Cert: 18 Runtime: 89 mins Director: Jason Eisner Cast: Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi and Rob Wells
Put the knife away, kid… or I’ll use it to cut welfare checks from your rotten skin!
If you fancy an utterly strange B movie this week I would recommend Hobo with a Shotgun.A vigilante homeless man (Rutger Hauer) pulls into a new city and finds himself trapped in urban chaos, a city where crime rules and where the city’s crime boss reigns. Seeing an urban landscape filled with armed robbers, corrupt cops, abused prostitutes and even a pedophile Santa, the Hobo goes about bringing justice to the city the best way he knows how – with a 20-gauge shotgun. Mayhem ensues when he tries to make things better for the future generation. Street justice will indeed prevail.
Eisener’s exploitative 80’s grindhouse throwback, “Hobo with a Shotgun”, showcasing its brutality shamelessly, is easily the best grindhouse film to ever grace the silver screen. “Grindhouse”, “Machete”, and “Drive Angry 3D” are all strong staples to the beloved subgenre, but “Hobo” is where it’s at. It’s bigger, louder, and prouder. In all honesty, this is one of the goriest films I’ve seen in a while, and it takes a lot for me to say that because even the goriest Saw film doesn’t fulfill my bloody craving. The best part about “Hobo” is not only doesn’t it play it safe, but there’s so much meaning, and depth underneath it, and is executed so strongly that the message never becomes lost or preachy.
“Hobo” revolves around well… a hobo. An anonymous one at that who witnesses the catastrophes of the city, and decides to fight back. First of all, the plot is just ingenious. A hobo who’s tired of getting picked on and besmirched by the townspeople decides to take a stand. Not only is it a badass story, but can’t we all relate to the plot? Haven’t we all been pushed around too long, and just wanted to do something. To be something truly special. Also, while the deaths are pretty sick, there’s more meat on these bones. The film relies on what a film should rely on. Its characters. The relationship between Abby and the hobo is a strong one. I actually cared about these two. What does it say if a film of the title “Hobo with a Shotgun” has more character development than 95% of the garbage being released today? To put the icing on the cake, the production values are sweet. This film has a superb nostalgic look, and it’s one of the most colorful and vibrant movies projected on-screen. But why are we here? For the deaths! And boy, do they not disappoint. Eating glass, decapitating heads, and shots to the head are not even the goriest segments. Actually, they’re the tamest. Not only that but almost every five minutes there’s blood. Whether a dead body in a shot, random blood, or a kill occurring. This is just a huge blood bath. And a great one at that.
Also, what I loved about this movie is the lack of gratuitous nudity. I hate how almost every grindhouse flick has to have the need to throw in random boobs or sex in the film. I know it’s part of the titillation, but it’s rather absurd, and feels out of context. “Hobo” had one scene exposing those jugs, and it actually fit the mood because of its humor. However, it was just THAT scene and wasn’t littered throughout the movie.
Ignore those reviewers saying they were “disappointed” because it wasn’t “what they were expecting”. If you’re expecting a good time, dammit, you’re going to get one. Two strong leads, heaps and heaps of blood, a slick story, and some solid production values. You’re going to tell me that doesn’t even get you excited in the slightest? “Hobo with a shotgun” might just be the best movie I’ll see this year. The others have just not delivered on what they promised. How sad is it to see a movie with this title can actually be the best movie of the year, when probably half of the Oscar choices will be pretentious dribble. Don’t even think about seeing this film. Just do it. Go ahead, I’ll wait.