it is with great pleasure that I introduce Mr Pete Birnie from The
Cult of Alfie as my guest blogger today! Pete is a bit of a
kung-fu nerd and from working at the local leisure center, is one of
the guys responsible for helping my Parental's Roy and Gail Cooper
into shape for their trek to the Mount
Everest Base Camp this October. Anyhoo, when I heard he had just
written a blog about Jason Eisner's Hobo with a Shotgun, I figured,
what a perfect post to introduce y'all to this crazy young man! :)
When you get a chance, please do check out his website,
and the numerous video parodies that are on there! There are
definitely a few belters...although you might be questioning his
sexuality by the end of them, haha!
Hobowith a Shotgun, this is now one of my favourite films. The beginning
comes across as whimsy, bringing back memories of that great show the
littlest hobo...honestly that’s what the music reminded me of. As
the Hobo arrives in town making it feel like it's the happiest event
in the world. Rutger Hauer was made for this role, acting perfectly
as the tired old man, god I LOVE Rutger Hauer.
heads get blown off, arms broken, hung, the violence is gruesome,
someone’s head even gets mashed in by dodgems...this is where the
movie turns into the ultimate revenge film. As people die left,
right and centre, Hauer's face is concentrated on his trolley as it
fly’s across the street, as if it's the most important thing in the
world. Bottles fly and all his belongings lay spread around the
floor. Watching Hauer turn into the angry revenge filled Hobo is a
joy. As he realises the police are under the thumb of the bad guys,
as they carve the word scum into his chest...the troma like violence
within this movie suits it to a tee. With heads exploding and hands
being ripped off, I didn't even flinch as it suited it so much.
Hauer is amazing, his rugged I’ll do what I want charm is brilliant
and being a huge fan of him, it's a guilty pleasure.
it dawned on me what the following scenes reminded me, the old
westerns I used to watch flashed through my head. You know the
scenes where the good guy has had enough crap, the massive music
letting him deliver justice one shell at a time! That’s the
tagline to this movie.
I can't begin to express how much I
enjoyed this film, the moral message obviously being don't stand and
watch, help your fellow man. As the Hobo hooks up with a local
prostitute, their relationship becomes more father and daughter. A
favourite part of mine, when she tells him he can't fix everything
with a shotgun, and then they dream to start a lawn moving business
The bad guys are brilliantly cast, two brothers and
their father, who watches them vie for his attention, preferring one
son over the other, a sadistic little weasel who performs all sorts
of horrific acts (watch out for the "dad he blew my dick off"
scene!) Drake the father has the town under his spell of fear,
calling it the Drake show throughout.
always one last obstacle comes between the town being free or doomed
to become hell on earth. Two unstoppable brutal monsters, all
metal clad, sweep into the action...watching as one brutally hangs
people with what I can only describe a harpoon gun. He ropes their
heads and hangs them by shooting them into the ceiling, showing no
emotion. It's a classic scene as they hang twirling, and then Hauer
enters the scene. The plot is light but what do you expect, it's
called Hobo with a Shotgun!?! And it's AWESOME!!!
the ending song was taken from the cartoon the Raccoons, which is
indeed also awesome!)
love me some good old revenge flicks. I also believe that we are all
capable of doing things that we wouldn't otherwise think possible. But if something so vile happened to a person we loved, who knows what kind of dark places that would take us too?!! Just Us is a wonderful short that addresses this matter, with
beautifully macabre consequences. All too often in society people
such as killers and rapists walk free after committing heinous
crimes, and I think it is at the very core of us as human beings to
want retribution for these crimes. But the fucked up thing
about the world we live in is, bad people walk, even after the most
sordid of crimes. Yet if someone was to take the law into
their own hands and make sure the criminal get their just desserts...it would
be that individual who was doing what any decent human being would be
thinking, they'd be arrested and more than likely go to jail for a
very long time. All whilst the actual bad guy walked! I think
that's why revenge flicks have always sat to well with me...they're
the films where you get to see the bad guys royally fucked up...and
in cases such as Just Us, and my personal favourite female revenge
flick, I Spit On Your Grave...I get to root like fuck for the girl
whopping out a good old ass kicking and dick chopping!
(Pictured above - Director Lori Bowen at work!)
Bowen did a brilliant job on Just Us and I'd love to see what she'd
do with a revenge feature. She most certainly a talented little lady
with a bright future ahead of her!
just a little afterthought, another personal favourite revenge flick
is James Wan's Death Sentence, absolutely fucking amazing film!
As I mentioned in my interview with director Jennifer Campbell, I think one of the reasons why I instantly took such a liking to Hike, is the fact that it is without a doubt the kind of short I could totally see myself making!! I mean, whenever I'm out and about walking, be it through the woods, or along the beach, or up in the hills...I always picture myself finding body parts...or a completely whole dead body!! Sick I know, but I can't help myself, haha. My mind just drifts off...and that's usually where it drifts to...limbs amongst the driftwood!! ;)
With its stunning location and superb direction, what I appreciate most about Hike is how simple...yet wonderfully effective it is at the same time. It beautifully conveys the perfect image of some of the true horrors that are actually out there. As a girl with a total serial killer fascination, this is horror at its more shocking and perverse because it's so real!!
Hike is the perfect example of the ultimate male monster. The one that blends into society. The one who despite all they may have, still needs that power play that comes from victimising a woman. One who is either physically unable to fight back, or one who has been so mentally abused, that they don't have the inner strength in them left to fight!!
These are the men that everyone is always so shocked when they hear about some of the atrocities they have committed. They are the friendly neighbour, your kids scout leader, the boy next door...the kind of guy who we wouldn't even contemplate a danger when they ask us to go out for a hike in the woods! The best serial killers are usually the ones that blend in with society. And in the case of someone like Ted Bundy, they also happen to be some of the worst when it comes to the level and extent of violence committed!!
When describing Hike, Vancouver based director Jennifer Campbell had this to say -
“Hike is about violence against women, being silenced and ultimately being victimized because someone is bigger, stronger and able to overpower.”
We live in a society where violence against women is shockingly high, and a lot of it is precisely down to this mindset. Men need to show just how big and strong they are, and just how easily they can hurt their partners...or mothers, sisters, daughters...granmothers!!
Shorts such as Hike are such an eye opener in that they remind us that whilst we may feel safe and secure in our day to day lifestyle...you never know what kind of evil may be lurking just round the corner!! It is for this very reason that it is important for women to be self aware, and able to know that there is always someone they can turn to for help.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again...I think the reason that women appreciate horror so much, and just why they're so good at making it, is that the levels of violence and rape against women, it's so much higher than anything against men. Hell, childbirth is enough to give any woman an appreciation of horror, haha. All joking aside though, I think it's wonderful that there are women out there such as Jennifer Campbell, who are making films like Hike, who are conveying the word about such topics, but in a way that opens insightful debate and understanding. Not in a, "shove it down your throat" kind of way. I'd just like to add on a separate note, that it's also quite appropriate that all of the funds from the Have a Heart for Horror Cook Book, a cook book filled with recipes and art from various female figures working within horror today (including yours truly!!), are going to Project Get Safe. This is a non-profit corporation dedicated to preventing real life horrors such as victims of abuse, domestic violence, teen youth shelters, halfway houses.
Check out the trailer for Hike below and keep up with the news from Jennifer Campbell and her production company Whitebowl Productions at the Official Site and Facebook page.
I would also just like to say I've edited this to say Congratulations to JC for her award for Best Women Director in the Shorts Category at the PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas. With shit loads of films showing over a massive 17 days, this is truly a well deserved honor for Miss Campbell. So YAY....Go Jen!! :)
Ooh, and it also took the award for most Over the Top Special FX at this year's Stiletto Film Festival as well. The FX that it is referring to is one that when watching the Sons of Anarchy Season 5 finale, it made me giggle and think of Hike!! BWAH! ;)
So yes, expect great things to come from this fellow JC, who not only shares my first name...she also shares the initial of my second name...woooo, creep~tastic!!! Bwahahahaha. :)
Last Post is one of the most beautifully stunning pieces of work I
have ever seen. With its haunting melancholy and pitch perfect
performances, it's impossible not to feel emotionally connected to it
and drawn completely in. The thought of dying alone is always a sad
one, we reflect upon our lives and think of all of the people we've
connected to that have been and gone. The ones who even though we
only knew for a relative short period of time, they made such an
impact on our lives and helped turn us into the person we are today.
And although the years have passed by and a life apart has been led,
you still feel a connection to them, and know that someday you will
see them again. Be that in life...or death.
three performances in The Last Post are all in their own way,
exceptional! Jean Marsh as the old lady Colette is wonderful, the
emotion that she conveys whilst telling her story, the great sadness
in her eyes and that feeling of tremendous loss...this is the mark of
a truly great actress. The supporting cast of Kimberley Nixon as the
Nurse and Darren Bransford as the soldier, such subtle performances
yet so effective.
Last Post is such a terrific first attempt at a short by Axelle, she
has a raw talent for attention to detail and for bringing out the
subtle beauty of her actors performances. She is most definitely a
woman to watch and I can't wait for her to move on to feature
a way, The Last Post almost reminds me of Titanic when Rose is
reliving those magical few weeks before the wretched iceberg got in
the way! And say what you want about my love of Titanic (and The Winslet, haha), but
it's that sadness of knowing that Rose only knew Jack for such a
minute period of time, and even though she went on to live her own
life after his death, he was still the greatest love of her life!
And yes, I cry at Titanic! I have no problem admitting that, haha.
;) And like Titanic, The Last Post also had my eyes welling up with
And ooh lastly, a super squeeeee...when going to IMDb to get a link for her
name I saw that not only was Jean in Return to Oz and Willow...she
was also in Frenzy, woot woot! Hitchcock nerd~gasm to the max! :D
Okay so this February's Jennifer's Bodies, I am so psyched to announce that I am working alongside the Dundee University Student Film Society! :) Now as if this wasn't cool enough, the main chick~a~roo in charge of the society, is a fellow kick ass horror gal! Florence is also a fellow Horror Blogger Alliance chick, and when I went to post a reply to a blog post she had done, I saw a post from another horror chickzilla, The Real Queen of Horror! Aaaah, what a small world we live in! What other genre of film are you gonna find yourself bumping into others online so much as with horror? Florence is wonderfully kooky with a wicked taste in film and a great sense of humour, and I urge you to check out her blog, A blog by your new friend: Florence NOW! :D
Jennifer's Bodies will be taking place on Sunday 26th February in the Tower Building at Dundee University. You can find more information over at my Jennifer's Bodies page, including the full line up and tickets etc. All of the money raised I am donating to a fellow woman in horror to go towards her 1 year old boy's medical bills for an operation to rectify his Craniosynostosis.