Dave's Rating:


Back to the grind.

Who's In It: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman

The Basics: After Prom, this is 2011's next best nominee for the Snakes on a Plane Award, which isn't really an award but ought to be, the one the Academy of Something or Other should give to movie titles that sum up the entire plot. This one is about a hobo passing through an 80s-era Canadian town where absolutely no one is demonstrating that famed Canadian politeness. In fact, there's no law whatsoever in this place and all the cops are corrupt. Murderous drug dealers and teen hookers abused by their pimps, homeless people being killed for sport and pedophiles wearing Santa Claus suits--name the ugliest thing you can think of and it's happening. So the hobo--who really just wants to buy a lawnmower so he can work his way off the streets--picks up a shotgun instead and starts wasting bad guys. When he's finished wasting those bad guys the movie ends.

What's The Deal: In some versions of the theatrical release of Grindhouse, this title was one of the fake trailers, making it the second one (after Machete) to be turned into its own film. But unlike Machete, Planet Terror or Death Proof, it never approaches the knowing, built-in commentary that Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino can't help but bring with them to a project, even as its intentional retro details aim for the very same effect. All of that to say it's just not as much brain-fun as the other neo-grinds but it's still really great at aiming that firehose of fake blood straight for your face. Sometimes that's enough.

Gory Details: Beheadings, stabbings, rapes, exploding skulls, hockey sticks and hockey skates as weapons (it's Canada), creative uses for dead human carcasses, the fiery slaughter of innocents, heartfelt hooker speeches and--my personal favorite--a baseball bat covered with razor blades put to gruesome use. It's the kind of excellent accessory you see in a movie and then obsess over, wondering how you lived without one for this long. All right, maybe that's just me.

Who Keeps It Afloat: Rutger Hauer, the kind of go-anywhere-do-anything actor you don't appreciate enough, turns this one-dimensional character into a guy you feel and root for. He could have just been a punchline that wore off after five minutes, leaving you 85 more of them to think, "This was better when it was just a fake trailer." But that's why you spend the extra money in your low budget and hire someone capable.

Now I'm Ready For: The full-length versions of Werewolf Women of the S.S., Don't and, as I think I've mentioned about 75 times already in other reviews and in my daily life to anyone who'll listen and to my own family on the last Thursday of every November for the past several years, Thanksgiving.


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