Quick Takes: Hobo With A Shotgun, The Night Before, No Strings Attached

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

Starring Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Robb Wells, Nick Bateman, Peter Simas
Directed by Jason Eisener

Webster’s gonna have to put out a new dictionary, because they need to add a picture of Rutger Hauer from Hobo With A Shotgun to the entry for “trash”. Hobo With A Shotgun is the ultimate trash movie, filled with a seemingly non-stop orgy of bloody splatters and disembowelments. They try for some substance but there’s none, which is to expected, but it’s not nearly as fun as it should be. It’s enjoyable for gorehounds, but it seems more like someone trying to make a movie like the ones they love instead of focusing on the whole and making something of quality. I’m impressed that they made it though and that they got Rutger Hauer! Nice colors throughout too, and not just the reds of blood.

The Night Before (1988)

Starring Keanu Reeves, Lori Loughlin, Theresa Saldana, Trinidad Silva, Suzanne Snyder, Morgan Lofting, Gwil Richards, Chris Hebert, Michael Greene, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, George Clinton
Directed by Thom Eberhardt

Great in concept, but a little lackluster in execution, The Night Before tells the wild and crazy tale of how Keanu Reeves meant to take Lori Loughlin to the prom but ended up on the wrong side of the tracks in East LA. This begins a series of fuckups too numerous to list here. The interesting thing about this one is that it’s mostly told through inventive flashbacks as Reeves stumbles through alleyways trying to piece together what happened to him just a few hours ago. It gets tiring as it goes on, but it’s still a fun movie overall. Strangely enough, I saw this movie on TV a couple of times but I could never remember its name until recently when I happened upon it while doing some IMDB searching. If only I had retraced my steps like Keanu, my search wouldn’t have taken twenty years.

No Strings Attached (2011)

Starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Jake M. Johnson, Cary Elwes, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Kline, Chris Bridges, Olivia Thirlby, Lake Bell, Ophelia Lovibond, Talia Balsam, Guy Branum
Directed by Ivan Reitman

No Strings Attached is an enjoyable romantic comedy, but like all romantic comedies it’s wildly predictable and its success lies completely in the hands of its leads. Thankfully both Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher perform their duties well and paint a good picture of a shallow relationship. Directed by Ivan Reitman(!) with little to no flair or style, the film fits perfectly into that tired mainstream studio mold that seems to endlessly churn out the same film over and over. It’s not as funny as it should be, nor is it as touching as it thinks it is, but it was a fun night off for my brain.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Christopher Titus, Irene Michaels, Karla Sue Krull

Directed by Stephen Chiodo

Expectations: High, been looking forward to this one for a while.


When I was a kid my buddy used to bring his Fangoria magazines to school and we’d check out all the cool ghoulies, goblins and killer gore FX horror films of the 80s and 90s had to offer. It was a golden time for me in which the seed was deeply sown for my love of the genre and the FX that came with it. In those days it was all about foam latex masks and appliances, scale models and slick opticals of raygun blasts and lightning. Camera tricks fooled the mind in clever ways that less-than-subtle, modern CG does not. Many of the films I was exposed to in these Fangoria issues are long-standing favorites, while others I still have yet to see. My childhood household had an unspoken hex on true horror pictures, so I had to wait to see a lot of this stuff until I was old enough to get ahold of them myself. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is one of these films, until now only glimpsed in the colorful pages of Fangoria and in short clips.

Many movies that have built up this much hype just can’t live up to it. Killer Klowns from Outer Space also has the PG-13 horror movie stigma working against it. In spite of all the odds stacked against it, Killer Klowns from Outer Space managed to worm its way into my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A big part of my enjoyment were the excellent range of visual FX on display throughout the picture, and when a bunch of brothers that run an FX studio make a movie this is only to be expected. From the hyper-detailed foam latex clown masks to the wonderful optical raygun FX, from the stop-motion shadow puppets to the cotton candy bodypods, Killer Klowns from Outer Space astounds and entertains at every turn.

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