38: Hobo With A Shotgun (Movie)

I have no sensitivity to gore. Blood can spurt out of wounds on film like Old Faithful and the more it spurts the less sensitive I am. Guts can fall out of bodies and it might even push a giggle out of me. The moment someone is getting sliced in two and sliding apart like a cartoon, well its like a cartoon. Cartoons never used to be gory, but since the toon within a toon of Itchy and Scratchy, and the gorefest that is Superjail even this is no longer true. There is nothing about gallons of fake blood that bothers me. Indeed the gallons help.

There is an interesting sequence in the faux (but tonally spot on) grindhouse quickie Hobo With A Shotgun that illustrates the difference perfectly. Rutger Hauer’s tramp has turned up in Fucktown, and has been driven to homicidally clean up all the evil he sees on display with his shotgun. Much splatter continues in such a strong cartooonish fashion that even the most egregious nonsense is clearly so far removed from reality that it hold little to no emotional attachment. Except one point where the female lead, the tart with a heart (its that kind of film), is held down by the armoured villains “The Plague” who start to hacksaw off her head. Nearly all the other gore in the film has been supplied by shotgun blasts and swift limb choppings. The hacksawing creates little blood, but is the most shocking action in the film, and proof that Hobo With A Shotgun created a character that I at least cared about a bit.

A lot of Japanese gore films overdo it, but also have absolutely impenetrable storylines (I have no idea what happens in Tokyo Gore Police still). Hobo With A Shotgun has barely a story, but is surprisingly entertaining for the rubbish it wants to be, and is.

39: Black Dynamite (DVD)

This is in a very similar vein, a really well done pastiche of a Blacksploitation movie. Perhaps it leans a little bit harder on the parody aspect than Hobo With A Shotgun, but then there is little in the kind of Grindhouse film Hobo is to parody. What Hobo gets right (without being slavish to) is the supersaturated early eighties video colouring, and the kind of shots you might get. Black Dynamite is almost too slavish to this, it maybe throws in a few too many flubbed shots and dropped booms to be completely respectful to its source. But what it does understand is what is enjoyable about the genre, and plays it completely straight. This is in contrast to the much more comedic (though equally enjoyable) Undercover Brother from a few years back

In particular, it gets that peculiar kung fu film obsession of blacksploitation, plus the difficulty the films often had in finding the right profession for the lead. Like Shaft, Black Dynamite is (or was) on the side of the government: his list of jobs range from Vietnam Vet, via CIA operative to occasional Pimp. But in the end any blacksploitationsploitation film 9which this is) lives or dies by its soundtrack, and this one feels just right. You can listen to it on Spotify here.

40: Piranha 3D (Movie)

The other gorefest I saw over the weekend was another Cigarette Burns late night screening, for once showing a modern movie. Albeit a modern movie remake of a Roger Corman semi-classic. Piranha 3D is both modern remake, pastiche, serious horror comedy and comic commentary on the entire genre. From a drunk midnight screening perspective it worked perfectly, yelps at the dafter deaths, cheers for our heroic lead (Elisabeth Shue is the action hero and pulls it off fantastically). Its a film whose plot appears to be making some sort of point about the excesses of Spring Break, whilst happily ogling the naked bodies before, and after they get eaten. There is nothing to be taken seriously about Piranha 3D, and my usual 3D gripes stand up though at least seem at home in a gimmick fest like this. If you’ve ever wanted to see Richard Dreyfus, or indeed Kelly Brook get eaten by fish, here is your chance. Or if you have ever wanted to see Elisabeth Shue taser a piranha, then run across some inflatables like it was a game in We Are The Champions, this is the film for you. Or at least it would be at midnight with a few beers inside you.

Film 2Oh!! is an attempt to write about every film I have seen this year which I am not helping with by seeing lots of films all the time. This year I have seen 145 films, written about 39.