They just don't make 'em like they used to. Well, actually, they just don't make as many of them as they used to, but when it comes to vigilante/exploitation B-flicks, apparently, it turns out they make 'em exactly like they used to. Case in point: Hobo with a Shotgun, the most succinctly accurate premise in a title since Snakes on a Plane -- except where Snakes on a Plane was a tedious exercise in Samuel Jackson uttering ironic exploitation-era catch-phrases, Hobo with a Shotgun is, for better or much, much worse, the real deal.
And its grindhouse authenticity is no accident: Like theMachete
that came before it,Hobo with a Shotgun
has direct ties toGrindhouse
, the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double-feature that paid homage to the genre -- namely, it started out as a fake trailer, entered by director Jason Eisner in a Canadian promotional contest for the film (it won, and accompaniedGrindhouse
in some Canadian screenings of the film). The original fake trailer is above, and it does a pretty good job as a loving send-up of the genre. The trailer for the actual movie, though, which is below, absolutely nails it:
From the soundtrack to the garish filters to even the typeface of the logo,Hobo with a Shotgun
rings true, both in tone and in spirit: In the logical progression of exploitation flicks, the only valid entry to the canon is what tops what came before -- so you take a genre classic likeManiac
, say, which was shocking enough in the early '80s to prompt a walk-out from Gene Siskel but now seems kind of tame, and you up the ante. More crazy fake blood. More vile characters. More disgustingly creative ways to kill people (did you catch that decapitation at 1:39?
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And in that respect, it's a success -- the trailer is enough to make you want to vomit, even if you are a fan of the genre. It's a film that has no redeeming value whatsoever, but then again, it would argue, neither does the world it inhabits.