April 6, 2011

Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

Jason Eisner's fake-grindhouse-trailer-turned-feature-length gore-a-palooza's main strength lies in the fact that unlike Machete, Planet Terror and Death Proof, it does not set out to emulate a 70's b-movie using today's technology. Rather, it is an actual B-movie with the added benefit of a neon-washed 80's Canadian tinge. Compared to grindhouse' $50 million and Machete's $10 million budgets, Hobo's meagre $3 million is definitely putting it in B-movie territory by comparison. Nevertheless, that figure is no small change, so Eisner/Davies find creative ways to spend it on nice little pointless details (like a classic 70's New Brunswick gull-wing door Bricklin SV-1 sports car, a pair of metal-clad armoured warriors or a tentacled monster). The style and themes definitely evoke early John Waters fare, and while the oversaturated colours do tend to dip into the teal and orange/orange-blue contrast curse that has been plaguing Hollywood lately, for the most part they evoke that old timey Technicolor feel. That combined with a heavily electronic 80's inspired soundtrack, give it that unique feel that neither Tarantino nor Rodriguez managed to accomplish with their own forays into the realm of vintage. The most delightful thing about it though, is its distinctively Canadian nature. From the CN rail on which the hobo rides into Halifax, to Robb Wells of Trailer Park Boys fame, to George Stroumboulopoulos's tv news anchor that gets murdered on-air with an ice-skate, to the mobs of plaid-clad nova-scotians sent to roam the streets in search for hobos, this is an unmistakeably and unapologetically Canadian movie. Canadian visual symbols aren't the only signs of a Canadian film in Hobo however. The distinct twisted morality, off-kilter psychology and the Cronenbergesque fidelity for mutilation invoke everything that's great and special about Canadian film. Well worth it if you're in for some campy gory fun. OH yeah, and there's also Rutger Hauer, a paedophilic santa-claus, naplaming a schoolbus and topless human piñata if you weren't convinced.