I’m not really sure what I want to say about this one. I enjoyed it but am quite embarrassed to admit that I did. Not sure why really because I’m not ashamed to admit that I like crappy b-movies with lots of violence and gore. But there was just something about this one that made it slightly more unsavoury than usual. The story is pretty straightforward (without giving anything away) of the only good man in a rotten town being pushed to his limit and seeking bloody vengeance. It feels a lot like a Deathwish movie or an I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left.
The acting is terrible, I’d like to say deliberately so and I suspect it is in some cases but in others it is just plain bad. Similarly the effects are slick enough so that they don’t look utterly fake but fake enough so that the absurd amount of gore splattering around the screen doesn’t seem out of place. The gore is straight out of an early Romero zombie movie or Bad Taste (a film which I still haven’t seen all the way through due to 3 different scratched DVDs!), heads explode or get torn off, blood gushes everywhere entrails spill out of people at the slightest provocation. You’d think that people’s skin was made of damp paper for all the resistance it gives when the directors feel like adding a bit more red to the image. Do NOT watch this film if you don’t like the sight of blood 😉
The film is set in a dystopian town which is run by a criminal family who are about as crazy as all those Scottish people in Doomsday or the usual maniacs that you always seem to find torturing and killing everything they can find when the end of the world comes. Our hero hobo doesn’t like this. I think I can say without danger of spoliers that he gets himself a shotgun and takes matters into his own hands.
Anyway, after the slightly awkward beginning where the bad guys go way over the top setting out their credentials as the craziest and most sadistic people since the last guys (a theme that continues throughout the film and gets old rather quickly unfortunately) it settles down to a nicely done gory revenge horror flick. Look out for the MacGyver moment around an hour in that was the highlight for me. And if you have the DVD, make sure to watch the alternative ending which is just how I thought the original was going to end!
There are only really 2 characters in this film: the Hobo and Everyone Else. Ok, so there’s the stereotype Whore With a Heart of Gold™ (who is actually probably my favourite person in the film) and a collection of absurdly over the top sadistic villians who camp around the screen doing villianous things. There’s also a whole station full of stereotype crooked cops and the obligatory good apple in the bad barrel. However what it all really boils down to is the Hobo and everyone who has given him a reason to kill them. At points during the film, different people join different sides but effectively they are all reflections of the character whose side they have joined.
So all in all, a ridiculous, ridiculously violent, extremely gory, badly acted and very entertaining movie about Rutger Hauer getting pissed off and killing everyone he doesn’t like! I enjoyed it despite the shortcomings and probably would have enjoyed it a lot less if it was less camp/better acted/more realistic etc etc.
This movie fails the Bechdel test.