Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

Hobo With A Shotgun is bonkers. It’s funny, nasty, compelling and very, very bloody. A true homage to the grindhouse era that turns everything up to 11, Jason Eisener’s cult classic-in-the-making is lots and lots of fun.

If anyone goes into Hobo With A Shotgun expecting a cerebral arthouse flick or a fun-filled romp then, quite frankly, you’d be several shades of mental. The title says all you need know, it’s about a hobo and he has a shotgun. Oh, and he’s pretty pissed off too.

During the opening credits we see Rutger Hauer’s titular transient jump from a train car to begin a new life in Hope Town. Unfortunately this particular town is run by maniacal crime boss The Drake and his two thoroughly odious sons, and the people who populate the town are at their mercy as the cops are either too apathetic to care or on his payroll. It doesn’t take long for Hobo to put the pieces together and after seeing one injustice too many, he casts his dreams of a humble lawn mowing business aside and uses the money earned from ‘bum-fighting’, to buy the nearest 12 gauge shotgun, vowing to shoot and kill everyone who bends the rules and rid the town of its criminal element. When The Drake hears of this turn of events, he demands that all homeless people be killed on sight and that’s when Hobo’s problems really start.

The casting of Rutger Hauer could not have been more perfect, his charisma and experience shine through and elevate what could have ended up being quite a loathsome character into an ideal, vengeful anti-hero. He spits out one-liners with casual ease and gives the audience someone to truly root for amidst a see of characters that are rotten to the core. It’s also nice to see Gregory Smith (Small Soldiers, TV’s Everwood), step out of his comfort zone, and Molly Dunsworth provides a steely turn as the reluctant prostitute who looks after and befriends Hobo, utlimately assisting him in his quest for justice.

Hobo’s history is much the same as Machete’s. Both started out as ‘fake’ trailers that were made to precede the Tarantino/Rodriguez pairing of Deathproof and Planet Terror (or Grindhouse as they were released in the States). It seems that someone was wise enough to point out along the way, that the idea was simply too good to remain within the confines of a trailer, and decided to produce a feature length movie. It’s almost poetic that prior to Hobo With A Shotgun’s release, Jason Eisener offered fans the chance to win a competition whereby their ‘fake’ trailer would be shown before the movie, in the same way he had won a competition to allow his trailer to be shown before Grindhouse.

Hobo With A Shotgun is not for the faint hearted, and certainly not a film that will ever gain a wide appeal. It features gun shots to just about every part of the anatomy, a paedophilic Santa Claus, a bus full of school children being burnt alive, scenes of torture, beheading, you name it, if it’s offensive, it’s in here.

Despite the impressive amount of fake blood and gore on display, Hobo With A Shotgun has a wry sense of humour and a genuinely touching relationship at its core that almost bely its brash, hedonistic shell. If you’re a fan of the grindhouse era, trashy 80′s exploitation flicks or just want a cynical, fun-filled, claret-covered movie featuring Rutger Hauer in his most enjoyable role in years then I can’t recommend Hobo With A Shotgun enough. Watch it and treasure it.

Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

One Comment on “Hobo With A Shotgun”

  1. Rag says:

    This is a great film. Ok, it may be a crap film, but it is still great.

    The acting (for the most part) is crap. The script (other than the frequent absolutely glorious one liners ["Don't you die on me you f@#king whore!", etc]) sucks. The story swing wildly between clich├ęd and… um… rubbish. But, none of this really matters. It is a great film.

    Let’s face it. Rutger Hauer rocks. Excessive violence (in a fantasy environment) rocks. Vengeful hookers going all MacGyver, rock.

    This film is a cartoon without the CGI budget. My (mildly) inebriated mind filled in something between Sin City and Dick Tracey. Superb.

    I have regretted the cost of a DVD on many occasions. Not this time. Not even a bit.

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