Pick-Up Lines: 10/10
It’s time once again to have your faces rocked by two men who seemingly have nothing better to do than watch bad movies, drink, and then make you feel humbled that you get to read our illegitimate ramblings. That’s right, another dueling review brought to you courtesy of The Awesome Man’s Burden, and yours truly. Try not to piss yourself.
I don’t need to sit here and tell you about all of the reasons why I both hate and fear homeless people (as many of my more familiar readers will remember that I have done in the past), so instead I’ll remark on how even through my negative bias, I can still admire a story about a man with nothing left to lose. “But Bob, you’re very good-looking and how can you hate the homeless who all have nothing left to lose?” Let me answer that question with a question: Yes, I am good-looking, and do you think homeless people have given up on life? They still cling to it, and stay hidden in the shadows, until a chosen warrior of the people rises up to abandon his life’s ambition of starting a lawn-mowing service and instead trades his sock full of money, can full of beans, and pocket full of dreams for a shotgun. Guess what that makes him?
Let me back up a little bit though, because the road to such a powerful decision is littered with the tattered remnants of his former life, and the approaching storm on the path (I should say “rails” here, because he is a train hobo…) that lays in front of him. When we first meet our hobo, whom I will now refer to as “Hobo”, he’s riding the rails as free as a bird, waiting to get to the next town and hopefully score some old (but still perfectly usable) cigarette butts. He quickly acquires a shopping cart to hold all of his dumpster treasures, and begins to make the rounds to all of the typical hobo places: street corners, back alleys, bum fight arenas, etc. Soon, he begins to realise that the city is run by a dangerously psychotic (and snazzily dressed) crime lord named “The Duke”, who routinely demonstrates his cruel authority by having people’s heads ripped off in the middle of the streets by tow cables. The Hobo tries to abide.
When Hobo infiltrates one of The Duke’s “secret” night club arcade coke house gang headquarters and saves a hooker from The Duke’s son, he has no choice but to….(so much anticipation here)…..go to the police and tell them that he is disgusted with the state of things in town (really disappointing). Unfortunately, the police are also run by The Duke, and Hobo soon finds himself in a dumpster with the word “scum” carved in to his chest. So what does he do next? You bet! He goes out and buys a shotgu……what? He doesn’t? He goes over to the hooker’s house instead and sleeps? Yep. AND he doesn’t try to get “rewarded” for his troubles? How stupid and noble. Instead, they become friends, and he tells her all about his dream to one day have his own lawn mowing service, where the motto will be “You Grow It, I Cut It”. Enchanted by his obvious wisdom, the hooker gives him a sweater with a bear on it and tells him to get some rest. Bears, as Hobo tells the young hooker, can swat your face off (damn good thing to know, if you ask me).
With a sock full of money and the determination of an employed person, Hobo goes to the local pawn shop to see what they have in lawnmowers. While there, 3 men in ski masks walk in and start shooting up the place, and that is just about all that Hobo can take. He opts for the shotgun as an impulse buy, and finishes off the 3 masked idiots in seconds. Then he takes on the streets. The first to go are the people running the bum fights, and then the pimps and child molesters, until finally Hobo is causing enough trouble to attract major attention. The Duke orders that all of the homeless people in town must be killed, or children will start dying, and the public goes crazy. With the world against him, Hobo still does his thing, and manages to kill The Duke’s son with a shot to the dick. Ouch. The Duke calls in The Plague, two guys who are basically walking tanks, and has Hobo captured so that he can be properly punished.
At this point, the movie becomes Hooker With A Shotgun, because that adorable street hussy grabs Hobo’s signature piece (haha), makes a brave and misguided speech about how homeless people are real people too, and then goes out to save Hobo’s life. When she finds him, his head is poking out of a manhole cover and there is a tow-rope around his neck. She is able to kill one of the members of The Plague with her gun and a shield that she made out of a lawnmower (complete fiction, women can’t use tools), but the tables turn when her hand is forced in to said lawnmower. Meanwhile, Hobo has been freed, and while he is getting his gun back, the hooker is able to use her protruding arm bone to stab The Duke for his trouble. The cops arrive, and a standoff begins. Hobo lets The Duke know that they are driving to Hell together, and The Duke gets to ride shotgun. Hobo doesn’t survive thanks to the crooked police, but who cares, the movie is over. Oh, and I guess the hooker is now a member of The Plague or something.
Where do I begin on the reasons why I love this movie? The dialogue is amazing, and when Hobo speaks, you listen. The philosophical point that you cannot solve the world’s problems with a shotgun is proven to be moot, and the comparison of homeless people who have weapons with bears is unmistakably accurate. The visceral brutality of the movie integrates very well with the story (it’s never necessary to burn a school bus full of children, but who gives a sh**.), and the story itself is not over-complicated by the burdens of political correctness, character development, or plausible city conditions. However, through all of the death, destruction, hookers, crooked cops, cocaine, gang activity, newspaper headlines, bum fights, catch phrases, and bears, this movie is about one thing at heart: A hobo with a shotgun.
I suggest this movie to anyone and everyone, because I believe it completely encompasses what I love about bad movies. Thank you very much to my friend LaRue for hosting this movie at his house, and to everyone who attended the mini-screening. Remember to check out the counter-part to this review at The Awesome Man’s Burden! Until next time, boys and girls, keep watching those bad movies, and I’ll keep drinking until the dark hole in my soul fills up and makes me feel like a real person.
P.S. I never want to be in this situation: