Do you know those kinds of movies where you see the trailer and immediately say, “Oh man, I’m totally going to see that movie when it comes out!”, only to not ever see that movie when it comes out? Well, that’s what this movie was for me. Maybe it was because I had seen the fake Machete trailer years ago, and then saw that it turned into an actual movie that I had discredited these new “grindhouse” type films that I waited so long to see it. Some things really do seem too good to be true. With this movie, the title alone is awesome enough that I had doubts any movie could live up to that, especially considering the titular hobo was played by none other than Rutger Hauer. In retrospect, I’m glad that I watched this movie after the “hype” around it died down, because it definitely made it more enjoyable.
Poor, poor little Abby. One day, someone will come and rescue you from the yellow world you live in.
Right from the opening credits you realize you are watching a movie intended to be an homage to films from the 70’s that had these long, boring opening sequences with all of the credits being shown right away. In fact, Rampaige asked if this was an old movie or a new one because it was so convincing. A rail-riding, shotgun-less hobo makes his way into Hope Town, which has had its signs changed to “Scum Town”, and the hobo gets a sense that nobody gives a shit about any of the crimes that take place. He sees prostitutes, muggers, and children being kidnapped, and no one is doing anything about it. While in town, he sees a lawnmower, which sparks an idea in his head to raise enough money to buy a lawnmower so he can start his own business and maybe get back on his feet. While exploring the city, he comes across the prostitute Abby, played by Molly Dunsworth, being verbally and physically assaulted. When the hobo intervenes, Abby gives the hobo a place to stay and some new clothes, starting their father/daughter-esque relationship. What the hobo doesn’t know is that he stopped Slick (Gregory Smith), who is the son of Drake (Brian Downey), and Drake is the one who runs the town. From the crimes that take place and even to the police force, Drake is the one running the show. Let’s just say that the hobo picked a bad day to save a hooker, because now Drake has his sights set on him.
It seems to me like giving this guy a duct tape diaper attached to a shotgun wasn’t really an efficient use of time, but who am I to argue with a hobo with a shotgun?
After raising enough money to buy the lawnmower, the hobo goes to the pawn shop, only to have robbers come in and threaten to kill everyone. Our hobo notices that the price of the lawnmower is exactly the same as the price of a loaded shotgun, so he grabs that instead and starts killing bad guys. Clearly this man has snapped and is sick of the way people are being treated, so he goes on a rampage killing as many bad guys as he can. This gets Drake pissed off and offers money to citizens for killing any and all homeless people in hopes of getting to the one toting a shotgun. Eventually, these offers catch up to the hobo and he is taken captive by some sort of demonic figures, known as “The Plague“, who appear to work for Drake. Abby, after realizing what has happened, confronts the unruly masses and lectures them about how the homeless are the ones who rule the city, and everyone should fight the cops. Everyone is persuaded to do so, and it all starts by going after Drake. When Abby arrives to see the hobo about to be killed by The Plague, she intervenes and saves the hobo, but not without being critically wounded. When Drake looks to find help, he is only met by the unruly masses, and despite the hobo being about to blow Drake’s head off, he is shot down by the police. Poor little hobo.
Homeless people used to be at risk of catching the plague. Well it appears that this one has to be nervous about The Plague catching HIM! Am I right?!
I’m glad I waited so long to watch this, because my low expectations allowed me to enjoy this movie that much more. I felt as though it was able to honor the tradition of grindhouse movies in all of the blood and death and gratuitous violence, but was well-paced enough that I didn’t get bored. Normally, that’s the issue I have, that no matter how insane older grindhouse movies are, I can get bored and lose interest. Maybe it was because the first death involved someone’s head being ripped off with barbed wire and then having a lady in a bikini start doing stripper moves in the spraying blood that kept me interested in what would happen, but that’s a good a reason as any. I also found Rutger Hauer to successfully portray a sympathetic homeless person that made you want him to succeed, while also balancing the insane personality that you would expect from a hobo with a shotgun. I’m sure grindhouse aficionados could tear this movie apart, but for me, it was just a fun movie. Oh yeah, and the soundtrack is pretty awesome.
Wolfman Moon Scale
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