If you saw Tarantino and Rodriguez’s “Grindhouse” double feature, then you should have some knowledge of Hobo With a Shotgun, seeing as it was one of the featured “trailers” in the series. After enjoying “Deathproof”, “Planet Terror” and “Machete” (based off another of the fake trailers), I had a fairly good idea of what I was in for with “Hobo”. Yet, somehow it exceeded my expectations to create this beautifully mad Technicolor world that is deliciously fucked up.
It starts off with a scene that’s a cross between “Desperate Living” and “Caligula” (two movies which left me feeling a bit…..unclean after I saw them for the first time). Imagine if you will, a town filled with degenerates, streets of trash and graffiti and a man named The Drake (who is absolutely NOT cool like Drake the rapper a.k.a Jimmy from Degrassi). The Drake runs this town and he and his sons go around killing and mutilating just for the hell of it. They supply the townspeople with drugs to take away the pain that they inflict and have their hand in the local prostitution ring (which apparently consists of every woman under the age of 30 who isn’t a mother). Fear is The Drake’s main game and his hold on this town of deviants is firm.
Enter one hobo off a train who’s simply looking for a place to call home. Dude picked the wrong town. Once he realizes his mistake (after witnessing a murder staged as a street show, the breaking of a teenage boy’s arm, an attempted rape of a prostitute and a violent robbery attempt wherein a child is threatened), this hobo has had ENOUGH. Armed with nothing but a shotgun and a prostitute named Abby, he goes to town (literally) wiping the scum of the earth off the streets and into hell. The rest of the movie is a tit for tat, garish, in your face, vivid pink, neon blue, Asian movie gushes of blood, free for all revengesploitation of the most wicked kind.
Best part EVER? When Abby suits up for war and the final touch of her outfit is slap bracelets. Oh hello 80s fashion, how I’ve missed you.
A must for exploitation fans everywhere.
First things first: Wow, f’ing wow, holy cow, I’m in love. I’m in love with this movie, I’m in love with The Machine Girl herself. When the Japanese want revenge, man, they REALLY know how to go about achieving it. They don’t half-ass it, not at all. Whereas Bruce Willis would go around shooting some dudes and maybe blowing up a few things, the Japanese have an all out gore fest that’s way more creative.
Let’s start at the beginning–with the fabulous opening scene of Machine Girl (“Ami”, played by Minase Yashiro) teaching a few bullies a lesson they won’t forget. The splatter starts immediately and doesn’t end. The even better thing though? The splatter is of the hilariously cheesy “are we in the 80s?” kind that makes this even more of a maniacly fun romp. From arms getting fried into tempura to a medieval ninja device that is part mace and part bear trap, this is one insane ride through a schoolgirl’s quest for vengeance.
Ami and her brother, Yu are orphans who’s parents were accused of murder and committed suicide (the details of this accused murder are not revealed). Alone in the world, they only have each other to depend on and each is fiercely protective of the other. Unfortunately, Yu and his friend Takeshi are being relentlessly bullied by a group led by the son of the ninja-yakuza clan (oh yes, not just yakuza but also ninjas.) Of course our bullies take things too far and Yu and Takeshi tragically die. While the police say it was suicide, Ami is positive this isn’t the case and goes on a one schoolgirl hunt for the truth. And just fyi, the truth involves a drill bra. (Yes, you did read that correctly.)
Hands down, this is one of the best Japanese “revengesploitation” movies I’ve ever seen. If you love Japan, if you loved Peter Jackson’s “Bad Taste”, if you love *me* at all, go watch this movie. Now. Seriously. The words “drill bra” are in this review, why are you even still reading??