and is horrified by the level of crime and violence that plauge the streets. Eventually we come to learn that the town is run by a rich psychopath and his two psychopathic sons. This guy owns the police, and therefore is pretty much allowed to do whatever it is he wants which is mostly murder and making scantily clad women dance in blood. The women were my favorite part of the movie. After awhile the hobo buys a shotgun from a pawn shop and starts cleaning up town. Lets not speculate on things like ammo capacity or how he managed to get shells. Lets just keep moving shall we?

There are rules to movies. Pregant women don’t get shot, children don’t die, things like that. It is a very hard thing to pin down but when you watch action films and even most horror films there is this strange moral code that is followed all throughout these movies. The Scream movies which we can all thank for reinvigorating the horror genera points out these rules and makes fun of them ie don’t have sex. This harkens back to the purtain morality that is oddly engrained in even the strangest parts of our culture. The Friday the 13th series follows all the rules that Scream puts out so much so that it is almost like Wes Craven sat down one day watched all ten Friday the 13th movies and decided to make a movie about the rules.

Then there are movies that ignore these rules. Going back to Wes Craven and the original version of The Hills Have Eyes one of the mutants shot a pregnant woman right at the start of the movie. This wasn’t something that had happened on film before. I think ever. It is one of the most effective moves he could make though because it firmly establishes him as a man who just doesn’t give a fuck about the rules and he will show you whatever he feels like. Even though this is the most shocking moment in the movie, the rest of the movie has this incredible sence of dread to it because you never know what the hell else you are going to have to see.

Hobo does the same thing. But unlike The Hills Have Eyes it didn’t do it to instill fear. It instead did it for the sake of shock value and shock value alone. It is a shock movie. You watch it, you go oh my god, but then there isn’t anything else to it. Unlike Gummo, or Kino Lika, or Happiness this movie excists for the sheer purpose of being shocking. It clocks in at under 90 minutes and it uses all the time possible to fill the movie with as much blood and violence as possible. From the child molesting santa, to the plague which actually has a fun way of killing people, to the baseball bat covered in razor blades, to the scene with the bumper cars, to the guy throwing a Molotov cocktail into a dumpster containing a woman and her baby, to the ice skate scene, to using a flame thrower on a bus full of children, to the thing with the man hole cover and the barbed wire noose, to the scene with the lawn mower, the movie just keeps going. I didn’t even list everything.

See I don’t care about the rules. And while I am not jaded I do like my ultra violence to mean something. Like take Machete for example. That movie had some significant ultra violence to it, but at the very least it was funny about it. It was all done with a wink and a nod, and there wasn’t a bus full of dead children involved. Had Don Johnson (The leader of the white supremacist militia group) had baked a school bus full of Mexican children the movie would have had a decisively different tone to it. Both movies are very violent but Machete stays within the rules. He even never kills the bodygaurds of the crime lord. I guess he sees them as hired help much like himself most of the time or something like that. Everyone who dies in this movie has it coming. If you were to tally up the body count in Hobo, just about no one in the movie who dies deserves it. Which makes you wonder what the point of it all was. Then again as a purely superficial piece of cinema as long as you like a dose of the ultra violence you won’t find better offerings this decade or probably the next. Me? I got distracted twords the end and played city of heroes.

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