Friday, May 6, 2011

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is this year's "Human Centipede"--transgressive trash

The comparison, by the way, is not a compli-ment.  Although slightly better than Tom Six's "Centipede" (I suspect that the director/editor Jason Eisener has a good deal more film sense than Mr. Six), HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, written by John Davies, is one of the ugliest movies ever made. (It pains me to realize that, upon reading that last phrase, some of my followers will rush headlong to see this film. Good luck.) From its gaudy, hellish color palette to its near-non-stop grizzly gore and violence to the really ridiculous behavior of the movie's denizens -- good 'n bad guys 'n gals included -- the movie goes almost  immediately over the top. And then just goes on and on until it soon seems unending.

Why, you might ask, did TrustMovies even bother with a film like this? Well, he was told that it was so over-the-top as to be hilarious. Over the top it certainly is, but humor, as we should know by now, is a highly personal thing, and the main problem with "Hobo" -- as conceived by Eisener (pictured at right) -- is that there practically isn't any. Unless, for you, laughs automatically arrive when that top has been "overed." For TM, real humor and/or satire involves a good deal more than that.

Other than his use of noticeably garish colors, Eisner comes up with some interesting widescreen compositions. But again, they're so-fucking-ugly that they become increasingly difficult to watch. A latter-day Brueghel this guy ain't.

Rutger Hauer (above), an actor I've loved since the days of Turkish Delight, gives a fully committed performance as the Hobo, and this may be one of the film's problems. He's the only thing under-the-top in this entire fiasco. A wink or a tongue in cheek from him (or from somebody) might have helped the humor factor. But god damn: Every last cast member around Mr. Hauer is acting up a storm not seen since the most recent, really bad production of Macbeth.

There is also not a lot of logic to the plot events. When our heroine (Molly Dunsworth, struggling at left), gets hacksawed half to death and is barely saved at what passes for a hospital, then within moments is back on the street raring for revenge, well I give up. And so should she. And the rest of the contributors to this mess. But perhaps this is what the movie-makers hope will pass for humor. Again, it's such a matter of taste. Or its lack. Oh, yes: I suppose I should mention that the idea for and title of this movie first appeared, along with the recent Machete, as a trailer in the Tarrantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse. Big deal.

Hobo With A Shitgun -- oops, Shotgun  --  opens today at the Alamo Ritz in Austin and the Village East Cinema in New York City.  It'll be all around the country soon -- Alaska to Atlanta, Denver to Detroit. Click here for cities, dates and theaters.

2 comments:

Derek Fischer said...

Shame to hear you didn't like it. Sounded like a mindless, but fun addition to the exploitation genre. Although said genre isn't one I particularly care for, so maybe I'll avoid this.

James van Maanen, said...

That's what I wanted, too, Derek: a "mindless but fun addition to the exploitation genre." The movie seems to be diving audiences rather thoroughly: Love it or hate it. I sure wouldn't spend hard-earned money on it, however. Wait for the DVD!