Most of you are undoubtedly aware of the menace that is the common hobo, a sort of subhuman, highly nomadic creature capable of doing only menial tasks for short periods of time when basic need requires it. The hobo is a mental ant, possessing a brain too tiny to hold down steady work, and largely capable of only simple begging, pandering, and social molestation. There are some special traits that do endear the hobo, setting them slightly above animals, such as their ability to fashion crude tools, communicate via obscure hieroglyphics, and their knack for stealing pies and farmer's daughters. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the hobo brain lacks the necessary capacity to comprehend basic hygiene, and therefore makes them filthy, vile beasts. Hobos will often fill their surrounding perimeter with scandalous odors pouring out of every orifice they have available. They emit gagging coughs that echo like guillotine crashes and they talk in raspy, venomous voices about older, better days that never actually existed. Their cold eyes, unable to reach agreement as to where to stare, meander aimlessly about, while their snarling faces inspire fear and panic in the hearts of civilized folk cursed to encounter them. In short, the hobosapian is an unsettling byproduct of human evolution: the stillborn cousin of man. The famed hobo researcher, Dr. Lucious Q. Chauncey, Ph.D., said it best in his official 1927 report on the growing epidemic of hoboism:

The hobo male is an uncouth and thoroughly atrocious mammal with characteristics not unlike that of a human male who has given up on life and practical pursuits. He represents the worst traits of man: the inability to settle down and take responsibility and the constant avoidance of accepted social laws and practices. They do not work, except for occasional wood chopping or utility painting jobs, and traverse the country illegally as stowaways aboard railcars. In many circumstances, the hobo male is even known to consume his own offspring or the offspring of other hobos to avoid future competition and insure that he can remain as lackadaisical as possible. This disgusting behavior is indeed a blessing for civilized man, for it keeps hobo population growth in check. Yet there is contradiction in their ways. In tests conducted inside a maze with an electrified floor, 7 out of 10 hobos failed to escape in the allocated amount of time because they paused to carve markings into the maze walls. The remaining 3 made it out seemingly only because of these markings. Their existence is truly a conflicting and bizarre affair, sure to riddle researchers for generations to come.

Stop stealing pies, you flithy hobo!I have long hated these slatternly subhumans, but I admit to sharing Dr. Chauncey's fascination with the immortal riddle of the hobo. Man is attracted to the unknown and even the primitive – this is an accepted fact. I of course keep my curiosity in check, as I would not want to become too seduced by the dark allure of sleeping in boxcars and living off the ill-distributed generosity of farmers. While I know that I can remain resilient, I also know that in the past, countless others fell victim to the siren call of the boxcar, abandoning their families and lives for beds of hay and Salvation Army wardrobes. What tore them from reality? It's an interesting question to ponder: what was it that cut that last string of responsibility loose and freed them from the shackles of civilization? If you ask me, it was Hollywood. Yes, the same Hollywood dazzles our eyes and ears with sights and sounds amazing and wondrous beyond belief. This is also the same Hollywood that brought us "League of Extraordinary Gentleman," the sequel to "Battlefield: Earth" and "Dungeons and Dragons."

It was the dreadful 1970s that saw the start of a disturbing trend: the glorification of the hobo lifestyle and culture in television and movies. Leave it to the geniuses in Hollywood to try to demystify a devilish pursuit and sell it as not only acceptable entertainment, but as an acceptable lifestyle choice. This new genre of film, known as hobosploitation, attempted to tell stories both old and new through the eyes of the hobo. The main component of hobosploitation was to insert a hobo into the civilized world, and show how he or she would react to normal human situations as though they were normal humans themselves. In short: to exploit hobos by treating them as heroes and sympathetic protagonists. The hobosploitation genre is all but dead now, thankfully. But the movies still went a long way in corrupting the youth and inspiring others to throw away their futures and wrap their most precious belongings in bindles. I myself believe in thorough research, so I've taken the liberty of watching some famous hobosploitation films. Here now is what I gathered:

Flimflam Joe
I don't much approve of you either, Hobo Spider!The story of a Flimflam Joe, a deranged hobo who rides the rails stopping in small towns to con whisky from taverns and solve crimes, a feat he accomplishes by duping townspeople or by other means not fully explained in the film. Flimflam is a tenacious spirit who goes out of his way to not take any crap from the locals, even though they go out of their way to not give him any. This results in a palpable tension that hangs in the air like his alcohol saturated breath. Couple this abrasive nature with unorthodox detective skills, which mostly involves cussing at children and threatening citizens with his catchphrase "oughta rape and skin the whole lot of ya is what I oughta do!" and you get the picture. This is one terrible film, mostly because of the unexplainable nature of just how Flimflam solves his crimes. The actor who played Flimflam, a real life hobo, was drunk and belligerent throughout most of the filming, so his cryptic mumbling and cursing failed to bring any clarity or closure. The movie also takes a dark turn midway through, as Flimflam savages a few townswomen inside a barn and then ends up getting shot in the head by the local sheriff several times. The filmmakers adapted this movie from a series of hobo etchings carved into a signpost, and it truly shows. The script for this movie, which is probably about as good as you can get from a handful of symbols carved in wood, was extremely weak, and many of the scenes seemed pointless and unnecessary. In spite of being so terrible, "Flimflam Joe" is a legendary hobosploitation film and cult classic.

Winds of the Rails
In what has to be the most horrifying foray into hobosploitation, "Winds of the Rails" involves a romantic relationship between a male hobo and a regular human woman. As ridiculous and impossible as that sounds, the makers of this movie were dead serious. To think a charming lady would ever freely prostitute herself to a man caked in the filth of his own laziness is simply implausible. "Winds of the Rails" is the story of Hungry Gus, a hobo missing one eye and with a beard as wretched as a garbage dump, who falls in love with a train engineer's daughter. The daughter, Miss Maple, accompanies her father on a cross-country journey, and ends up meeting Gus, who is hiding in one of the train cars. At first she is horrified, but he calms her down by putting his clothes back on and then telling her all about the mysterious world of the hobos. She becomes intoxicated by his stories, which may or may not be because of all the alcohol in his breath, and instantly falls in love. Much to the dismay of these mismatched lovers, Miss Maple's father forbids it. Miss Maple then has the unfortunate burden of choosing between her family and the civilized world, or to follow the ghostly winds of the rails with Hungry Gus. She chooses Gus, and he rapes and kills her two towns later. At least this one ends with a positive message about hobos.

Song of Rufus
Not even musicals were safe from hobosploitation. "Song of Rufus" is the story of schizophrenic boxcar jockey Rufus, a man who follows a trail of music only he can hear. This isn't a very good musical, though, specifically for the reason that you can't really hear any of the music that's supposedly being played. The story starts off slow, but finally gets going when Rufus ends up in a town that doesn't take kindly to music that they simply cannot hear. Rufus, who refuses to shut up about the music only he can hear, finally drives the townspeople to hang him. This movie is forever remembered for the haunting scene in which Rufus almost convinces others that they can hear the music if they just listen.

Rufus: "Listen all y'all, I like music! Listen to the music!"
Mayor Stewart: Now you know there ain't no music playin', Rufus!
Rufus: "Shut the fuck up you corn-shucked motherfucker, sittin' there chewin' on weed and concrete, got ears full of shit! I like music! Listen to the music!"
Sheriff Wilfred: "Done did it there, Rufus. Only music you're gonna hear is the ringing in your ears when we hang you."
Rufus: "Music! Brings us together, motherfuckers! Now I'm gonna tell you, you gonna tell them, and we all gonna tell each other about the music. Brings us together! Listen to my hat! My hat plays music! See these stripes? Listen to the music!"
Mayor Stewart: "Please pull the lever already, he ain't shuttin' up."
Sheriff Wilfred: "See you in Hell, Rufus!" (Pulls lever, hanging Roofus)
Rufus: "Goddamn motherfuckers, just listennnn…ahhh…"
Mayor Stewart: "Ahh shit, do you think he was talking about the birds singing? Cuz I can hear those."
Sheriff Wilfred: "Rufus, was you talking about the birds?"
Rufus: "mooothhherrrrrfuuuckkkerrs…gaghhh"
Mayor Stewart: "Ah well, so much for that."
And so the movie ended on a down note, with the hero meeting a less than heroic end. Seeing as how he was really annoying and a hobo to boot, it was entirely appropriate.

Stop looking so damn creepy, hobo!Even though the hobosploitation genre dried up long ago, there have been signs of renewed life in movies about the homeless. I'm sure by now a good number of you have heard of the "Bum Fights" videos, which feature actual homeless people duking it out for money and the type of unrivaled glory that only comes from appearing in low budget videos. While "Bum Fights" has been overshadowed by the new hip sport for retards (shooting naked girls with paintball guns), it still shows an important development in cinema. "Bum Fights" is more than just dirty, smelly, poor people getting exploited, it's the down of a new breed of movie: the hobosmotation film. For the first time ever, real homeless men and women are getting smote on film, and you can watch it from the comfort of your own home. Personally, I don't approve of "Bum Fights" because I simply don't approve of the homeless. I mean it's been what, a hundred or so years, and they still exist? Get a job already. It's the genre evolution that has me excited. Where hobosploitation was all about putting hobos on a pedestal, hobosmotation is all about reminding hobos how far from a pedestal they really are. I think it's important that the arts, regardless of whether it's paintings, movies, songs, or erotic pictures of Battleship pegs, always put the lower class in their place. I think if somebody is stupid enough to pay and film hobos smiting hobos and evolve filmmaking, then by God, I'll stand by them. I'd just prefer they not pay the bums who offer their services as comedic punching bags.

Best Title Screen I've Ever Seen

Hey everyone, Taylor "Taylor "Psychosis" Bell" Bell here with an all-new review of a terrible, horrible, no good very bad game! This week's game is Necrotech, which has to be the stupidest name for a game I've ever heard. Well, besides Divine Divinity.

It gets even worse when you enter combat. When you walk around outside, every two steps you will encounter a thug who demands money. You can choose to say “Ok, sure” and give him money, in which case he will instantly disappear, or you can say “No way loser!” and start a fight. The battle engine is a simplistic menu-based system that was probably ported from an Apple IIe game, only it has the added benefit of random white polygons constantly streaming out from your character and flying all over the place. My character had a rating of “excellent” for both accuracy and luck and he specialized in pistols, yet every time I fired (using an “aimed shot” that takes longer but is more accurate) I managed to miss at least two out of every three shots. The enemies aren’t any better, so you don’t need to worry about getting killed unless an enemy decides to punch, which connects almost every time and inflicts more damage than a shot with an automatic pistol. After realizing this, I unequipped my weapon and happily punched away for the rest of the fight, and by constantly punching I easily won the battle and every battle after.

The whole review is just waiting for you to give it a good hard read. You wouldn't want to keep it waiting, would you?

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

More Front Page News

This Week on Something Awful...

  • Pardon Our Dust

    Pardon Our Dust

    Something Awful is in the process of changing hands to a new owner. In the meantime we're pausing all updates and halting production on our propaganda comic partnership with Northrop Grumman.



    Dear god this was an embarrassment to not only this site, but to all mankind

Copyright ©2024 Jeffrey "of" YOSPOS & Something Awful