Last Tuesday in Toronto, nearly seventy people had the privilege to watch a bikini-wearing prostitute bump and grind to the rhythmic spouting of blood from a decapitated head, while simultaneously stuffing two bloody fingers in her mouth. Hobo With a Shotgun is, at least, properly honest in its misogynistic premise.
The movie, which is the second fake trailer from the Grindhouse series to be made into a feature-length film – the first one being Machete, starring Lindsey Lohan as a gun toting nun – doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a badly made horror/exploitative film with a bone(er) to pick with women.
The setting of the film, Fuck Town, which is run by Drake – a gangster with the attitude of a circus announcer – is like Parkdale on crack. Well, substantially more crack, like cocaine snowflakesfalling from the sky kind of crack. It’s a city where women’s naked bodies are hung from the dungeon-like ceilings of the underworld in nothing but barbed wire, where every woman is depicted as a prostitute, where gangs threaten to ‘skate rape,’ and where sadistic pleasure is elicited from it all. Now some will say that this is just common form in Grindhouse films and to those I say, go Fuck Town yourself. No Grindhouse nerd, even the ones who lined up outside the Scotiabank theatre in droves – who still stood there knowing they weren’t going to get in as the lineup hugged the corner of the Chapters at Richmond and John and continued on – no, not even these die-hard (pun intended) fans expected this kind of obsession with pussy pillaging that Hobo with a Shotgun was fixated on.
When director Jason Eisener took the stage at Tuesday’s advance screening of the film it was clear, like it must be with his therapist, that Eisener probably doesn’t do very well with women. With a protruding paunch from too many beer-drinking nights alone, he was reminiscent of the comic book nerds of high school’s past. The ones who mocked cheerleaders under the guise of some substandard argument against anything non-indie and who drew countless hero characters of them in their bedrooms while simultaneously jacking off. This is what the film was about: his anger with the women he could never get and the far more charismatic boys in varsity jackets who could.
Now sure, the hobo (who goes nameless in the film, but is named – from film’s posters/ website – Rutger Hauer) is intent on seeking revenge on the sadistic misogynists who run Fuck Town, the pedophile in a Santa suit, the filmmaker who gets off on watching homeless men punch each other and eat glass, and the gangsters who have half-naked women spanking a fat man hanging from the ceiling as they discuss business. But one shotgun blast to the face, or dick in one case, seems to pale in comparison to the chauvinist malevolence that is the rest of the film. All in all, it just becomes a convoluted mess of near rape and blood over and over again. Until at last, when the credits rolled, people walked out not interested enough in hearing Eisener’s reflections on the film, because there’s only so much to be said about an hour and a half of blood-soaked carnage.
If you’re interested in seeing blood and near-sex, just suggest it to your girlfriend when she’s on her period; at least that way you won’t merely be anticipating bloody sex, you’ll get some. Because the funny thing is, like Eisener who probably goes limp under pressure, the film falls short of the sex scenes that it so eagerly threatens its female characters with, instead relying on atrocious one-liners on how they’d stick it to these women if they could. If they could. But they can’t.